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Floating Dock


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Well the old dock still has a few more years left but it is time to start thinking about the replacement. I have a steep bank down to the water and removing the dock would be a PITA.

I was looking at floating docks but was worried about ice damage. The current dock is on 2 1/2 posts and the ice shifts things around each spring requiring some adjustments. We are on a cove on the Wisconsin River out of the main body of water so current is not much of an issue.

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They take a beating from the ice around here. The ice collapses the tanks & cracks them, breaks the connections between each section as it shifts, etc.

So we pull them out. This past year we rented a big machine, pulled each section out & stacked it all up on the beach about 4' or 5' from the waterline. Over the winter, the ice & snow brought the water level up quite a bit. Eventually it took 4 sections of the dock away. We got a call from someone down the lake who found them on his beach. They must have floated there stacked up, then fell over on his beach. It was a huge PITA to get them back out on the water.

We also scored a 16' Hobie Cat on our beach this year. No rigging at all. But no one has claimed it either.

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I thought it was to rough for a floating dock at my place but someone down the way put one in last year but he did pull it out for the winter.

I have seen 5 or 6 docks this spring that the ice crushed. one very nice aluminum. No way we can leave a dock in over the winter unless we drive 6" pilings 15' or deeper.

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in my area (northeast) we use floating docks, and they are lifted for the winter, and left hanging. Ice eaters are then used to circulate water to keep ice from forming. If large ice shifts occur, you will lose a pole, but you don't normally have a problem of poles lifting with ice (as long as the ice eater stays running). Ice shift shouldn't be too much of a problem in your area if you have a small current. we are on a river, so it is an issue to deal with.

Here is a shot of my neighbor's dock prior to ice in this winter:


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we can only have floating docks on our lake. They use our lake as a headwater to feed an intercoastal waterway in the summer. This means our lake level is flooded every spring and water is pulled out progressively over the course of the summer and into the fall.

the lake is about 8miles long 1-2miles wide. west-east facing so we also get heavy prevailing winds, and large waves (5-6' at worst)

a permanent dock is not possible as we are 20'+ off the end of the dock and our shoreline is all jagged Canadian shield,

our dock is 12'x24' floating. it has foam float, all pressure treated construction.

I can tell you the ice hasn't done one thing to it in the 15 years its been in service, however, it MUST be located away from shore, with the ability to move with the ice, meaning a small anchor with slack.

we tow our dock to a protected bay so it won't float out into the main channel and have never had a problem this way.

if we left it in front of our place the waves, ice and wind would destroy it with the constant bashing against the rocks. if it remained attached to our landing it would be torn off and the landing would be destroyed.

Edited by H20ski Dude
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Arround here the docks are not nearly as stout as the Dude just described. This is what they end up looking like in January if their not anchored well.



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Half the docks here ... on my lake ... are floating docks and do amazingly well in the winter. People here use the 55 gallon (or so) plastic drums. I would think the barrels would get crushed and / or be more brittle in the winter but don't. They still use poles and certainly are setup to rise and fall with water and ice levels.

Just not my cup of tea ... I have an aluminum dock and put it in the spring and out in the fall. Floating dock can be a little "bouncy" for me.

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Arround here the docks are not nearly as stout as the Dude just described. This is what they end up looking like in January if their not anchored well.



You may be missing the point. I think this is meant to be a party dock. something like the sand bar. A place to come tie up and have a good time! Mother nature spent some time with the placement. Tease.gifTease2.gifTease.gifTease2.gif

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