Boat Dock Pencil to Collar Clearance


Old 01-11-09, 04:39 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Boat Dock Pencil to Collar Clearance

I have a boat dock that uses 4 1/2" O.D. drill pipe ( pencils) inside 5" I.D. collars. With 1/4" of an inch clearance on each side, the pencils are prone to hanging up with the changes in the lake level.

If I changed to 6" I.D. collars giving me 3/4" of an inch of clearance on each side, would this help my problem? Would the 3/4" of an inch be excessive? Making this change just isn't a big issue to me as I am in the steel business and am also a fabricator.

Any help or input whatsoever here would be very much appreciated.
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Old 01-11-09, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,239
Welcome to the forums!

1/4" is not enough, but 3/4" might be too much. The larger collars would certainly help the dock adjust, but at the expense of stability when someone is walking on the dock. Can you take a different approach and split the difference with a couple of wooden blocks held by adjustable U-clamps? That's what some of the marinas do on their floating docks in my area. The wood eventually forms a natural smooth-moving surface around the pilings (pencils, as you call them) and the u-clamps can be adjusted to keep the sideways travel to a minimum.

We both know the real problem is lack of lubrication, but unfortunately we can't slather a bunch of grease above an environmentally sensitive waterway!

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