A new invention with significant precast potential incorporates concrete not only into the deck but also the floating structure in aquatic applications.

Inventor Jerry L. Mattson of Lake Ozark, Mo., has patented a "Concrete Module for Floating Structures and Method of Construction," which he touts as a less-expensive solution to many structural and assembly problems. Mattson's patent, issued March 13, 2001, was not assigned to a third party.

These modules can be configured to form a water break, wharf, walkway, dock, or another structure of variable width and length, including a dock with one or more boat slips, without any modifications to the modules. In simplest terms, the invention includes a module with a buoyant center core and a lightweight expanded shale or lightweight concrete outer shell. Each module has lengthwise and widthwise passages, which connect modules with rods or cables. These passages stay above the waterline under loading. The top of the module has reinforcing ribs for strength. The sides of the modules may be concave to allow the modules to fit together securely without bowing or bending. The modules have common sizes and connecting passages, and they are designed to allow inclusion of custom-designed docks and other floating structures.

Brackets also are available for attaching posts, buildings, rails, cleats, and many other items to the assembled structure.