On many lakes across the U.S. and Canada there are docks which 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 carried out 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 the top of the plastic floats. Floating docks weigh far more per foot than fixed docks. This extra weight causes it to be harder to create a long rigid structure that is certainly light enough to become carried out by hand. Often the longest floating dock sections are restricted to around 10 feet. For too long docks, the 10 foot sections are associated with flexible connectors. These docks are usually removed if you take the sections apart and hand carrying them out of the water, one 10 foot section at a time. In case you have an effortless beach, you might be able to drag the fully assembled dock up the beach with an ATV or SUV. Sometimes individuals will use PVC pipe as rollers under the dock therefore the dock does not have to drag on the sand.
There are manufactures now making floating docks that could have a single rigid section that depends on 32 feet long. These docks are made of structural aluminum bolted together to make a 24″ tall truss running both the length and width from the dock. Polyethylene floats are caged within the truss system and most common dock materials can be used as the deck. These truss type structures are light enough and strong enough to permit wheels to become mounted beneath the dock. When the dock is intended to be rolled the beach, polyethylene wheels can be mounted similarly to people applied to stationary docks. If the shoreline is simply too steep or it is really not convenient to keep the dock across the shore, a highway rated axle, wheels, and tires can be installed. The axle is galvanized as well as the bearings are generally protected using a military technology that was created to maintain positive air pressure inside the bearing cavity for just one year of Drop Stitch Fabric. A square or rectangular aluminum tube may be mounted under one end in the dock. This tube acts as a receiver to get a 6′ long trailer tongue that will insert about 2′ then pin in place. There exists a trailer coupler on the extended end in the tongue that is designed to get connected to a trailer hitch having a standard 2″ ball.
The dock may be towed over the water to some 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 along the launch ramp until the coupler may be floated over the trailer ball. The coupler is locked on and also the truck pulls the dock out of the launch ramp much like it had been a boat over a trailer. The dock could be towed down 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 virtually no beach. Floating Docks can be purchased which are approximately 17′ wide but can be folded up in the launch ramp parking area to merely 8.5′ wide so no special highway permits gbpman needed. Some docks can also add a large second deck. Big docks that are really easy to install and take off can replace with the beach that lots of lake front owners wish they had.
Some manufacturers can even license the dock being a boat allowing it to be motored across the lake having 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 is nice to see that a few of that technology is giving us safe places to unwind on Inflatable Drop Stitch with our minds comfortable realizing that the job of closing up for that winter will likely be quick and simple.