Building a Jetty for Your Pond or Lake

In my travels I have seen a wide variety of bridges, jetties, and decking arrangements. A good jetty can really make your pond or lake look special, as well as providing a convenient way to get in and out of your pond boat or lake boat. Whilst some of my customers prefer to build their own Jetty, most rely on local landscapers to carry out the work. Here are some tips when using a contractor.

Ask to see photos or examples of previous work by your chosen contractor, have they ever built a jetty before?

Your pond may be completely natural, it may be fed by a spring, it may be clay lined, it may be fed by a stream or spring, it may have an artificial liner, this liner could be made from a wide variety of materials. Your pond or lake may need to be drained partially or even fully before the jetty can be installed. Any fish will need to be removed prior to full draining. When the contractor visits your pond or lake he will need to find these things out before giving you an accurate quote.

Why not go online and find some photos of Jetties. Choose a Jetty you like the look of, and show the photo to your contractor. I have seen hundreds of different Jetties in the past, and every one is different.

A Jetty can be constructed from a range of different timbers, and even cast Iron or steel. The legs/uprights for your jetty will go down through the water and be anchored into the pond/lake bed. These legs should really be cut from hardwood such as green oak or Sappelli for durability. Your Contractor may prefer to use a softwood for the decking planks above the water. Softwood is usually pressure treated, but be aware that any treatment used could potentially contaminate the water and affect wildlife. Some specialist treatments may be ‘pond friendly’ but most treated timber should be sealed with a product such as G4 before being used for decking over water. Fish can be particularly sensitive to certain chemicals.

If you intend to leave your boat on the water tied up to the jetty you may need to use fenders or attach a protective strip to the jetty. Your boat should be attached to the jetty at the bow and the stern, with two fenders or a protective strip placed between the edge of the jetty and the boat, that way your boat will be secure and protected. Most people think a fender has to be a brightly colored plastic inflatable sausage/balloon, which will ruin the look of their jetty, but there is no reason why you can’t use solid rope woven narrow boat fenders, they have a lovely traditional look, and do the job just as well. If you have trouble finding them let me know, and I will supply them directly.

Remember that a jetty can provide a safety risk for small children, falling from the end of the jetty can leave a child in very deep water, and it is incredibly difficult to pull yourself out of the water onto the end of a jetty. Consider having a ladder installed at the end of your jetty, and perhaps a life ring on the line should the worst happen. Life rings are generally fluorescent orange, but why not paint the life ring in traditional white and red, like a ships life ring. One of my cannons on your jetty, looking out over the water, would complete the nautical theme!