ADA Regulations for Boat Docks

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.
ADA regulations for boat docks are primarily directed towards marinas, specifying number of accessible slips per capita, width of docks, and accessible routes.



Basically according to ADA guidelines the actual docking needs to comply with the following:



* The pier/dock must have clear space 60" wide minimum and must be as long as the slip.
* Every 10 feet of linear pier shall have at least one continuous clear opening a minimum of 60" wide.
* 36" wide docking is acceptable as long as the 36" wide docking is no longer than 24" long and has 60"x 60" docking on either side.

Remember ADA regulations are requirements for public docks and not requirements for residential docks. That said the ADA regulations are a great yardstick to base residential accessible dock design.


Figure 59 illustrates pier clearances in plan view. Accessible boat slips are served by clear pier space 60 inches wide minimum and at least as long as the accessible boat slips. Every 10 feet maximum of linear pier edge serving the accessible boat slips contains at least one continuous clear opening 60 inches minimum wide. From ADA Index of ADAAG Figures.

Below are the ADA regulations:
15.2.2* Accessible Route. Accessible routes, including gangways that are part of accessible routes, shall comply with 4.3. Appendix Note

EXCEPTION 1. Where an existing gangway or series of gangways is replaced or altered, an increase in the length of the gangway is not required to comply with 15.2.2, unless required by 4.1.6(2).

EXCEPTION 2. The maximum rise specified in 4.8.2 shall not apply to gangways.

EXCEPTION 3. Where the total length of the gangway or series of gangways serving as part of a required accessible route is at least 80 feet (24 m), the maximum slope specified in 4.8.2 shall not apply to the gangways.

EXCEPTION 4. In facilities containing fewer than 25 boat slips and where the total length of the gangway or series of gangways serving as part of a required accessible route is at least 30 feet (9140 mm), the maximum slope specified in 4.8.2 shall not apply to the gangways.

EXCEPTION 5. Where gangways connect to transition plates, landings specified by 4.8.4 shall not be required.

EXCEPTION 6. Where gangways and transition plates connect and are required to have handrails, handrail extensions specified by 4.8.5 shall not be required. Where handrail extensions are provided on gangways or transition plates, such extensions are not required to be parallel with the ground or floor surface.

EXCEPTION 7. The cross slope of gangways, transition plates, and floating piers that are part of an accessible route shall be 1:50 maximum measured in the static position.

EXCEPTION 8. Limited-use/limited-application elevators or platform lifts complying with 4.11 shall be permitted in lieu of gangways complying with 4.3.

15.2.3* Boat Slips: Minimum Number. Where boat slips are provided, boat slips complying with 15.2.5 shall be provided in accordance with Table 15.2.3. Where the number of boat slips is not identified, each 40 feet (12 m) of boat slip edge provided along the perimeter of the pier shall be counted as one boat slip for the purpose of this section. Appendix Note
Table 15.2.3
Total Boat Slips in Facility Minimum Number of Required
Accessible Boat Slips
1 to 25 1
26 to 50 2
51 to 100 3
101 to 150 4
151 to 300 5
301 to 400 6
401 to 500 7
501 to 600 8
601 to 700 9
701 to 800 10
801 to 900 11
901 to 1000 12
1001 and over 12, plus 1 for each 100 or fraction thereof over 1000

15.2.3.1* Dispersion. Accessible boat slips shall be dispersed throughout the various types of slips provided. This provision does not require an increase in the minimum number of boat slips required to be accessible. Appendix Note

15.2.4* Boarding Piers at Boat Launch Ramps. Where boarding piers are provided at boat launch ramps, at least 5 percent, but not less than one of the boarding piers shall comply with 15.2.4 and shall be served by an accessible route complying with 4.3. Appendix Note

EXCEPTION 1. Accessible routes serving floating boarding piers shall be permitted to use exceptions 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8 in 15.2.2.

EXCEPTION 2. Where the total length of the gangway or series of gangways serving as part of a required accessible route is at least 30 feet (9140 mm), the maximum slope specified by 4.8.2 shall not apply to the gangways.

EXCEPTION 3. Where the accessible route serving a floating boarding pier or skid pier is located within a boat launch ramp, the portion of the accessible route located within the boat launch ramp shall not be required to comply with 4.8.

15.2.4.1* Boarding Pier Clearances. The entire length of the piers shall comply with 15.2.5. Appendix Note

15.2.5* Accessible Boat Slips. Accessible boat slips shall comply with 15.2.5. Appendix Note

15.2.5.1 Clearances. Accessible boat slips shall be served by clear pier space 60 inches (1525 mm) wide minimum and at least as long as the accessible boat slips. Every 10 feet (3050 mm) maximum of linear pier edge serving the accessible boat slips shall contain at least one continuous clear opening 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum in width (see Fig. 59).

EXCEPTION 1: The width of the clear pier space shall be permitted to be 36 inches (915 mm) minimum for a length of 24 inches (610 mm) maximum, provided that multiple 36 inch (915mm) wide segments are separated by segments that are 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum clear in width and 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum clear in length. (see Fig. 60)

EXCEPTION 2: Edge protection 4 inches (100 mm) high maximum and 2 inches (51mm) deep maximum shall be permitted at the continuous clear openings. (see Fig. 61)

EXCEPTION 3*: In alterations to existing facilities, clear pier space shall be permitted to be located perpendicular to the boat slip and shall extend the width of the boat slip, where the facility has at least one boat slip complying with 15.2.5, and further compliance with 15.2.5 would result in a reduction in the number of boat slips available or result in a reduction of the widths of existing slips. Appendix Note

15.2.5.2 Cleats and Other Boat Securement Devices. Cleats and other boat securement devices shall not be required to comply with 4.27.3.

15.3 Fishing Piers and Platforms.

15.3.1 General. Newly designed or newly constructed and altered fishing piers and platforms shall comply with 15.3.

15.3.2 Accessible Route. Accessible routes, including gangways that are part of accessible routes, serving fishing piers and platforms shall comply with 4.3.

EXCEPTION 1: Accessible routes serving floating fishing piers and platforms shall be permitted to use exceptions 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8 in 15.2.2.

EXCEPTION 2*: Where the total length of the gangway or series of gangways serving as part of a required accessible route is at least 30 feet (9140 mm), the maximum slope specified by 4.8.2 shall not apply to the gangways. Appendix Note


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