On lakes where you have lots of wave action from boaters and from wind, floating docks fail due to the moving and twisting of the joints. We considered doing a floating dock about the same time a neighbor installed one. His failed after two years. As you know, docks are not cheap. Ours is going on twenty years now and shows no signs of wear other than normal weathering of the treated decking. It will likely go another 10-20 years before needing new decking. So, we do them because they last a long time and continue to look good. We seldom need to use the ladder and use the steps only for the ocassional season when water is really high. Mostly things are about right.