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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Boat dock Ideas?
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Thunder9
Member
# Posted: 28 Jan 2013 19:38
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For those of you who may have a boat dock or experience with boat docks, I'm looking for some ideas for the dock I plan on building this summer.

Dock will be built in Mi's UP on a 160 acre lake. We have a nice sand bottom. I know I want to build the deck with wood and I'm open to frame material. Lenght to be between 15 to 20 ft. I have considered floating docks, just not sure how stable they would be for folks in there seventies and eighties(rocking). Would like to have it in 5 or 6 ft sections for ease of putting it in or taking it out for repair or winter freeze up. Also, would like to have the legs mounted on the inside of the rails so the outside edge is smooth if possible.

If anyone has plans or have built one with these features that would be great. Pictures or diagrams are welcome. Appreciate the help.

BoatMan
Member
# Posted: 28 Jan 2013 20:07
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Do you have a launch ramp available available on this lake?

Thunder9
Member
# Posted: 28 Jan 2013 20:12
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Yes...launch is available on the other side of lake.

BoatMan
Member
# Posted: 28 Jan 2013 20:24
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What I plan to eventually do is buy a pontoon boat with bad furniture and a bad, or no, outboard, strip it down to the deck, and use it as a dock. I am on a Corp of Engineers lake, and I cannot get a permit for a dock. I am allowed, however, to "beach" a boat on the shoreline, so I will set-up the old pontoon boat for use as a big rectangular dock, but keep it registered and insured as a boat. A 5- to 10 hp tiller-steer outboard is enough to power it from the ramp to where I want to moor it. I can only leave it in the water when I am there, but after seeing the docks of others damaged by storms, snow & ice, and changing lake levels, I will sleep better @ home knowing my dock down @ the lake 200 miles away is safe on a trailer.

BoatMan
Member
# Posted: 28 Jan 2013 20:39
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If you want something a little more professional-looking, you can get a kit here:

http://rollingbarge.com/

By sourcing the plastic drums & decking locally you can save a little money, but still have a professionally engineered dock.

Or, if you don't want a floating dock, and you want a completely do-it-yourself project, you might get a few ideas here:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/do-it-yourself/diy-rolling-dock-zmaz83jazshe.aspx

Popeye
Member
# Posted: 28 Jan 2013 21:23 - Edited by: Popeye
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Given your parameter of having the supports inside, I would make it a rolling dock if you have the room. If the lake bottom has a gentle slope, a simple dock would be a couple of old K-trusses, a few cross members on the bottom, old wheels and tires, and decking of your choice to tie it all together.

Just
Member
# Posted: 28 Jan 2013 21:27 - Edited by: Just
Reply 


Built this one about 5 years ago .I think it is 15 ft total length .made from 1x6 oak and 3 2x4x16s oak cut from the bush. three plastic drums and some galvanised straping. + a handfull of bolts. If you add 10 gal. of water to each drum it makes the dock much more stable.I take it out every fall and store it high and dry. it is quite heavy, but we have a large tractor and loader .. I pump out the water before I lift it out. it is attached on shore by a chain and dead man and at the water end by a chain and 3 concrete blocks .there is about 6 ft of water at the end of the dock . because we are on a small river not a lake we have currents in the water and needed a dock that could ajust itself to changing levals and currents
dock
dock


vtbros
Member
# Posted: 28 Jan 2013 21:29
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We did a floating dock. Works well, but we can't pull it out. Very stable though at 16 x 16. B
Pictures here http://www.small-cabin.com/forum/6_2449_0.html
12x16 cabin in northern Vermont
Doug

spencerin
Member
# Posted: 29 Jan 2013 00:07 - Edited by: spencerin
Reply 


Thunder9,

I can only speak about a floating dock. I have a 6' x 12'. Honestly, it's reasonably stable. Do you have any neighbors with floating docks you can walk out on just to test out to form an opinion? Is ice FLOW an issue (versus static ice)?

Thunder9
Member
# Posted: 29 Jan 2013 10:43
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Spencerin, I haven't seen floating docks on our lake. I remember being on a couple years ago on different lakes, they seen to have some movement to them. The lake does freeze over, but the lake is small enough that the ice is static.

I have notice some property owners leave there docks in year round, and others remove theirs for the winter months. A rolling dock sounds nice in therory, but we have a steep 20' hill at the lake edge. So not much room if any to get a vehicle in there to pull a dock out of the water.

Thanks to all for your input.

So now I'm thinking about whether to use pipes for the legs or timbers such as 4x4's or 6x6's? I guess if I use the pipes I won't have to worry about decay. Auger's or pads? We have a sand bottom. Any recommendations? Also if I make this 3 ft wide I imagine I should use 2 outside stringers and 1 in the middle. If my cross members supports are 6 to 8 ft apart what size lumber should I use for the stringers? 2x6 or 2x8?

Thanks again everyone for your comments and ideas.

beachman
Member
# Posted: 29 Jan 2013 18:50
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Just my 2 cents worth (before they discontinue the penny in Canada), I bought a Fendock aluminum truss dock system with extendable feet up to about 8' - with bracing for the legs for deep water - say over 4'. The dock is 12 x 16 and can hold around 20 - 30 people - but seats around 10 very comfortably. I had to build the wooden decking or for moochos bucks you can get the lightweight composite decking. It comes with a 8' x 4' ramp section to aid in access. It is a little chore to set up and to take down, but if you have the proper access, you can put wheels on it and roll it in and out. The decking is built in 2 x 12 sections and goes on one at a time - I used 2" x 6" x 12' cedar boards. Our lake gets very rough at times and the dock holds up just fine with no movement. You can tie a boat to it with mooring whips - otherwise the deck could be damaged in rough weather with a boat pounding against it.

razmichael
Member
# Posted: 29 Jan 2013 19:37
Reply 


I went with a floating dock because our lake will rapidly change depth (fed in part by a small hydro dam). I did it in stages starting with two 3'wide 12' long sections hinged together. I later added the 10x10 center piece. This was a raft kit from Costco that I bolted 2x6 (I think) cedar strips to the ends to strengthen for the hinges. The manufacturer did think this would work fine given the limited waves on our lake. To reduce sway you can make out two poles at the far end that are driven just into the bottom. This reduces movement but allows the dock to rise/sink. I do split it back into the three sections and pull it out each winter. Not easy but I can do it by myself.
Dock
Dock


toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 30 Jan 2013 17:11 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
Reply 


Grew up on a lake, it was a floater. IMHO, floater is the way to go. Deck height off water is always the same. Large concrete pad, with steel beams driven into the solid. Then the dock itself with a hinged mid section connecting dock to anchor pad, so water level can rise or drop.

RickStewart74
Member
# Posted: 11 Apr 2020 02:37
Reply 


I've seen a lot of the paradise dock on our local lake, its a really nice system and very well built. It has wheels on it and has the legs that you can adjust with a cordless drill. I've built a few wood docks in the past and quite honestly the prefabbed aluminum docks are just so much easier and usually end up cheaper as they last way longer.
https://www.paradisedocklift.com/paradise-roll-in-dock/

Heizen
Member
# Posted: 10 Jan 2021 04:45
Reply 


Solar cleat fixtures illuminate docks so they are risk-free at dusk. Solar dock lights are ideal to use for stairs, docks, decks, boardwalks, and marinas.
Boaters and dock workers especially require such types of solar lights so they could prevent any accident from taking place. These products recharge during daylight. They are designed with integral solar panels.

Houska
Member
# Posted: 10 Jan 2021 06:47
Reply 


Regarding floating docks and stability, since I have relatives in their 80s and 90s and have homebuilt 2 such docks:

First, for stability you need adequate flotation. You can add the flotation capacity of your floats to get the total nominal capacity, so e.g. 3 @ 400 lb floats = 1200 lbs. Then compare to the weight that will be on it. So if it's 300 lbs of wood it will ride down about 1/4 of the float height, say 2" of 8". Now put 2 @ 150 lb people on it, that's another 2", and that's before you consider uneven loading. So that may well feel unstable.

Take the same dock and find a way to add 2 more floats. It's now "overengineered" at 2000 lb capacity. Under its own weight it will ride down 8" x 300/2000 or about 1.25", and only another 1.25" with 2 people, so will feel more solid.

Second, lateral width between floats matters a lot for stability. Our main deck, we first built a 4' x 12' finger. Decent, but felt very tippy from side to side and my 85 year old mom really didn't feel comfortable on it. Then we added a 8x8' square at the end. The additional floats with 8' spread between them really stabilize laterally and make all the difference with both parents happy to walk on it (one with a walker -- finds swimming easier than walking actually, though wants help climbing up and down the swim ladder).

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