23rd September, 2021

Why Polymers Are Superior To Wood for Marine Applications

Virtually any marine application can benefit from using polymers instead of wood. Constructed from incredibly durable and lightweight materials such as plastics and resins, there are numerous reasons why polymers are superior to wood for marine applications. Polymer-based marine structures such as docks and seawalls, for example, are able to withstand intense UV-rays and constant water contact much longer and more reliably than similar structures made of wood. Other factors that contribute to polymer’s superiority over wood in marine applications include the following listed below.

Countless Benefits

Plastic-based polymers have an incredible number of benefits when used in marine applications. Polymers in products such as marine-grade decking are incredibly durable and resilient and can resist saltwater, UV rays, chemicals, and corrosion. They can withstand extreme weather systems and temperature fluctuations much better than woods and metals. Polymers are also very lightweight, making them ideal for numerous marine purposes. Other benefits of polymers include:

  • Resistance to stains and odors
  • Complex contours
  • Resistant to warpage, swelling, and splintering
  • Being easy to clean and sanitize
  • Will not absorb moisture
  • Bending without breaking

Diverse Applications

Unlike wood and metal, plastics can be used in a plethora of different applications. Some of the most common uses for plastics in the marine industry include:

  • Fishing pole racks and holders
  • Bumpers for boats and docks
  • Swim platforms
  • Decking
  • Gangways
  • Steps


When it comes to affordability, polymers are superior to wood for marine applications. For example, most docks are extremely expensive to repair, especially if they’re for commercial use. Wooden docks also require regular maintenance to prevent splintering, warping, and rotting, among other concerns. Because wood isn’t designed to withstand harsh UV rays or constant contact with water (saltwater or otherwise), dock owners are forced to make frequent repairs despite maintenance efforts. Docks made from recycled plastic lumber, however, are affordable to purchase, easy to install, and withstand the elements better. Thus, they last much longer without the need for a replacement and also save on maintenance fees.