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 that 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 are either made entirely of polyethylene, or have a wood, aluminum, or composite deck that sits on top of the plastic floats. Floating docks weigh far more per foot than fixed docks. This extra weight can make it more challenging to create a long rigid structure that is light enough to become carried out by hand. Usually the longest floating dock sections are restricted to about 10 feet. For too long docks, the ten foot sections are linked to flexible connectors. These docks are generally removed through taking the sections apart and hand carrying them out of the water, one 10 foot section at the same time. For those who have an effortless beach, you might be able to drag the fully assembled dock the beach having an ATV or SUV. Sometimes individuals will use PVC pipe as rollers under the dock and so the dock lacks to drag on the sand.
You can find manufactures now making floating docks that could have a single rigid section that is perfectly up to 32 feet long. These docks are made of structural aluminum bolted together to create a 24″ tall truss running the length and width in the dock. Polyethylene floats are caged inside the truss system and most common dock materials can be used as the deck. These truss type structures are light enough and powerful enough to allow wheels to become mounted under the dock. If the dock is meant to be rolled the beach, polyethylene wheels can be mounted similarly to people applied to stationary docks. If the shoreline is just too steep or it is not convenient to keep the dock over the shore, a highway rated axle, wheels, and tires could be installed. The axle is galvanized and also the bearings are usually protected with a military technology that is made to maintain positive air pressure in the bearing cavity for one year of Drop Stitch Fabric. A square or rectangular aluminum tube can be mounted under one end of the dock. This tube behaves as a receiver for a 6′ long trailer tongue that can insert about 2′ then pin into place. You will find a trailer coupler on the extended end of the tongue that is made to connect with a trailer hitch having a standard 2″ ball.
The dock may be towed along the water to a standard boat launch ramp where tongue is inserted in to the receiver turning the dock in to a floating trailer. An easy duty truck or SUV backs on the launch ramp until the coupler can be floated on 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 on a trailer. The dock may 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 those waterfront sites that are very steep and have little or no beach. Floating Docks can be found that are as much as 17′ wide but may be folded up inside the launch ramp car park to simply 8.5′ wide so no special highway permits gbpman needed. Some docks could also include a large second deck. Big docks that are easy to install and take away can make up for the beach that many lake front owners wish they had.
Some manufacturers can even license the dock being a boat letting it be motored around the lake with an outboard and tiller handle. These docks become a safe, fun, and mobile platform for swimming and fishing. While technology is racing around us, it really is nice to see that some of that technology is giving us safe places to chill out on Inflatable Drop Stitch with this minds relaxed knowing that the job of closing up for that winter is going to be simple and quick.