Your Assistance Needed

Today we have a request for YOUR assistance.

As you may know, we have written several articles about the Glacier Flow Thru and Sun Walk decking used on the ShoreMaster docks and PWS‘s own 3-Season Pier, respectively. (We use two deck brands due to the different widths of the docks.)

image of Glacier Decking by ShoreMaster - Tan

Open Decking by ShoreMaster

Each time we write an article about decking, we try to write a better description of what open decking is all about. 

Like the old saying goes-

“A picture is worth a thousand words,

But a video is worth a whole lot more.”

(OK, we expanded on that old saying)

We can’t predict when and where the next big storm will hit. When and where will the waves be breaking through the decking? What does it look like when the wave is so high it actually tries to lift the decking (and the dock if you have planks instead of open decking) but ends up being dispersed as it goes through the decking instead?

Why does the 3-Season Pier stands up so well to storms?  We can try to describe it in words all day long but a photo or video is much more effective.

An actual demonstration of open decking doing it’s thing is important to new customers and people considering re-decking their existing dock. They want proof that their dock stands a much better chance of weathering the storm?


Have you taken photos or videos of a dock in a storm?

During a severe storm, many people take photos or videos to show friends and neighbors what happened. Maybe you saw a dock floating into a boat lift or waves crashing through the decking. Perhaps a loose boat hit a dock, and you got the video.

We want to publish those pictures and videos. If you have these or are willing to take photos or videos (safely, of course), we ask you to email them to us.  Time permitting – we’ll try to email the article to you before it’s published.

Email them to:

In the past, we received and used a great video of the wave itself being destroyed by rip-rap placed on the shoreline. The waves actually melt away harmlessly.  The real demonstration starts at :30 seconds.


We want your images of a storm trying to destroy a dock.

We prefer no audio at all.

If you want credit for the videos or pictures, just let us know. With your permission, we will include your first name and the first letter of your last name, along with a general location like this – “credits: John B., Sister Bay.” We’ll post them on YouTube also.  Be the first to get published.  Our readers include countries other than the U.S.


Finally – a THANK YOU!!

We would like to acknowledge the notes and testimonials we have received over the years. Our crews work hard to do the job right the first time.  They sometimes fail, but we always take care of our customers if it happens. We always bring your notes to their attention when you mention their name.

We post these notes in the Customer Testimonial section – word for word, as written – on our website.

Tell Your Friends & Family

Have friends or neighbors you believe should see this article? Email them this link  – and Thank you!

 Visit Pier & Waterfront Solutions on Facebook.

 Don’t Forget – Considering rip-rap for your shoreline? PWS is the place to contact!

Where is Pier & Waterfront Solutions?

Located at 7325 St. Hwy 57, it’s 3 miles south of Sturgeon Bay and 1 mile past the intersection of Cty MM (heading north). Look on the right side, one mile north, at the next corner (Idlewild Road and Hwy 57).



Pier & Waterfront Solutions has remained “open.” We have implemented measures to ensure the safety of our employees and visitors. At the same time, we are working to maintain the trusted service that you have come to expect.


PWS implemented these precautionary measures:

1. Conducting as much business as possible by email, text, or phone.
2. Site visits will continue. When in-person contacts are necessary, we will follow “social distancing” guidelines.
3. Our display yard is always open for you to examine at your leisure. All displays have a numbered, red tag on them. If you want more information or pricing, please reference that number.


What can YOU do to help us? 

1. Please conduct as much business as possible via emails, messaging, and emails. This step protects everyone involved.
2. When you see our crews installing equipment, please practice “social distancing.”

Thank you for allowing us to work with you.

So – YESPWS is  OPEN and waiting for you? 

Please call, message, or email PWS with any questions.

Let’s all stay safe!


WOOD DECKING – A Complete Guide to Dock Decking- (Part 1) – Pier & Waterfront Solutions


Written by ShoreMaster Marketing            Updated by Pier & Waterfront Solutions LLC

Wood decking is one of the many ShoreMaster options available for docks.  In fact, they offer so many decking choices that it can be hard to grasp which option best fits your needs.

This first of three articles discusses the types of wood decking available from ShoreMaster – namely Cedar and IPE wood decking.

In Part 2 of the series, the topic will be the types of aluminum decking available.  Finally, in the third part of the series, the topic will be the latest plastic and composite decking types.

How to choose the Right Wood Decking for your dock?

Some dock manufacturers are very limited in their decking options. This is a blessing to a dealer because it limits their on-hand inventory. At the same time, limited decking choices affect your ability to get the best choice for your needs.

With ShoreMaster decking you are not limited to one or two choices. or the few choices the dealer chooses to tell you about.  Remember, Pier Waterfront Solutions LLC has access to the widest range of decking choices anywhere. This is a major positive for you as a dock owner.

Decking represents 25% – 50% of the total cost of a dock system

With this realization in mind, initial decking cost is obviously an important aspect when choosing decking for a dock system.

Plus, no element on any dock system connects closer to the dock user than the decking. The number of deck choices available to you remains the most important factor when purchasing that new dock.

You may be surprised to learn that initial cost is only a small factor in the total cost over the lifespan of the deck.

Considering Wood Decking For Your Dock System?

For traditionalists (or people on a budget), wood decking is the only way to go.  It usually is the least expensive and natural looking product available.

Wood contains natural oils and tannins to resist rot, decay, and insects. As a result, natural wood does not need dangerous or harmful chemicals to prevent rotting.

Many dock owners like the look and feel of natural wood decking on their dock.   At the same time, it’s important to note that wood decking requires more maintenance than aluminum, composite or plastic decking.

How much maintenance does natural wood require?

image of Pressure Washed Wood Decking

Pressure Washing to clean wood decking

In general, the recommendation for maintaining natural. unfinished wood decking is to power wash your decking annually.  With a finish applied to wood, expect to clean and apply a fresh coat of finish every three to four years to keep it looking good.  Now the cost is starting to add up.

Other Considerations

When choosing wood decking, it’s important to remember that wood decking will absorb the sun’s rays and become very warm to the touch on hot days. At times it may actually get uncomfortable to walk on it. On the flip side, wood decking will generally feel nice and warm on cooler days with any amount of sunshine.

Keep in mind that wood decking retains that heat longer than any aluminum or plastic decking.

Deciding between Hardwood Decking and Softwood Decking For Your Dock

Wood is a great natural looking and durable decking material for your dock system. Pier & Waterfront Solutions LLC offers two types of wood decking for your dock – IPE, which is a tropical hardwood, and Red Cedar, a softwood.  

Image of IPE Decking by ShoreMaster

IPE Decking by ShoreMaster

The first thing that you are likely to notice the difference between hardwoods and softwoods is the price.

Hardwoods take longer to grow than softwoods, and as a result, it costs more for the hardwood materials. Another difference – is the density or the hardness of each material. Because hardwoods take longer to grow, the wood is denser.  This makes hardwoods heavier than softwoods.

Softwoods grow quicker than hardwoods, so the wood becomes less dense and lighter.  This makes it easier to cut and drill than hardwoods. Softwoods such as red cedar have varying levels of hardness and resistance to insects and decay.

What does this mean for the durability of the softwoods?

Durability is related to the amount of heartwood on the boards. Heartwood grows near the center of the tree, which makes it harder, and more resistant to insects and decay based on the amount of Sapwood in the section.

Sapwood grows near the outer part of the tree which means it is a bit softer and more susceptible to decay due to its lack of density.  Red Cedar decking from ShoreMaster is carefully selected to contain less sapwood to prolong the life of the wood. This results in your decking becoming less susceptible to early weatherization and insects.

Whether you choose a hardwood or a softwood deck for your dock, you’ll be glad to know that each type of wood contains natural oils and tannins to help protect it from insects and decay.  Both kinds of wood require about the same amount of maintenance each year to keep their natural appearance.

With no stain or finish applied, you still need to power wash your wood decking annually to keep it looking beautiful. Both IPE hardwoods and red cedar softwoods will weather to a silver-gray color with no stain or finish applied to the wood.  Eventually, some areas of the decking will turn darker colors, even a gray-black with no yearly maintenance.  See this article to see why this is true:

 Cedar Wood Decking

image of cedar wood decking from ShoreMaster - Door County

Cedar Wood Decking from ShoreMaster


When ShoreMaster sources cedar decking from its suppliers, they search for boards that contain more heartwood than sapwood. This makes your cedar decking less susceptible to insects and decay. This way you can be confident that your cedar decking will resist decay and remain safe. It also looks great on your shoreline.

To most dock owners, nothing feels better on your bare feet than the soft, warm, natural beauty of red cedar decking.

IPE Wood Decking

image of IPE Hardwood Decking from ShoreMaster

IPE Hardwood Decking from ShoreMaster

When it comes to Hardwood decking, nothing beats ShoreMaster’s IPE hardwood decking. ShoreMaster’s IPE hardwood adds a sense of stability to your dock.  It feels incredibly firm underfoot because of its natural hardness and density.  It looks great and provides a gentle, natural wood feel on your bare feet.

IPE, being a hardwood, is denser than and heavier than Cedar decking. It has the added benefit of resistance to being blown out of the dock by wind or waves due to it’s added weight.

All wood decking can be a problem on large bodies of water when waves beat against the bottom of the decking.  With few open areas to relieve the pressure, it becomes prone to being washed out of the frames.

For natural beauty, nothing beats natural wood.


Pier & Waterfront Solutions specializes in ShoreMaster docks, lifts, and accessories both residential and commercial. We service the rest.

PWS is located in the center of Door County at 7325 St Hwy 57. Located 1 mile North of County MM (Hwy 42) and South of Sturgeon Bay at the intersection of Idlewild Road.  Our staff is ready to help you anytime.

Want us to address a dock or boat lift topic for you?  Feel free to give us a call.  

Call Jerry at 920-493-4404 or email him at for more information.