On many lakes throughout the U.S. and Canada you will find docks that are installed in the Spring and removed within the Fall. Stationary docks which are supported on the bottom of the lake on poles generally come apart in sections that are fairly light and can be done 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 therefore are either made entirely of polyethylene, or use a wood, aluminum, or composite deck that sits on top of the plastic floats. Floating docks weigh considerably more per foot than fixed docks. This additional weight can make it more challenging to create a long rigid structure that is light enough to get completed by hand. Frequently the longest floating dock sections are restricted to about 10 feet. For too long docks, the ten foot sections are connected with flexible connectors. These docks are usually removed through taking the sections apart and hand carrying them out from the water, one 10 foot section at a time. For those who have an effortless beach, you might be able to drag the fully assembled dock in the beach having an ATV or SUV. Sometimes individuals will use PVC pipe as rollers under 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 is up to 32 feet long. These docks are made from structural aluminum bolted together to create a 24″ tall truss running both the length and width of the dock. Polyethylene floats are caged in the truss system and many 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. When the dock is designed to be rolled in the beach, polyethylene wheels could be mounted similarly to those applied to stationary docks. If the shoreline is just too steep or it is far from convenient to store the dock along the shore, a highway rated axle, wheels, and tires could be installed. The axle is galvanized and also the bearings are generally protected using a military technology that is made to maintain positive air pressure inside the bearing cavity for one year of Drop Stitch Fabric. A square or rectangular aluminum tube may be mounted under one end in the dock. This tube works as a receiver to get a 6′ long trailer tongue that will insert about 2′ and then pin into position. There is a trailer coupler on the extended end in the tongue that is made to connect to a trailer hitch having a standard 2″ ball.
The dock may be towed over the water to a standard boat launch ramp where the tongue is inserted into the receiver turning the dock right into a floating trailer. A mild duty truck or SUV backs on the launch ramp until the coupler could be floated over the trailer ball. The coupler is locked on as well as the truck pulls the dock out from the launch ramp just like it was a boat over a trailer. The dock could be towed on the highway two miles or 200 miles. Temporary trailer lights should be installed depending on the distance and terrain traveled.
This new “Rolling Floating Dock” technology has dramatically reduced the irritation of installing and removing floating docks. Especially benefited are those waterfront sites that are very steep and have little if any beach. Floating Docks can be found which are as much as 17′ wide but may be folded up within the launch ramp parking lot to merely 8.5′ wide so no special highway permits gbpman needed. Some docks may also include a large second deck. Big docks that are really easy to install and take off can compensate for the beach that many lake front owners wish that they had.
Some manufacturers can also license the dock being a boat letting it be motored round 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 actually 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 is going to be simple and quick.