How to determine the appropriate dock for your needs....
Sectional Dock Features
The dock choices facing owners
of newly acquired lakeshore property, or those faced with
replacing an existing dock system, can be wide-ranging. Marine
Dock and Lift offers 2 different dock systems to suit the
various lakeshore situations. Some systems are better suited to
a particular type of lakeshore and its owners than others. The
systems fall into the following categories: sectional (or
post), roll-in, and floating docks.
information gathered by answering the following questions will
help determine which dock system best suits your needs and
is the water depth where the dock is to be used. Both at it’s
starting point on shore, and where it ends out in the lake,
river, harbor, etc.
is the bottom condition, starting from shore. Is the bottom of
soft or firm sand, small or large rock, is the area marshy,
or muck. If muck, how deep does it go down.
what condition is the shoreline and beach area: clear,
overgrown, large trees, degrees of shoreline slope, is there
beach area, are any ice ridges present.
will install and remove the dock, (if needed) What are their
physical capabilities. Is there a truck or small tractor
available. Is a winch a possibility. Can the shoreline be
accessed by a vehicle.
the dock be stored on the shoreline. Is there a need for it
to be stored out of sight. Can it be left in place, or iced
in over winter.
is the intended use of the dock: fishing, watersports, small
or large groups of people, is the application for a commercial
or residential usage.
appearance and aesthetics important, or is function a higher
priority than aesthetics?
the water level fluctuate throughout the season, both in
terms of water height up and down, and also in and out.
Meaning shoreline beach area is lost and gained during the
there any financial considerations that need to be determined
or thought of.
have considered the questions above, one can begin to sort
through the strengths and weaknesses of each and determine the
appropriate choice for your application. Listed below are
descriptions of the various systems. We’ll start with the
sectional or “post” dock system.
Dock and Lift offers 2 sectional dock lines. Pier Pleasure
and Shoremaster (We no longer handle the Private Island dock
line). When properly set up,
sectionals are among the most stable systems available. Pier
Pleasure comes in 4x8ft sections, Shoremaster in 4x10ft
Pleasure can be adjusted from on top of the
dock, while the Shoremaster is adjusted standing in the water.
They can be used in very shallow water, or in fairly deep
water, but the water level should be fairly stable. Main reason
for this is while all can be adjusted, the process can be time
consuming. If it needs to be adjusted more than twice a season,
a roll in or floating may be a better choice.
PIER PLEASURE SECTIONAL
Pleasure system can work well in seven to nine feet of water,
while still being relatively easy to install and remove. Pier
Pleasure has a unique male, female hinge assembly that allows
for installation and removal from on top of the preceding
section. This is very handy, especially in the deep water
areas, or if you want to be the first to put your dock in while
early in the season and the water temp is just above freezing.
The Pier Pleasure has 18” of adjustment built into the legs. The
legs are angled out to the sides to allow a wider stance at the
lake bottom for greater stability. Cross bracing and
longitudinal bracing are also used for maximum leg rigidity.
Water depth measurements every 8’ is a necessity when ordering a
Pier Pleasure dock, as each system is built to specs after
ordering. Pier Pleasure offers several decking choices. Cedar wood,
Brock vinyl (tan or gray), white painted
aluminum. All fasteners are stainless or brass. The
adjustment legs are warranted for the life of the dock. The
adjustment screw mechanism uses an aluminum rod, nylon block,
and stainless set pins. The sides of the dock have built in
water tanks that add weight to the dock sections. This weight
helps hold the dock sections firmly in place. Pier Pleasure is
considered a premium system. They offer high attention to
detail, excellent quality construction, and solid company back
View Pier Pleasure sectional click here
A strong feature of the
Shoremaster system is it’s ability to be changed or reused in a
new configuration without modification. Referred to by the name
“Infinity RS4 Dock” It has a channel that allows set up quickly and
easily in various L’s, T’s and h patterns. This channel holds in
place the “L” clips that the sections hook together with. The
water depth measurement is not as critical with the Shoremaster.
Various leg lengths are stocked for the different water depths.
Section size is 4’x10’. All decking used on the Shoremaster
system is removable. Decking options include, white or tan painted
aluminum, IPE hardwood decking, cedar, Vertex vinyl
decking and the Titan reinforced decking. The IPE is a very dense hardwood that is extremely
weather resistant. It is the same material as used on the
Atlantic City boardwalk. Because of the density of the wood, it
comes as all 2x4 panels. The other decking material comes as
2ea4x4 panels, and 1ea 2x4 panel. The Shoremaster Infinity
RS4 Dock is adjusted by set screws while in the water. The
4” side frame depth, and easily removable leg braces make the
Shoremaster a system that stacks
neatly for winter storage. The Shoremaster 10’ sections are
priced similar to the 8’ Pier Pleasure sections.
Shoremaster sectional dock click here
GENERAL NOTES ON SECTIONALS
cautious of using a sectional dock in mucky, marshy areas,
unless thoughtful consideration is given. In these cases, the
pads or posts may settle unevenly, causing difficulty in
maintaining the adjustment of the dock, as well as making it
difficult if not impossible to remove for winter storage. A
firm bottom is necessary for the dock poles and frame to support
the weight of the dock and the load on it.
Removable decking provides an option to remove nearly half of
the weight of the dock for easier handling. The decking is then
stacked upon itself, with the framework in it’s separate space.
Because sectional docks are stacked onto each other, they can
be stored without taking up a lot of ground space.
Aluminum is the most common material used as dock frame,
because of it's lighter weight. An eight-foot section of aluminum framework can
weight as little as 30 to 40 pounds once the removable decking
is taken off. A sixteen-foot section of aluminum framework can
weigh about 90 pounds. Typically, galvanized steel or aluminum
is used for support legs or “posts.” These are attached to the
framework of the dock and come equipped with some type of pad
that rests on the lake bottom.
the most commonly used wood on sectional docks. Readily
available at all lumber yards, the average owner can repair a
section without undue difficulty. Aluminum, vinyl’s and plastic
are becoming increasingly popular as more lakeshore owners lean
toward purchasing material that requires little or no
maintenance. The higher initial cost of a zero maintenance
decking choice can be justified as a long-term investment. The
only disadvantage to the vinyl’s, is that repair material is not
as easy to come by. Wood provides a useful and economic option
when the required lifespan is less than fifteen years. Wood and
vinyl generally absorb more of the sounds of walking on a dock
than aluminum decking will. When walking on a dock with
aluminum decking you may detect a hollow, metallic sound,
depending on the type of aluminum and how it is placed on the
and aluminum decking that are colored white or tan provides a clean
appearance that accents the lakeshore in the more developed
areas. Untreated wood will gray and weather. Its appearance
blends into the rustic cabin or lakeshore environment. If one
wishes to retain the sharper colors of wood, it should be
treated quickly after purchase. Weathering or graying of the
wood starts immediately in the hot summer sun. Within 90 days
the original luster will be gone. To bring it back, one would
need to sand blast or pressure wash the decking.
choosing a decking choice, take into consideration your
tolerance for appearance change, the setting the dock will be
used in, and budget requirements. Each decking offers it’s
positives. Try and match your needs with the features each