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Sectional Docks

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. 

The information gathered by answering the following questions will help determine which dock system best suits your needs and desires.

  1. What 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.

  2. What 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.

  3. In 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.

  4. Who 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.

  5. Will 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.

  6. What is the intended use of the dock: fishing, watersports, small or large groups of people, is the application for a commercial or residential usage.

  7. Are appearance and aesthetics important, or is function a higher priority than aesthetics?

  8. Does 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 season.

  9. Are there any financial considerations that need to be determined or thought of.

Once you 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.

Marine 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 sections.  Pier 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

The Pier 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 up. 

View Pier Pleasure sectional click here

SHOREMASTER SECTIONAL

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.

View Shoremaster sectional dock click here

 

GENERAL NOTES ON SECTIONALS

Be 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. 

Cedar is 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 framework.  

Vinyl 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.

When 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 decking offers.

410 Grand Ave. (Hwy 8) Box 308 Center City, MN 55012 (651) 257-4265
Email us at: info@marinedocklift.com

Call Toll Free: 800-314-3625
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