Featured Project Todd Smith’s Dock

This is an example of the Fender Marine Construction “Platinum” dock and boathouse. This project features the round piles finished with 1”x2” trim blocks, custom made copper pile caps and copper drip edge and flashing. The piles that support the boathouse and covered decks weigh approximately 700 lbs each. We also chose to install the Brazilian Ipe Hardwood decking and the results are breathtaking.


What are piling caps for

Pile caps are not only a nice decorative element to a dock, but they also are functional. Their main purpose is for protection. The caps are used to cover the top of the lumber or steel piles from water and exposure to the elements. They also protect against potential rotting. Piling caps are easy to install and look great. They come in many designs and colors. In our case, custom round, copper caps were chosen. Adding them to a dock creates a clean, uniform look and protection that every owner should consider.


Choosing the right type of pile cap

There's a variety of pile caps to choose from: different shapes, sizes, colors, etc. With so many choices, it’s important to learn and pick which type is right for your dock. You should first consider your environment to determine what pile is best.

Is your dock in saltwater or fresh? Are there high waves? What about foot traffic?

These questions and others can help conclude the amount of protection needed. For example, if the dock is in a marina with heavy foot traffic and crashing waves, metal piling caps might be better due to their durability. On the other hand, a private neighborhood park with a small lake and dock would be better suited for plastic piles. The intimate setting will keep the water calm and less people will utilize the dock.

Metal piling caps Vs. Plastic piling caps


  • Beautiful finish, shiny
  • Lasts longer and more durable
  • Variety of metallic finishes
  • Classier look
  • More expensive


  • Protect against UV damage to wood
  • Clean, simple look
  • Cheaper option/easier to buy bulk
  • More colors available
  • Tighter, more secure fit to piles