As with any Floating or Fixed, Dock or Marina Structure, one cannot stress the important of structurally sound, moreover safe Walkways and Handrail components. Following are just a few, simple requirements.
- Main walkways should not be less than 4 feet wide. The minimum width between berthing slips should not be less than 3 feet when used as access to boats.
- Walkways should be kept free from mud, ice, snow, grease, or any other material or obstruction that could create a slipping or tripping hazard.
- Walkways should be structurally sound. Flooring or decking should not be less than 1-inch rough, 2 inch by 6 inch S3S, 3/4 inch exterior plywood, or other material capable of supporting a minimum design load of 50pounds per square foot.
- Walkways should be even, free from protruding bolts and nails, and have a slip-free surface. Carpeting should not be used to provide a non-slip surface.
- Walkways from shore-to-dock should have a maximum slope of 3 to 1; be free from excessive spring, deflection, and lateral movement; and be adequately supported with flotation.
- Walkways should be above the water level at all times.
- Shore-to-dock walkways should have a standard 42-inch high solid handrail with an intermediate rail securely installed on each side.
- Where feasible, walkways from shore-to-dock should be constructed to allow access by the handicapped.
- Accessways should be adequate for fighting fire as determined by local firefighting personnel.
- Marinas at the beginning at the access walkway should be signed to prohibit swimming, diving, and running. Additionally, emergency contact numbers should be posted.
- Where security is an issue, a gate system to prevent unwelcome visitors, trespassers, and wandering children should be provided.
1. Handrails should be provided on all stairways, walkways, and all office and service docks that are open to the general public.
2. Handrails should be 42 inches in height, with an intermediate rail approximately 22 inches in height. Where children may be present, a guard between the deck and the lower rail is recommended.
3. Handrails must be capable of withstanding loads of 200 pounds applied in any direction at any point with a minimum of deflection. They must be structurally sound, maintained in a state of good repair, and a
minimum size of 2 inch by 4 inch S4S, or equivalent strength material. Posts for handrails should be spaced on no more than 8-foot centers. Handrails should be smooth-surfaced with no protruding upright posts.
4. Stairways and walkways from shore-to-dock should have handrails on each side of the stairway or walkway.
5. Office and service docks should have handrails around the outside perimeter of the dock with appropriate openings for boarding and fueling boats. Handrails are required where public exposure warrants them. For example, places on the dock where people tend to congregate or where the walkway is so narrow that two people carrying gear could not pass each other safely should have handrails. Also, handrails are required where walkways end or make sharp turns that would lead people to walk directly into the water. Handrails are required at the main walkway end of boat storage stalls whenever the dock layout requires shore visitors to pass these openings on their way to other public use facilities.
6. Gates and signs should be installed to limit access to boat storage and repair areas to authorized personnel only.