Boat Dock and Lift Questions

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  #1  
Old 06-15-08, 06:29 AM
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Boat Dock and Lift Questions

I need some suggestions/help on building a dock and boat lift. Our lake freezes during the winter – approximately 12-20 inches off ice. I’m tired of pulling docks in and out every season. That said, my plan is to drive telephone poles into the lake bottom – my hope is to sink them into the lake bottom approximately 6 feet. Couple of questions…

1. Has anyone tried this and will the poles sustain the ice “push”?

2. What is recommended for the decking of the dock? My thought is a synthetic product like “Trex” to eliminate splinters and wear. Is this recommended and will it get too hot to walk/sit on?

3. Assuming the permanent pole dock works. I would prefer a boat lift which rides on rails which are attached to the telephone poles. I’m not a big fan of the boat lift racks – again something else to move in and out of the water each season. What boat lift manufacturers are recommended in this arena? The boat is not large – approximately 20 feet.

Thanks for any feedback!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-16-08, 08:38 AM
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[QUOTE=max-a-million;1381538]I need some suggestions/help on building a dock and boat lift. Our lake freezes during the winter – approximately 12-20 inches off ice. I’m tired of pulling docks in and out every season. That said, my plan is to drive telephone poles into the lake bottom – my hope is to sink them into the lake bottom approximately 6 feet. Couple of questions…

1. Has anyone tried this and will the poles sustain the ice “push”?

2. What is recommended for the decking of the dock? My thought is a synthetic product like “Trex” to eliminate splinters and wear. Is this recommended and will it get too hot to walk/sit on?

3. Assuming the permanent pole dock works. I would prefer a boat lift which rides on rails which are attached to the telephone poles. I’m not a big fan of the boat lift racks – again something else to move in and out of the water each season. What boat lift manufacturers are recommended in this arena? The boat is not large – approximately 20 feet.


Not an expert on ice "push"... but have built docks with treated wood -specially treated for immersion 6 X 6's... with excellent results - it's the norm where I'm from. Again, not sure of the problem of ice pushing against the timbers, but would assume that it wouldn't be an issue. Driving the timbers isn't fun - but do-able - with what we call a "man-buster"... a large version of a fence post driver weighing about 80 lbs. A lot depends on the bottom that you're trying to drive into. Mud and sand is easy so to speak - rock/gravel gets a bit tricky/tough.

Synthetic wood is wonderful for the decking. No splinters, no rot, no wear - but isn't structural so you need treated wood for the framing.

Boat lifts are easy to find - check Overton's and/or West Marine. I always use an electric lift to take my boats out of the water, either with straps or with an aluminum framed hoist. You can pick up your 20 footer for a couple/few thousand bucks in materials, including the motor/hoist system.
 
  #3  
Old 06-16-08, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
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Boat Dock and Lift Questions

A couple of comments based on my experiences (24 - 40" of ice).

Everything you propose is based on the posts you want to use.

The depth is critical. Soft bottoms are easier, but require much more depth. Hard bottoms (stiff clay, gravel) and much harder to drive in and still have minimum depth that is less than soft bottoms. In some areas it is possible to use jetting and make things faster/easier.

If you have any problems with tipping or shifting of a post it could be big problems for the lift and mechanism.

Look at your neighbors or others with similar soil/bottom and wind fetch.
 
  #4  
Old 06-16-08, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry View Post
If you have any problems with tipping or shifting of a post it could be big problems for the lift and mechanism.
100% correct! I neglected to go this direction as all the docks down here (south without ice) have boathouses/roofs attached with bracing to keep the assembly from shifting once installed.
 
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