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#366503 - 02/17/14 04:40 PM Guidance for building a floating dock
Shawn2013 Offline


Registered: 08/01/13
Posts: 9
Loc: Vermont
I'm going to build a floating dock/swim platform for my pond this spring. I was hoping to get some suggestions on the best practices to minimizing wobble. I'm considering a 10x10' dimension with a basic construction consisting of 2x12s (or 2x10s) for the frame and joists, and standard 1x6 decking. It would be anchored to the bottom rather than supported by poles or posts. Because pond is man-made with a clay liner, I'd be hesitant to compromise the seal by ramming a anything into it.

Does anyone have suggestions on where to find a good starter plan as well as the types of barrels/floats to use? We'd want to use this for swimming and fishing, but also have it steady enough to support a couple of chairs without falling off your seat whenever someone moves.

And finally, since this would need to be removed each fall, would it be better to build it in two attachable sections? Any design features that might help it drag out of water easier.

Thanks
Shawn

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#366509 - 02/17/14 05:12 PM Re: Guidance for building a floating dock [Re: Shawn2013]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Why would you need to remove it from the water every winter?

If you search on here, you will find some threads about building a floating dock or floating pier. I have a pretty detailed one.

Have you looked at this place?
http://www.dockbuilders.com/

You don't even have to anchor it to the bottom if you have a wide "base" that is on shore. Bruce Condello has a really nice one that Nate, Justin, etc., (Herman Brothers Pond Management) built.
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#366521 - 02/17/14 07:15 PM Re: Guidance for building a floating dock [Re: Shawn2013]
roadwarriorsvt Offline


Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 621
Loc: Wahiawa, HI
I just Googled "How to build a floating dock". I took ideas from several articles I read. One good tip that helped me is to build the frame, attach the barrels or floats, then put it in the water. Then put the decking on. Its a lot lighter to get into the water w/o the weight of the decking. I went with a 12x12 area. The larger the area, the more stable it will be.

I'd suggest using screws over nails. I have had good luck using Deck Mate brand coated screws. They are easy to remove if you need to make a repair, etc.

I'd suggest using the hardware from Esshups link he posted. I saw the hardware and made mine myself. I painted it with a marine epoxy but their galvanized would be better.


Edited by roadwarriorsvt (02/17/14 07:23 PM)

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#366541 - 02/17/14 08:28 PM Re: Guidance for building a floating dock [Re: Shawn2013]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1854
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Ok I build all kinds of things because a love to build. If I was to build my dock again I would have filled my barrels 1/3 full of water minimum. This will take the biggest wobble out of the floating dock. I stabilized it with a ballast system but water ballast in each barrel would have been perfect.

This is 16X16 with 12 barrels. The joist are 2X6 with 2X12 rim joist with true 2X6 decking. The gangway is 4 feet by 16 feet long.

Hands down the next one I build for my buddys pond will have the barrels 1/3rd full of water.

Cheers Don.

P.S. heres the tree house I built for the kids three years ago.


Attachments
Dock.jpg (20963 downloads)
dock2.1.jpg (20171 downloads)
dock3.1.jpg (3521 downloads)
dockcomplete.jpg (23449 downloads)
tree.jpg (1501 downloads)
tree1.jpg (1345 downloads)
tree3.jpg (1336 downloads)

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#366546 - 02/17/14 09:28 PM Re: Guidance for building a floating dock [Re: esshup]
Shawn2013 Offline


Registered: 08/01/13
Posts: 9
Loc: Vermont
Winter removal is mainly to prevent damage from ice. There's at least 12" of ice covering the pond now. Am I wrong to assume this?

By wide base on shore, are you talking about fastening it to a permanent structure on land? I do plan to create some type ramp or access to the dock from the shore.

I'll take a look at the dock builder website.

Shawn

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#366547 - 02/17/14 09:44 PM Re: Guidance for building a floating dock [Re: DonoBBD]
Shawn2013 Offline


Registered: 08/01/13
Posts: 9
Loc: Vermont
Don, very nice dock design. That's what I'm looking for. Especially the gangway shore access. The pics are really helpful.

Nice tree house. The kids just have loved that.

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#366552 - 02/17/14 10:23 PM Re: Guidance for building a floating dock [Re: Shawn2013]
Mobilus Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 207
Loc: North Central Texas
Shawn, I built mine 8x8 or 10x10. Another couple feet in each direction would be nice. Here's how mine is anchored to the shore.
My dock (about 3/4 down the page)

I turned the bungs on the barrels up, that way I can add or remove water for ballast as needed by removing one plank on either side.

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#366559 - 02/17/14 11:41 PM Re: Guidance for building a floating dock [Re: Mobilus]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
The wider the dock is, the more stable it will be. I also think that the more flotation you have the more stable it will be. I'm having some issues with the barrels that I used, and will be swapping them out for the dock floats like what is in Dockbuilders Supple. Menards also has similar floats.

I doubt that the ice will be an issue. There's a pond near here that has had a floating dock on it for 10 years or so and it stays in the water all year long. Right now I have 13" of ice on my pond, so the ice thickness isn't an issue. If you were on a big lake and the ice would blow around during the spring thaw, then I'd pull it out.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=357122&page=1
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#366576 - 02/18/14 09:23 AM Re: Guidance for building a floating dock [Re: Shawn2013]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5667
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Several years ago I built a dock much like you describe. 10' x 10'. Joists are 2x10s decked with 2x6s. We put twelve 55-gallon drums under it. Here is a photo right after we first floated it.



The platform just sits over the barrels that float between the joists. The are not held in place with anything but buoyancy and gravity.

The barrels stayed in place even when the pond has flooded, like during Hurricane Sandy.



This is the third or fourth winter for this dock. The ice has not affected it. It is held in place with two 3' deep by 8" diameter concrete filled holes on shore. The walkway is held in place, at both ends, with heavy duty fence gate pin ("hinge") hardware.
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#366601 - 02/18/14 11:28 AM Re: Guidance for building a floating dock [Re: esshup]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1854
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Originally Posted By: esshup
The wider the dock is, the more stable it will be. I also think that the more flotation you have the more stable it will be. I'm having some issues with the barrels that I used, and will be swapping them out for the dock floats like what is in Dockbuilders Supple. Menards also has similar floats.

I doubt that the ice will be an issue. There's a pond near here that has had a floating dock on it for 10 years or so and it stays in the water all year long. Right now I have 13" of ice on my pond, so the ice thickness isn't an issue. If you were on a big lake and the ice would blow around during the spring thaw, then I'd pull it out.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=357122&page=1


I agree unless your pond is big enough to have ice flows just leave it in. I have 30"s of ice right now and the dock is out there under the snow. Kind of funny because all you see is the two main posts and the swim ladder.

Cheers Don.
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#366621 - 02/18/14 12:48 PM Re: Guidance for building a floating dock [Re: DonoBBD]
Shawn2013 Offline


Registered: 08/01/13
Posts: 9
Loc: Vermont
Guys... thank you for the feedback and pictures. You gave me some great ideas and advice. I'll be sure to post some pictures this summer once I get this baby in the water.

Shawn

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#367485 - 02/27/14 02:03 AM Re: Guidance for building a floating dock [Re: Shawn2013]
2Old2Soon Offline


Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 125
Loc: Georgia
Shawn,

After reading all I could find on the subject of docks, I decided to build mine based (mostly) on the one built by DonoBBD, witha few modifications. I just launched it yesterday and the rain kept me in the house until just before dark, but I managed to get about half of the decking on the gangway. I hope to get all the decking down tomorrow. I will post a series of "as built" pix within the next week or two, but here is my post launch pic.


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