Looking for a boat dock box, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place.
These storage boxes meant to be placed on your dock can range from around $100 to several thousands of dollars for commercial options you typically see at marinas.
If you are the handy type, there are even some DIY options you may want to consider.
In this post, I’ll break down what you need to know before selecting one, and 7 options to consider depending on your needs.
Benefits of purchasing a dock box
Simply put, dock boxes are great for storing all kinds of different items, from fishing and boating equipment to personal items.
After all, who wants to keep making trips to the storage shed?
These are great for storing equipment you will need easy access to (like life jackets) as well as valuable fishing equipment.
For this reason, many people prefer commercial models which typically come with lids that lock and can also be bolted down for security.
Dock box materials and what to look for
When it comes to dock boxes, keep in mind that what separates commercial-grade dock boxes and commercial deck boxes (that people use on docks) are the materials used.
Fiberglass vs. Polyethylene dock boxes
Most commercial dock boxes are made of fiberglass, and typically offer much more resistance to fading due to enhanced UV protection with a gel-coating typically found on boats.
On the other hand, polyethylene dock boxes are not as resistant to corrosive environments in the same way that fiberglass boxes are, which is why for commercial applications like in marinas, fiberglass is the hands-down winner.
For more information on these distinctions, this article at dockboxes.com is a good read.
Deciding what dock box to choose
All this being said, polyethylene dock boxes are pretty weather and crack-resistant these days, and typically a much better choice if you live on a lake or river and just need something that still is strong, but at a fraction of the cost.
Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself before choosing one:
- Do you need it to be waterproof and able to withstand the elements?
- Do you simply plan to store lifejackets and accessories, or more valueable items like fishing poles?
- Do you need a warranty and access to replacement hinges or shocks?
- Do you need the ability for these to be bolted down and/or locked?
- Do you need something to sit on, or just for storage?
- Do you wish to incorporate the dock box into the dock itself?
Some dock boxes will have special features and compartments to accommodate organizing your equipment, while others are relatively basic.
Types of boat dock boxes
When it comes to dock boxes, these come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
As I mentioned earlier, some of these are consumer-grade (sometimes called deck boxes) while others are sold at marine supply stores specifically for this purpose.
Here are a few different types of boxes for your dock that you may come across:
- Standard dock box: This is a rectangular box that holds basic supplies on a dock or vessel
- Low-profile dock box: this is a lower height of box that is longer, usually used on narrow decks
- Triangular dock box: triangular dock boxes are used in corners when there is less room available to allow for more space.
- Seat top dock box: This type of dock box is built with a bench or seat on top and storage underneath.
- Upright dock boxes: These are similar to an upright storage locker in style and are great for fishing rods and longer tools or equipment.
7 best dock boxes to choose from
While there are several different types to choose from, I put together a list of my favorites below. With whatever box you choose, be sure to verify the dimensions of the box if purchasing online!
1. Lifetime 130-gallon deck box
Made by Lifetime, this outdoor storage box is made from polyethylene and has internal dimensions of 60” L x 24” W x 26.5” H. I found this one here on Amazon for less than $300.
- High-density polyethylene and UV-protected
- Can also be used as a bench
- Water and weather-resistant
- Spring hinge Lid
- Inability to bolt down
2. Keter XXL 230 gallon plastic deck storage
Made from polypropylene plastic resin, this deck box model has dimensions of 48” W x 30” D x 41” H and promises 195 Gallons or 9.49 cubic feet of storage space.
This one is one of the more natural-looking plastic options you can go with and is available here on Amazon. Both of these first two options are great for lake-use being consumer-grade.
- Two optional storage shelves
- Locking lid
- Assembly may be time-consuming unless expert assembly is purchased
3. Taylor Made Stow ‘N Go Poly dock box
This dock box is made of UV-resistant polyethylene. It has dimensions of 40” L x 24” W x 26” H. This model generally runs around $400.
Taylor Made is one of the premier dock box manufacturers in the USA, so you can also find more commercial-grade models like the ones I will discuss below f you need something that will last a bit longer.
- Stainless steel hardware
- Double-walled lid
- Gas shock lift
- No compartments for organization
4. Taylor Made Stow ‘n Go dock boxes
This dock box by Taylor Made here on Amazon is part of their Stow ‘n Go line I really like alongside a triangular-shaped box.
This is one of the few I’ve seen that actually integrates a seat into the design and is made of fiberglass.
These premium Taylor Made boxes contain gas shocks and stainless steel latches, which separates them from many of the less expensive dock boxes.
The shocks essentially prevent the lid from flying open in strong wind, unlike cheaper models.
Taylor Made triangular dock box
Similar to the one above, this dock box has a unique triangular shape. It is made of fiberglass as well, and perfect for the gussets on docks.
All other build materials and pros/cons are essentially the same for this Taylor Made line and are as follows:
- Gelcoat finish
- Fiberglass construction
- Gas shock lift
- Stainless steel hardware
- On the pricier side
5. Titanstor 4-Foot dock box with lockset & mounting kit
The Titanstor 4-Foot Dock Box is 48”W x 27”H x 24”D and made of polyethylene and is a good mid-range option.
The box weighs sixty pounds, so as you can imagine, it is very tough and durable.
The good news is that this one costs less than $500 here on Amazon and also includes a mounting kit. This is one of my favorite options for dock boxes you intend to anchor it to a wooden pier, for example.
- No warping, twisting, or cracking
- 100% Eco-friendly
- Lock and mounting included
- Smaller size
- May not last as long as a fiberglass dock box that costs more
6. West Marine fishermen’s dock boxes
The Fishermen’s Dock Box is made of fiberglass and is 95″ W x 24″ H x 22″ D. It is a specialized dock box, featuring special holders for fishing rods and compartments for tackle and other fishing gear and equipment.
This one sells for around $1,300 here at West Marine and is one of the few boxes that can accommodate fishing poles while being long enough to serve as a bench.
- UV gelcoat finish
- Stainless steel hardware
- Gas Shock Lift
- Takes up more space
7. Mazarine Royal dock box
Mazarine is known for its state-of-the-art dock boxes, so if you’re looking for something a bit more eye-popping and customized, this is the one to consider.
The Royal model is 72”W x 30”H x 30”D. The price for these dock boxes is only given by direct quote, but they often are beyond $5,000.
- Keyless entry
- Interior raptor coating
- LED lights
DIY boat dock boxes
Looking to build a DIY style dock box? Start with a nice pressure-treated wood to match your dock; many dock owners also opt for composite deck boards for maximum durability.
Below is a simple example that you can re-create with the right materials.
Keep in mind, that even if you use waterproofing stain on it, you will not get anywhere near the level of weatherproofing and waterproofing that you get from a fiberglass or polyethylene dock box.
These do offer a more natural and integrated look in my opinion, so they are definitely something to consider.
Dock box mounting brackets
Mounting your dock box is not difficult and will keep the box in place during any turbulent weather.
Many dock boxes come with mounting kits, but you may need to purchase them separately in most cases.
With the Taylor Made line for example, they recommend drilling holes in these in order to secure them with the proper hardware.
How to choose the right dock box for you
At the end of the day, a good rule of thumb is to understand what exactly you plan to store in your dock box.
Since fishing gear can cost thousands of dollars, a locking box that can be bolted down (and made of fiberglass) is a good option in this case.
On the other hand, if you are just looking for something to store a few life jackets and odds and ends at the lake, there’s really no need for something that costs $1000.
For more ideas on transforming your dock, check out these 21 fun boat dock accessories I highly recommend.