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A number of years ago while cruising in the Pacific Northwest we poked into a small fishing and logging settlement on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and tied up to a small floating dock just off the fairway. We would normally have anchored out, but guests were slated to join the boat and being easily accessed from shore made more sense than wrestling with a dinghy. As we waited for guests to arrive we were treated to a truly interesting procession of commercial fish boats, sport fishers, crew boats buzzing loggers to the log dumps, small pleasure boats, and yachts. After a couple of beers I promised myself that if I ever had a house on the water I’d have a dock set up so my boat could double as my prime entertainment area.

Fast forward a couple of years and I found myself in Fort Lauderdale, having fled the snowstorm in Vancouver. The yacht broker friend I was staying with had a 50 footer tied up to his neighbor’s floating dock. He told me he was going to upgrade his dock to make any boat tied up there the entertainment and social focus of his property. He planned to increase the length of his dock “by just a bit,” and when I inquired about the municipal construction permits and additional insurance coverage, he said he didn’t think that was a problem. “What they don’t know won’t hurt them.”

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