PDB Tested: Dock Shock

December 2012 PDB Tested Brady L. Kay

There is a lot of value to this product. For most pontoons or deck boats you can get by with only one Dock Shock if you're willing to mount a new cleat at midship on your boat. The spring-loaded telescopic absorber will keep your boat far from the dock, so it eliminates the need of fenders or buoys. You just need to be fully committed to the idea of docking your boat like this, before drilling into the side of your boat and mounting that extra cleat. It might be a better option to buy two Dock Shocks and use your existing bow and stern cleats that are standard on most boats versus mounting a new one. But at $189 for each 33-inch shock, buying two might not be for you. The additional cleat sells for an additional $30.

If you regularly keep your boat in the water overnight, this product could be ideal for you. Big waves can do damage to your boat and when properly secured, the Dock Shock works great. But for those who only tie up to grab a bite at the marina or to get gas, this product is an overkill.

For the purpose of our test, the Dock Shock worked and it did everything the manufacturer said it would do. But what I didn't like about it was adding an extra cleat to the side of my boat just for the product. I had the hardest time trying to figure out where to mount the cleat. On its website I saw pictures of the cleat mounted to the side deck, but on this particular pontoon boat, the only open space to mount the cleat flush, was at the gate opening.

Attaching the Dock Shock to the cleat at my marina was nice and easy with the rope design. It will slip over most dock cleats and it's easy to pull tight with the Q-Knot that sells for $15 each or $25 for a pair. It's a two person operation to secure one end on the boat and the other at the dock, but once you use your mooring lines for the bow and stern to secure the boat, you're all set.

Mounting a new cleat or going with two shocks is the biggest debate, since the Dock Shock will work either way. Most people that are in need of a system like this will love either way. 

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