Floating docks and winter

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,871
Location
The Motor City
I am in the process of shopping for a dock at my lakefront property. I got rid of a very heavy wooden dock that needed to be assembled and disassembled seasonally. I'm now looking for a floating dock that extends 40 feet to where the water is deep. One problem is the water depth is no more than 11 inches for the first 20 feet, so floating sections will sit on the bottom. Putting posts in for the first 20 feet runs the risk of getting mangled by the free ice that forms and moves in late winter. I'm thinking that I can get away with putting these posts in since they will only stick up about 12 inches, which would be a small bending force on the posts. The lake is 110 acres large. I'm hoping someone with experience can chime in.
 
Messages
1,653
Location
New England, USA
We had an EZ Dock, the plastic ones that look like big Lego's. It was probably ~36 feet long and didn't draw anywhere near 11". Can you use a long ramp from the shore? We never pulled ours, but we are on a small lagoon off the big water and never see moving ice. Can you use a bubbler or circulator?
 
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4,038
Location
Chicago, IL
we are on a quiet cove in Michigan and never pull it. I built it using trex decking and pipe welded to steel wheels that sit on the bottom. no problems in 15 years. at mom's it's all aluminum and on wheels - gets pulled for winter
 
Messages
0
Location
South Lyon
Grew up on Lake Huron so looks like a different duty cycle but anything left in the water over winter is a crushed mess in the spring. If it's not gravelly shoals lighthouse size it needs to come out. You'll probably be alright but I'd go ask the oldest person on the lake what they've seen work and what has failed. All lakes are different! Best Luck! KFM
 
Messages
9,598
Location
Ontario, Canada
I pull my floating dock out of the pond just because its easy to do. You could get into funny stuff with the dock freezing to the bottom and the water level going up or down and crunching stuff.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
13,871
Location
The Motor City
The first 10 foot section from shore will be the ramp. I also asked a seasoned resident about it. He said I may get away with it, but not every winter. He recommends pulling it seasonally. I'm thinking of hybrid management, where I remove the first and second sections seasonally and pin the rest of the floating sections as close to shore as possible. I'll also have to look into wheels.
 
Messages
66
Location
S. Ont. Canada
I work for a dock company and a lift up dock will solve your problem. Remove the decking and lift for the winter. R&J Machine.ca is their web site
 
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Messages
25,430
Location
Upstate NY
When I was a member of a boat club we would spend several days each spring and fall using a articulating loader to pull 8x20 docks out of the water and stack them. It was a big job with many people helping. Docks were stacked everywhere. They were a lot heavier pulling out due to seaweed and other stuff hanging on the docks.
 
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