You’ve flown. Whether it’s 100 or 1,000 miles, it’s the same principle. 

                          Airplane Flaps
Credit: Miguel Ángel Sanz

While landing at 125 MPH, a plane uses its “flaps” to provide extra “lift” when the forward speed is insufficient to keep the aircraft in the air. Flaps are those pieces of metal that roll out of the wing to slow the plane down while providing extra lift.

The added “lift” caused by the extended “flaps” maintains enough “lift” and surface area to keep the plane flying for a controlled landing.



What if the flap resistance was reduced to less than 60%?

What would happen if the flaps had “holes” in them. If you reduced the surface area by over 40%, what would happen? The answer is simple – the plane would soon be a pile of scrap metal. 

By reducing the surface area of the flaps, air would pass right through, and the “lift” the pilot needed to stay airborne would disappear. 

A plane needs the flaps’ resistance to help slow the aircraft when landing to maintain control. 

The idea of resistance against the flaps works great for an airplane – not so much for your dock.


What has that got to do with open decking?

image of Typical Plastic decking

  Typical Plank  decking

That same principle of “lift” applies to your dock. Older docks have wood, aluminum, or plastic board decking. Despite the 1/2″ opening between the deck pieces, the decking is essentially a solid mass. When a wave comes up under the decking, the water tries to push the decking up. 



Here’s where you have a choice.

With bolted-down decking, the wave is trying to lift the entire structure. 

If you leave the decking loose, you risk losing that piece(s) of decking. Sometimes the pieces float a short distance and sink. You can recover them with a bit of effort. 

The other side of the coin is they float too far away, and you end up purchasing new pieces.


What about “open decking”?


     Open Decking

The open decking is like the “flaps” with holes in them. There is so much less surface area- 42% less – that the “lift” pressure is greatly reduced. The likelihood of lifting or flipping your dock over is significantly reduced. 

We have to salvage many of the bolted down, solid plastic docks when the end lifts up and flips over. Usually, this causes the entire pier to flip over. 

It’s like a train where the lead cars go off the track. Because they are connected to the next car, they all (or mostly all) flip over. The same is true with a dock.

You end up with twisted frames, which are a complete loss.


Is open decking hot to walk on?

No, for the same reason they are less likely to “lift” the dockThose holes or slots rapidly dissipate the heat. The air passes through them and takes the heat away.


Does it get slippery when wet?

The shape of the slots allows the water to run off. The decking does not get “cupped,” which holds the water like the solid plastic boards. Besides, there are dimples on the walking surface to add traction.


It looks hard to walk on.

No, most people find open decking comfortable to walk or lay on.



Besides all the benefits noted above, the open decking costs LESS than other types of decking. These benefits are yours when you buy open decking from PWS.

Now pair these benefits with the PWS 3-Season Pier, and you have the best value for your money.

Call Jerry today. (920-493-4404)  or

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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.


 YESPWS is  OPEN and waiting for you! 

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

Let’s all stay safe!