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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / Building a ramp for a floating dock
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# Posted: 13 May 2022 09:18

Does anyone have recommendations on building a ramp for a floating dock? As light as possible, 4 feet wide (?), at least 15 feet long.

Would a frame made with 2x6" be strong enough?

I need to get a float for ramp buoyancy at the dock end.

I need to drill into rock at shore for anchors, and 2 Cement slabs to hold the outer edge of the dock, to weigh it down against waves. The dock I plan to get is 8'x16'.

Any knowledge or suggestions ate most welcome, much thanks

# Posted: 13 May 2022 10:04

You might look into loading ramps, such as used on a U-haul truck. They are aluminum and would be ideal, IMO.


# Posted: 13 May 2022 15:30

My 16x5ft ramp is 2x6 ,3 stringers and is fine .I don’t have a float on it ,my dock is 6x16 and there is no problems with it at all ,and you should be able to stuff a lot more floatation in your dock than I have .

# Posted: 16 May 2022 08:10

Here's some thoughts:

1.) I'd put floatation at the far end of the ramp. One 55 gallon plastic barrel at the far end of the 16 ft ramp would be enough. Our ramp is 5 x 10, and the single barrel provides enough buoyancy that we need to stand on the ramp to get the hinges into the dock. Long ramps without floatation assist tend to cause the main dock to sit low at the ramp side due to the extra weight. The other advantage of the floatation is that the main dock can be disconnected from the ramp at the end of the season, and the ramp pulled up on shore easily given the far end floats nicely on the barrel.

2.) We used three 2x8's for stringers. No structural analysis was completed, but it's been fine so far!

3.) Removable decking sections makes dealing with the ramp much easier at the start/end of the season.
Build a skeleton structure of stringers/outer frame. Make decking in 4-ft sections screwed to lighter stringers that fit inside the main structure, and just sits in place on the main structure. At the end of the season, the deck panels can be lifted out in the 4 ft sections, and set aside by one person with ease.

Spending some time figuring out how you will install and remove these structures each year (assuming you need to) is well worth the effort. My cabin neighbour was very helpful in advising that any seasonal task be optimized so that as we age, we can still manage.

# Posted: 29 Mar 2024 12:50

Hello Tim,
I have a similar need and saw your recommendation and thought it was a great Idea.
I already have such a ramp but it is somewhat heavy duty. Do you have any suggestions of flotation? It is about 12ft long and about 3.5-4 ft wide.
I am not sure of the weight offhand but it is heavy so do not now if that would be problematic.
Please let me know your thoughts?

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