On many lakes across the U.S. and Canada you will find docks that are installed in the Spring and removed within the Fall. Stationary docks that are supported on the bottom of the lake on poles generally come apart in sections which are fairly light and can be completed by hand. Sometimes large plastic wheels are permanently attached to the bottom of the dock poles. Often the fixed dock is light enough and rigid enough that a 30′ long section can be rolled right out of the lake and stored on the beach for the winter.
Floating docks typically use Inflatable Floating Platform and they are either made entirely of polyethylene, or have a wood, aluminum, or composite deck that sits on the top of the plastic floats. Floating docks weigh significantly more per foot than fixed docks. This excess weight makes it more difficult to produce a long rigid structure which is light enough to be completed by hand. Usually the longest floating dock sections are restricted to around 10 feet. For too long docks, the ten foot sections are connected with flexible connectors. These docks are typically removed by taking the sections apart and hand carrying them from the water, one 10 foot section at any given time. In case you have a smooth beach, you could possibly drag the fully assembled dock the beach with the ATV or SUV. Sometimes men and women will use PVC pipe as rollers underneath the dock therefore the dock lacks to drag on the sand.
There are manufactures now making floating docks that can have a single rigid section that depends on 32 feet long. These docks are produced from structural aluminum bolted together to form a 24″ tall truss running both the length and width from the dock. Polyethylene floats are caged within the truss system and a lot common dock materials can be used as the deck. These truss type structures are light enough and robust enough to allow wheels to get mounted underneath the dock. In the event the dock is designed to be rolled in the beach, polyethylene wheels can be mounted similarly to the people utilized on stationary docks. When the shoreline is too steep or it is far from useful to keep the dock across the shore, a highway rated axle, wheels, and tires could be installed. The axle is galvanized as well as the bearings are usually protected with a military technology that was created to maintain positive air pressure in the bearing cavity for one year of Drop Stitch Fabric. A square or rectangular aluminum tube may be mounted under one end from the dock. This tube works as a receiver to get a 6′ long trailer tongue that will insert about 2′ then pin into position. There exists a trailer coupler on the extended end from the tongue that was created to connect to a trailer hitch with a standard 2″ ball.
The dock may be towed over the water to your standard boat launch ramp where tongue is inserted in to the receiver turning the dock in to a floating trailer. A mild duty truck or SUV backs on the launch ramp up until the coupler can be floated over the trailer ball. The coupler is locked on and the truck pulls the dock out from the launch ramp much like it was a boat over a trailer. The dock could be towed along the highway two miles or 200 miles. Temporary trailer lights may need to be installed depending on the distance and terrain traveled.
This new “Rolling Floating Dock” technology has dramatically reduced the hassle of installing and removing floating docks. Especially benefited are the ones waterfront sites that are very steep and have little if any beach. Floating Docks can be purchased which are up to 17′ wide but may be folded up inside the launch ramp parking area to simply 8.5′ wide so no special highway permits gbpman needed. Some docks could also incorporate a large second deck. Big docks that are simple to install and remove can make up for the beach that many lake front owners wish that they had.
Some manufacturers can also license the dock as a boat allowing it to be motored across the lake with an outboard and tiller handle. These docks be a safe, fun, and mobile platform for swimming and fishing. While technology is racing around us, it is nice to see that a few of that technology is giving us safe places to chill out on Inflatable Drop Stitch with our minds comfortable understanding that the job of closing up for the winter will likely be simple and quick.