With so much Water all around in the Minecraft world and so much to explore underneath its surface it would be a real shame not to have some builds closer to the ocean and sea.

A fort on the oceanside or a fishing Village is absolutely nothing without a dock. Whether you are building a small one just for yourself and your Boat, or a large one where you want to build a ship of your very own, a dock can be a perfect addition.

In this article we will cover everything from small river docks for river boats to larger docks. With this tutorial you will learn all the basics you may need to expand and build your very own designs.

Building a Small River Dock

Making a small dock is extremely simple. There are many things you can do to make it look like a dock, yet it requires very little effort or detailing. In a sense, we are just looking for ways to make a line of wood over Water look nice.

This first design will be very straight forward. You will need two different types of Wood of your choice. Because of my previous builds in this world I am using Mangrove and Spruce Wood.

Build a 10 by 3 block line going over the Water using Slabs. Make it only half a block above the Water, with 1 additional row of Slabs going over ground and acting as a step onto the dock.

In the middle add your second type of wood for color variation, like you can see in the image below.

Small dock start

I then add Mangrove Logs on the sides of the very last blocks of the dock, going into the Water. These will be the beams that “hold up” our dock. I place them every 2 blocks along each side of the dock until I reach ground.

At the very end of the dock I put down 3 Spruce Stairs, facing each other so that they create a secure step toward the Water so you can access your Boats.

Small Dock progress

Now you have to build the access for your Boats. You have three options when doing so:

  • Extinguished Campfires
  • Slabs
  • Trapdoors

All of these blocks can rest right on top of the Water without standing above it too much and they look amazing for any dock! I chose to go with Spruce Trapdoors. You can really build any shape you want with these.

Then, I added Dark Oak Gates between each Mangrove Log beam instead of a Fence. It adds a feeling of security, but also if you place anything on the dock the Fence won’t connect to it.

Finally, I add Dark Oak Fence Posts on the Mangrove Logs for details and to build lamp posts later on for lighting.

Small Dock

All that is left here is to really add some details.

I decide to decorate the lamp posts and make them a bit more complex, add another beam near the lower part of the dock, and finish it off with some storage.

Small Dock Feature

Other Small Dock Designs

Like we said before, you can really play around with your dock designs, even if it is a tiny little river dock.

We mentioned how you can easily use Trapdoors, Campfires, and Slabs to make the entire design of a small dock. You have seen how Slabs look, so I will show you other small dock designs using just these.

First up is a design that uses the extinguished Campfires and some Trapdoors for railing. This is perfect for a small river and it actually follows the design of a small bridge build.

Small Dock Design

You can go even smaller and just as simple using nothing more than Trapdoors and some Logs and Fences.

Small Dock Design 2

Finally, if you want a very simple dock that is covered and safe from the elements, you can build an “inward” dock with a roof over it.

For this design you simply dig a hole into the landscape and fill it with Water, then build a fancy pergola right above it. Stairs allow for an easy way to get into your Boat.

Dock with Pergola

Building a Large Dock

We will be building a slightly larger dock with a little building as part of its overall design. This can be a fishery or even a little depot for everything you may need for your sailing trips.

The first thing I do is mark in the area that I want to be working with, using Oak Slabs.

I put them at 2 blocks height and fill in the whole area. This will be the main part of my dock, the area you go through to reach the Boats and get to the depot.

The whole thing is a total of 12 by 10 blocks in size, with slight deviation on the side for the steps. The depot area takes up an area of 9 by 7 blocks within the shape.

Dock Starter

The Spruce Logs I used to mark how big I want the depot to be and I will raise them to 4 blocks height above the Slabs. For now they also ‘hold up’ the dock.

One of the sides connects to a small hill which was naturally generated near the area where I am building. The steps I made simply by using Slabs and you can do this anywhere.

Now, the next thing will be making a staircase that gets us down to the Water. The main part of our dock is too high up for us to be able to get on and off the Boats from it. In the center of the main area I extend the Slabs in a 3 by 3 block square.

Using the Slabs I make a gradual staircase leading all the way down to the Water.

Once that is done, I add more Spruce Logs around the dock to make it look well supported. They’re all placed 2 blocks from one another.

Docks Build Progress

We will work on the docking part of the build now. This is where you can get pretty creative.

You can stick to Slabs, putting them right at the Water level to make the piers for your Boats. However, you can also turn to using extinguished Campfires or Trapdoors for it.

Trapdoors will allow you to place them low enough so that you can put things such as Chests and other blocks on top of them, but Campfires won’t. So choose depending on what you need more.

I went with Campfires, because I did not plan to include anything special.

Dock piers Campfires

Though, you don’t have to stick to just one, you can even try combining them. For the main bit I used the Campfires, but on the edges in some places I used Spruce Trapdoors just to add detail.

At the very end of each pier I included one more Spruce Log with a Dark Oak Fence Post on top of it so you have someplace to ‘tie’ your Boat.

This all looks pretty good already, though it is hard to ignore the blatant empty space underneath the dock. You will want to fill that and then close it in.

I filled the area with Dirt just to prevent hostile Mobs from spawning. Then, to enclose the area I used Dark Oak Planks behind the Spruce Logs. To connect them to the Oak Slabs above I ended up replacing them with upside down Oak Stairs.

Then, I went around the whole dock placing Spruce Slabs in lines between the Spruce Logs.

Filled in Dock

These Slabs are placed on the top side of their blocks so they are perfect to place down Chests, Crafting Tables and other things, while also adding volume!

Building the Dock Depot

The “depot” can really be a building for anything you might need at your dock. I decided to make it a shop this time around.

We will be building the walls using Spruce, but unlike most builds we won’t be using Spruce Planks. Instead, we will mostly rely on Spruce Stairs. This is a small building and we cannot add too many crazy details on the outside.

The wall will be 3 blocks tall, with the first 2 rows Spruce Stairs facing outward. One row will be pointing up, the other down.

The last row above them will be mostly Spruce Planks, save for Stairs above windows and doors. There is one entrance door, a window on one of the walls, and finally a window for sales at the front.

Dock depot

We will be building the roof immediately once the walls are done. Firstly, I make a frame with Stone Brick Stairs and fill it in with Dark Oak Stairs and Slabs.

Roof Tutorial

This is the back, though we will do something more with the front. Because I want to have the shop window, I firstly want to make a wood awning. I do this by using extinguished Campfires again.

Right above the awning, which is just Campfires hanging in the air, I make a small roof window. These are very easy to make: as all you have to do is turn the Stairs forward and make a triangle shape with them.

I use Warped Wood to show you where I placed Stairs and where I placed the solid Blocks.

Dock Roof tutorial

Once I am happy with the shape I just add Stone Bricks as an extension of the blocks that are already there; Stairs on the Planks and against the other Stairs, just to give the window a frame.

On the awning I add a detail with Spruce Trapdoors on either side and then add Slabs to close up the shop window. I put up Dark Oak Fence Posts to hold up the awning.

Lighting up the dock is fairly easy using just Dark Oak Fences and Lanterns for lamp posts.

With this all that is really left is to add the Boats in the water and furnish the inside of the shop.

Dock Feature Finished

Looking for more small build ideas to add to your base or Village to make it feel more alive? Take a look at our tutorial on how to build a watchtower in Minecraft for more inspiration.

Watchtower Feature