BOTE Dock – a Brilliant Inflatable Dock and Swim Platform
On one hand there are those of us that love taking to our paddle boards to get in our regular aquatic exercise routines in a way that is largely unrivaled by many other outdoor activities. A pretty good opposing argument however is if you sit on the other side of the fence where dialing it back a tad and simply ‘existing’ on the water is more your style. If you sit in the latter camp, then perhaps the BOTE Inflatable Dock and Swim Platform is more your style.
Made to the same exacting standards as their inflatable paddle boards, BOTE Docks are a versatile multi-person floating platform that can be used for everything from swimming, yoga, fishing and sun bathing through to aquatic picnics and dinner dates.
Founded by their CEO Corey Cooper in 2008, BOTE are a US manufacturer of high-end paddle boards both rigid and iSUPS. Based in Florida, BOTE had very little start-up capital but were intent on producing conceptually simple, aesthetically pleasing and functionally innovative products. With a nationwide following BOTE have set themselves a mission to “stand apart through industry-shaping innovation, fresh ideas and simplicity to create a product that defines a lifestyle.”
While we would typically be focusing on the features of inflatable products as well as providing guidance on suitability and performance, the BOTE Dock is pretty much what it says on the lid. Its big – its durable – it floats. That said, its not just any old floating platform.
The vast majority of quality inflatables these days typically utilise military-grade PVC and drop-stitch cores within their construction. In order to achieve superior levels of rigidity, BOTE employ their own construction methodology referred to as AeroBOTE whereby tens of thousands of composite drop-stitch fibres are woven together to form a highly dense core. This core is then enveloped by outer layers of military-grade PVC fabric which once inflated creates a particularly rigid structure. The seams are then heat pressed and covered with a durable rail tape.
Drop-stitch construction methods have been around for many years and are used in a variety of inflatable vessels as well as lifting equipment and even aircraft. It is this method that allows inflatable boards and docks to maintain their shape when inflated under very high pressure making then particularly rigid and durable so they can withstand impacts with rocks and other floating debris or if accidentally dropped.
External Dock Features
Deck Pad – barring its perimeter, the entire surface of the dock is covered in a highly durable heat sealed BVA foam traction pad. Soft under foot, the padding provides comfort while sitting or standing for extended periods of time as well as being a cushioned playing surface for the kids. The multi-textured pattern ensures that surface water will quickly run off making it less slippery. It can also easily accommodate active dogs jumping around as well as beach chairs, ice buckets, coolers and much more.
D-rings – all 4 sides of the dock each have 2 well spaced D-rings which can be used for securing accessories e.g. chairs, coolers, water bottles etc.
Mounting Points – if you’re a fisherman or like the idea of capturing the moment with your GoPro, then make the most of the mounting points that are again on all 4 sides of the dock.
Grab Handles – while you can likely not have too many, each of the 8 side and 8 surface grab handles are made from a durable nylon material that is BOTE logo embossed. They offer ample options for holding on or carrying points with the 4 corner side handles also serving as anchor tie down or towing points.
The essentials only:
Carry Bag – aptly termed the ‘Burrito Bag’, the carry sling comes with grab handles on either side as well as adjustment straps to keep the deflated dock secure. Importantly, the bag is made from a durable military grade PVC fabric which is similar to what quality inflatables are themselves made from.
Pump – a durable light-weight single cylinder dual action manual hand pump with high pressure gauge and inflation hose. The inflation time for the larger dock can be up to 20 minutes so expect a little bit of a workout.
If you are however looking to use the dock on a more regular basis, we would always recommend investing in an electric pump which typically come with universal attachments to fit the majority of other inflatable products. Our Top 5 Electric Pumps review provides a nice summary of what to look for in a quality electric pump as well as some recommendations based on what else is available in the market.
Repair Kit – the standard repair kit comes complete with colour coded patches and glue plus a wrench tool to tighten the docks inflation value in the event it becomes loose.
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BOTE Inflatable Dock – 7’x7’ CHECK AVAILABILITY / BUY NOW
BOTE Inflatable Dock – 10’x10’ CHECK AVAILABILITY / BUY NOW
What else is there to say. As simple as it is, getting back to basics can often be the best thing. If you’re looking to claim your little slice of floating real estate then the BOTE Dock might just well be what you are after.
We hope you found this review of benefit and as always would welcome your thoughts. Please feel free to leave your comments below and we will get back to you.
Until then, stay safe and get wet.