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#368644 - 03/11/14 11:09 PM My Floating Dock Build
2Old2Soon Offline


Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 122
Loc: Georgia
First and foremost, Thanx to everyone who has posted here on the subject of floating docks, I think I’ve read them all. My goal was to build a 12 x 16 floating dock for fishing, easy ingress/egress of a small pond boat and sitting on & drinking beer. Unfortunately, I do not have a tractor with a FEL to place it in the water, so I had to improvise with what I had, which is a 5x10 landscape/motorcycle trailer. I began by building bunks on the trailer so I could launch the dock like a boat. I built it out of pressure treated pine with a 2x12 rim frame, 2x6 joists and 2x4 cross bracing. I then decked it with standard 5/4 decking. I chose galvanized 3.5” framing nails in lieu of screws simply because I thought the nails were adequate. If I’m proven wrong over time, I will just replace any nails that back out with screws. The gangway is 4’ x 16’ with 3 each 2x8 stringers and 2x6 cross-bracing and decking on top. I did use 55 Gal plastic barrels for floats, but only after careful consideration of ESSHUP’s concerns expressed in another posting here. After close examination of my white barrels, I noticed most were made from an opaque/white material and the construction was identical to the blue ones. I did have a few that appeared to be made from a different material, a milky looking white material and the construction seemed a little different. So, I used the opaque/white ones. If they cause problems later, I have a plan to easily swap them out as needed. Now for the pictures.

The “launch vehicle”, a 5x10, single axle, landscape trailer.


First added 4x4 corner supports, 24” tall. This should be tall enough for the suspended barrels to clear the fenders at launch.


The completed launch vehicle.


The 2x4 across the front is raised a bit to give it a “lip” to stop the dock frame when we slide it up on the trailer. This will also allow me to anchor it to the trailer with a couple of deck screws through the “lip” into the dock frame.


The dock frame under construction. The ratchet strap was very useful to pull the rim frame 2x12’s together to hold the 2x6 joists in place for nailing. At this point it was a one man operation and the straps proved invaluable.


The finished dock frame. I didn’t use as much cross bracing as some have because I didn’t think it was necessary. The installed decking with approximately 700+ 3.5” galvanized nails will provide all the cross bracing needed.


While I waited on my helpers to arrive I thought I’d take a break and fish a bit. Caught 9 or 10 of these little guys while I waited.


It was late when my helpers arrived; I was just glad they showed up! Loading it was much easier than I anticipated, Four guys lifted the front edge of the frame and I backed the trailer under it, they sat it down then picked up the other end and slid it onto the trailer. It’s hard to see the trailer under there, it has about 3.5’ hanging off each side. Lengthwise, it has 10’ on the trailer and 6’ hanging off. I added the vertical brace for stability while I hung the barrels.


Left side with the barrels hung. Temporarily suspended the barrels in place using ¼” poly rope.


Right side with the barrels hung.


Drove the few hundred yards to the pond and backed it into the water, it slid off as planned. I barely got the trailer wheels wet and the wrangler pulled the trailer out and never spun a tire.


Next step was to haul the gangway down to the pond.


Here you can better see the poly rope used to hold the barrels in place, now it’s time for it to come off.


For the shore pilings, I used 4”x6” PT pine, set about 30” deep in concrete. Used standard galvanized dock hardware to attach the gangway to the dock, but on the shore end, I used a 5’ long, ½” black pipe with galvanized caps on each end. This cost about $8 and is more than adequate.


Another view of the shore-side connection.


Gangway attached to dock frame.
[img]http://images107.fotki.com/v780/fileygTe/cd5e5/6/1273456/12838752/IMG_6719.jpg[/img]

Getting late, had time to start decking the gangway.
[img]http://images15.fotki.com/v1624/fileBcYN/cd5e5/6/1273456/12838752/IMG_6725.jpg[/img]

But there was still time to catch a few more of these. The sunset more than made up for the small size. It’s late February and there is no jacket on that arm….not even a long sleeve.
[img]http://images108.fotki.com/v1623/fileVl9Q/cd5e5/6/1273456/12838752/IMG_6714.jpg[/img]

Here’s where I deviated slightly from the plan, although I anticipated this and kinda planned for it. To help compensate for the list due to the weight of the gangway, I added a 13th barrel on that side. The joists supporting the other barrels are set on 20” centers, but I left the center spacing here wide enough to slide the 13th barrel in from the top and secure it with 2x4’s set flat. Although it helped, it did not take the entire list out.
[img]http://images107.fotki.com/v70/filecRWJ/cd5e5/6/1273456/12838752/IMG_6727.jpg[/img]

Sunset on the finished dock.
[img]http://images14.fotki.com/v384/fileFE4f/cd5e5/6/1273456/12838752/IMG_6731.jpg[/img]

After I cut off the pilings level, I decided to cut some bevels freehand, not perfect, but not bad for a 10” skill saw.
[img]http://public.fotki.com/jsing/hambrick-rd-1/dock-build/img-6735.html[/img]

And here’s the finished product, well, almost finished. On my next trip down, I will add a 10-12’ approach ramp and add some weights so the dock sits level.
[img]http://images108.fotki.com/v1623/file2lk4/cd5e5/6/1273456/12838752/IMG_6737.jpg[/img]

As for costs;
Barrels Free
Silicon Sealant $8
Lumber $575
Galvanized Hardware $20
Galvanized Nails $52
Dock Hardware/Hinge $68
Dock Hardware, 1/2”Pipe $8
Rope $6

Total $750 (MOL)

Pricing Notes:
1. Galvanized hardware came from Agri Supply, it is about 75% cheaper when you buy it by the pound vs buying it individually at Home Depot or Lowes.
2. Lumber costs are about 12% cheaper in south Ga vs the Atlanta area, I suppose the difference is shipping since it originates in south Ga. And I got a 10% GI discount.
3. Dock hardware is available from Home Depot only online, it ships free and is the cheapest source I found.


Edited by 2Old2Soon (03/12/14 08:44 AM)

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#368650 - 03/11/14 11:27 PM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: 2Old2Soon]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4200
Loc: SE Kansas
Very nice. Thanks for all the pictures and detail. My son might be interested in doing something like this and this will be a great help if he does.

One other option for the listing is to put a barrel or two right at the end of the gangway. This would have the added benefit that if you ever needed to float the dock somewhere for maintenance the flotation would hold up the gangway when the dock is unhooked. I added a float for my gangway in this manner, so I can take two pins out, and float the dock over to the bank where I can remove it with a telehandler. If I ever have to do major work, it can easily be removed and the gangway end will float on its own. Just an idea for you.
_________________________
John

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#368657 - 03/12/14 01:10 AM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: 2Old2Soon]
roadwarriorsvt Offline


Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 621
Loc: Wahiawa, HI
Nice write up. This will surely help another future floating dock builder.

Good advice from snrub. I also put a float at the end of my gangway.

Just curious, is your pond at full pool of do you have room for more water?


Edited by roadwarriorsvt (03/12/14 01:11 AM)

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#368666 - 03/12/14 08:17 AM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: 2Old2Soon]
Lovnlivin Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1484
Loc: Eagle, NE
Excellent pics and detail, thanks for posting!

Regarding weight to level out the dock, could you simply fill (partially fill) the barrels at the end of the dock to accomplish this, plus maybe add some stability?
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Formerly: 2ac LMB,HSB,BG,HBG,RES

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#368681 - 03/12/14 10:15 AM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: 2Old2Soon]
2Old2Soon Offline


Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 122
Loc: Georgia
I appreciate the kind words. First to answer some questions;
1. At full pool, there will be another 2 -2.5’ of water in the pond and the water level will reach the overflow pipe and the gangway should be about level.
2. I considered putting flotation under the gangway but decided against it just for aesthetics.
3. I could (in theory) remove some decking and put water in the barrels, but I nailed them suckers down “for life”. Ideally, I would like for the dock (unloaded) to float with the bottom of the rim frame about 1 inch above the waterline. I really don’t want to see any barrels at all, that’s why I chose the white ones, they seem less visible to me. By adding external weight, I can adjust it accordingly as I add things like benches, feeder, shade, etc.

On the subject of adding counter-weights, I stood on the outside edge of rthe dock and my wife reported “it looks level now”. My plan was to suspend the same amount of weight off each corner, I’m not going to tell how much I weight, but each corner will get 120#’s. I have closely watched DonoBBD’s dock build and greatly admire what he has done. He devised a bit more elaborate system using a second weight and pulleys to counter-weight and stabilize his dock. His initial plan appears in another thread her, but her is his diagram;



He deployed a modified version of this using two buckets of concrete as an anchor in lieu of the single pip depicted here. My question is…..is this necessary? My understanding of pulley systems (a.k.a block & tackle) is that the first pulley will redirect the direction of force and it is not a force multiplier. That being said, this pulley system will accomplish the same thing as suspending weight directly underneath the dock. Am I correct on this or am I out in left field?????

[img]http://public.fotki.com/jsing/hambrick-rd-1/dock-build/block-tackle.html[/img]

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#368694 - 03/12/14 12:56 PM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: 2Old2Soon]
Lovnlivin Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1484
Loc: Eagle, NE
Originally Posted By: 2Old2Soon
On the subject of adding counter-weights, I stood on the outside edge of the dock and my wife reported “it looks level now”.

Good thing that wasn't the other way around whistle
_________________________
Keith - Still Lovin Livin

https://youtu.be/o-R41Rfx0k0
(a short video tribute to the PB members we met on our 5 week fishing adventure)

Formerly: 2ac LMB,HSB,BG,HBG,RES

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#368696 - 03/12/14 01:13 PM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: 2Old2Soon]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4200
Loc: SE Kansas
2Old2Soon, I have no direct experience with pulleys on docks, but I would say the pully system would have a greater dampening effect. For every one inch of dock movement up or down, the bucket on the pulley is going to move two inches. So it will take less weight with the pulley system to have the same effect as a simple weight hanging off the dock directly.

I could be wrong.

I learned about using a "snatch block" years ago from a winch truck guy I hung around. By using a dead weight (dead man) to anchor the dead end of the cable (the weight on the bottom of the pond in this instance) and a snatch block pulley (attached to the dock in this case)he was able to pull out much larger stuck loads with his modest size winch truck than by hooking directly to the tow. He had to pull in twice the cable length (would be the suspended bucket in this instance) but doubled his power at the snatch block pulley (the dock in this instance).

So by forcing double the movement at the bucket in relation to the dock movement, in which inertia of the weight plus the resistance of the water has to be overcame, the dampening effect would be much greater for a given weight.

At least that is the way I see it, but could be wrong.
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#368704 - 03/12/14 02:04 PM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: snrub]
esshup Offline
Moderator
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24001
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Looking good!! If you are going to seal/stain it, what are you planning on using?
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#368731 - 03/12/14 06:27 PM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: 2Old2Soon]
roadwarriorsvt Offline


Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 621
Loc: Wahiawa, HI
I'd suggest using a quality stain/sealant on the frame before you lay the decking. I'd also stain the decking on all sides prior to laying it. This is your last chance to protect all of the wood versus just staining the top every few years. I won't even open up the can of worms on which stain is better. That's a whole different topic.

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#368783 - 03/13/14 09:27 AM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: 2Old2Soon]
2Old2Soon Offline


Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 122
Loc: Georgia
Yes, I will stain it later, after it dries a bit and I will probably add some benches, at her direction of course. Don't yet know which stain I'll use, but I'll ensure it's safe for use over (and in) the water.

ESSHUP, when I posted the original thread, the last few pic's did not show up in the post, only the URL. I can't see anything different in the way I posted them, did I hit a max limit on something?

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#368792 - 03/13/14 10:10 AM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: 2Old2Soon]
esshup Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24001
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Originally Posted By: 2Old2Soon
Yes, I will stain it later, after it dries a bit and I will probably add some benches, at her direction of course. Don't yet know which stain I'll use, but I'll ensure it's safe for use over (and in) the water.

ESSHUP, when I posted the original thread, the last few pic's did not show up in the post, only the URL. I can't see anything different in the way I posted them, did I hit a max limit on something?


Yeah, I believe there is a max limit for a single post. Just make another post with the pictures that didn't show up. If when making a post you hit "preview post" you can see what a post will look like before hitting "submit".
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#368805 - 03/13/14 12:01 PM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: esshup]
Huntmaster Offline


Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 209
Loc: Southeast Michigan
Nice job on the dock. If the ice ever leaves here, I'm going to build one for my pond that is very similar.
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1 Acre Pond with SMB, YP, RES, FHM, GSH, Papershell Crayfish.

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#368808 - 03/13/14 01:47 PM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: 2Old2Soon]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1775
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Very nice dock work. Great idea on the launch of the dock smart guy there.

I personally after using ours for a summer half with half without the weights the weights take 50% or even more bounce out of the dock.

I personally would have filled all the barrels 1/3rd full of water first. This sounds odd but it would set our 2X12 right with the water level when no one is on the dock and when people are on the dock it is then in the water a bit and we are closer to the water. This would also add more mass that needs to be moved up and down and would stabilize the dock even more.

I know it would be much harder to get the barrels in but if you can add water before you deck the dock I would add water to them. You can then balance the dock out too. I put one barrel under my gangway and should have two. I had to really push the one barrel down deep to get enough lift to level the dock for how much weight the gang added to the dock. I would not put any water in the barrel for the gang.

Cheers Don.

P.S. with the five gallon bucket pully system the dock was not quite level. Just put in some more rocks in the one bucket that was hanging not the anchor bucket and it leveled the dock perfectly.
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#368812 - 03/13/14 02:48 PM Re: My Floating Dock Build [Re: 2Old2Soon]
loretta Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 546
Loc: MI
Nice dock 2Old2Soon! I love the bucket anchor idea for stability, I want to try it. Does anyone have a source for SS pulleys, eye hooks, hooks, etc? Would an aluminum pulley hold up? TIA
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