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Old 05-05-2019, 06:15 AM   #1
RyanDe
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Default Tips for putting in a wooden dock without getting wet?

This is only our second year. Last year, well, it didn't go well. As we all know the water is very cold still so even with a wetsuit it's not very comfortable and still limits the time you can be in the water. last year we tried waders but they ripped which made them useless and because the end of our dock is over 3' we still can't easily get out there to secure the poles. We did end up using various "techniques" (see photo) which worked okay but it feels less than ideal and there are probably tips and tricks out there from people who have done this before.

So, does anyone have a better way to do this, ideally without getting wet (besides paying someone).
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:24 AM   #2
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A guy I know does similar to you but uses a small jon boat instead of the tube.


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Old 05-05-2019, 06:42 AM   #3
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When I had steel framed pipe docks I put them in in a similar manner to what your picture shows. I had access to large truck tire tubes and doubled them up using a compressor to inflate them to the proper height for the dock.

I think you may be able to get tubes from the local tire shops. After a truck tube has been patched a couple times they usually replace them and will give the old ones away. I think that using junk tubes might be better than risking your expensive tube.
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:31 AM   #4
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What seems to work pretty good are the better quality waders, made with neoprene and cost about $100 and up ..... so far, have not gone leaky like the lower priced, rubberized canvas waders. The Walmart in Tilton has both styles.

Also, wearing clothes like long underwear under the waders helps too.

Just one little leak in the waders makes it very cold, very fast.

Foam noodles could roll that dock out, across the water!
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:04 AM   #5
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A guy I know does similar to you but uses a small jon boat instead of the tube.


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I keep looking for a good deal on a used jon boat for just this purpose. Thatís how we put in our pipe dock when I was a kid. My job was to keep the dock in position while my father connected it. With a ski tube youíre still going to get wet but it does reduce the number of hands needed. Our last section is over six feet deep with high water like we have now so it makes a good case for buying a jon boat even if new.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:29 AM   #6
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Looking at the big, high prices .... www.bmp-inc.com/Pricing .... for a new, aluminum dock, it sure 'nough makes good sense to be fixing and fixing and fixing that old dock forever ..... till it has more fixes in it .... than what is was, when it was new .... way back when.

Old docks never die .... they just get re-used by some poor slob .... who cannot afford a new dock ..... and needs a dock!
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:45 PM   #7
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I use the blue foam you often see under rafts. It needs to be about about a foot wider than the dock section on each side. Put it out in front of each section in the water and then feed the new section in right off the first. Catch the end of the section on the foam and float it out till you drop the back end into the bracket and pin it. Then walk out to the end and pound your poles in with foam supporting you.
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:32 PM   #8
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I use the blue foam you often see under rafts. It needs to be about about a foot wider than the dock section on each side. Put it out in front of each section in the water and then feed the new section in right off the first. Catch the end of the section on the foam and float it out till you drop the back end into the bracket and pin it. Then walk out to the end and pound your poles in with foam supporting you.
I sit on shore and watch my kids do it - while giving plenty of advice, of course!
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:50 PM   #9
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Default I know how I feel...

I know how I would do it without getting wet.

Yesterday I helped my good friend put in his 60 ft dock, 6 10x 3 sections. He had a semi-dry suit on and I had on a 3mil wetsuit. 4 hrs in 44 degree water, with both of us having to dunk down to pick up a dropped nut in 4 ft water depth. Brrrrrrrr.

So how are we going to do it next year? Hire someone !!!!!!
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:42 PM   #10
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I sit on shore and watch my kids do it - while giving plenty of advice, of course!
Iím not quite at that point but close. They do the lifting and I help with the connecting. Even with a wetsuit it gets cold. We have a magnet on a string for dropped tools and plenty of extra bolts, washers and nuts if any are dropped.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:23 PM   #11
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I know how I would do it without getting wet.

Yesterday I helped my good friend put in his 60 ft dock, 6 10x 3 sections. He had a semi-dry suit on and I had on a 3mil wetsuit. 4 hrs in 44 degree water, with both of us having to dunk down to pick up a dropped nut in 4 ft water depth. Brrrrrrrr.

So how are we going to do it next year? Hire someone !!!!!!
Whoah David, you signed up, for that?? Although I do know how difficult it is for us oldtimmer's to slow down and Relax, with father time pushing us. Please do not hurt yourself my Friend, we couldn't do without you...
Terry
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:03 PM   #12
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Whoah David, you signed up, for that?? Although I do know how difficult it is for us oldtimmer's to slow down and Relax, with father time pushing us. Please do not hurt yourself my Friend, we couldn't do without you...
Terry
He's a good friend and I get to dock my boat there, the rent is helping him put in the dock and take it out. Pretty good deal.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:51 PM   #13
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He's a good friend and I get to dock my boat there, the rent is helping him put in the dock and take it out. Pretty good deal.
Excellent Dave, OH Ya, I wouldah signed for that too. Although I'd a had Fire & Rescue and an ambulance on standby.
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:18 AM   #14
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We used to do similar, but with our canoe. Said canoe was much more stable, and us child laborers were pretty happy with that job compared to the others required to set up the dock. The only trick of course was whoever got the canoe in place usually had to sit and wait there, to keep it stable, and not every year but some years the person screwed up and fell in.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:06 AM   #15
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I remember my parents putting a hinge on our dock. Removal at the end of the season wasn't too bad as the water was still fairly warm, and in the spring we basically flipped the dock section into the lake. It had adjustable feet on the bottom, steel plates that were about a foot square. The bottom was fairly solid where we were as well so that made it easier.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanDe View Post
This is only our second year. Last year, well, it didn't go well. As we all know the water is very cold still so even with a wetsuit it's not very comfortable and still limits the time you can be in the water. last year we tried waders but they ripped which made them useless and because the end of our dock is over 3' we still can't easily get out there to secure the poles. We did end up using various "techniques" (see photo) which worked okay but it feels less than ideal and there are probably tips and tricks out there from people who have done this before.

So, does anyone have a better way to do this, ideally without getting wet (besides paying someone).

Variations of your idea get the job done... you have to create enough buoyancy to support your weight and get the dock level so you can put in the legs...

Have you tried using a wetsuit? If you have not I think you will be surprised, and how comfortable it make the process. I did it for almost 30 years, before I turned the process over to my son, who uses the same wetsuit to do the job. While the cost of a wet suit may seem expensive, over time it is not. The other piece to this equation, is to have heat on, and a hot shower available...

With all that said, if you are entering the water to do this, the single biggest thing you can do for yourself, is to make sure you are prepared, to work efficiently once your in the water. What this mean in my case is the following:

- I have both a primary and secondary set of wrenches, it always seems one gets dropped. With a second set, you can wait until your ready to get out before getting totally wet to get the wrench or wrenches you have dropped.

- My legs are at a fixed height, I found in the early years, I don't need to adjust much year to year, and the little bit I do can be done later in the season. so I leave legs attached when the dock comes out... yes this adds some weight but makes installation go quicker.

- practice makes perfect. The more you do this the better you will get.... it does take some time.

- last make sure you have seasoned help, the more they do it with you the better they get...
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:06 PM   #17
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A tip for a wet suit: Flood it with warm water before you get in, this makes it much more bearable. We do that with dives when the water is a bit chilly, makes for a much more pleasant experience.
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:31 PM   #18
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A tip for a wet suit: Flood it with warm water before you get in, this makes it much more bearable. We do that with dives when the water is a bit chilly, makes for a much more pleasant experience.
I tried that once, it didn't think it helped all that much. The best help I found was to just get in and keep moving. The water heats up quick enough. I think more note worthy for colder water, is to get a thicker wet suit....
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Old 05-07-2019, 04:15 PM   #19
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www.heatedwetsuitreviews.com/

For about $200 you can purchase a Quiksilver Cypher heated wet suit vest that's powered by a lithium re-charging battery .... not too shabby for cold water and extending actual time in and on the water?

www.swimoutlet.com has 'em.

Almost as good as a 104-degree hot tub and a cup of hot coffee ..... well, make that just a 102-degree hot tub?

Or, for about $8.50, you can buy a two quart, old fashioned, leak proof, red rubber, hot water "bottle" from ebay .....w/ free shipping .... and put that to work inside your waders or wet suit! This should hit the spot ..... and at $8.50 w/ free shipping ..... is more in my price range .... should be a winner item, as long as it don't leak.


.....the $8.50 hot water bottle inside your wet suit trick ..... how to stretch out the Lake Winnipesaukee, in-the-water, shoulder seasons of April-May-June-Sept-Oct & Nov ..... that's like six extra, get wet, in-the-water, months for the year ... !

But, does it really work any good???
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:39 PM   #20
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A good set of chest waders gets our dock installed. That, and a strong magnet on a string to retrieve dropped items.
We also use a third temporary support pole when adding another section. This is fixed in the 'center' of the end of the section (it's put in place using waders). This allows one to then work from above on the left and right poles, driving and adjusting.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:27 AM   #21
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Wow, great responses!

I think we're going to try to put the poles in first but not drop them down fully so they are ready to drop when we get it in place. Part of the difficulty last year was trying to put a 10' pole in place while sitting in a boat or in the water not wanting to get wet; if they are already in place and we just have to loosen the set screw that should make that job easier.

Order two sets of wadders, just in case and I'll go to the wetsuit as a last resort.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:49 AM   #22
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A wet suit is great - but for cold water a dry suit is even better. I was a winter paddler when i was younger so had a dry suit. On cold spring days, warm clothes under the dry suit allowed me to be in water up to my neck more comfortably than my helper who had a wet suit.

I use my Goretex waders to put in the waterline; they are much more comfortable that neoprene waders. More expensive, but as I am an avid river fisherman, they get more than enough use to justify the expense. The problem with waders when putting in the dock (now my son's problem!) is that where we are, the high water in the spring means waders aren't enough.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:05 AM   #23
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I was really thinking about a drysuit but they are so expensive. I guess it comes down to either me paying someone to do it or get the drysuit it might pay for itself in 3-4 years
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:51 AM   #24
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I was really thinking about a drysuit but they are so expensive. I guess it comes down to either me paying someone to do it or get the drysuit it might pay for itself in 3-4 years
I just looked at how much they cost - wow!. It was a worthwhile purchase 30+ years ago, but had I not been a paddler I would not have bought it. I don't remember it being an expensive purchase, but then again, I had different priorities back then.
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:03 AM   #25
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I have never liked drysuits, most of my friends swear by them but I have always had them leak etc. I purchased a 7mm wetsuit and you can do 4 docks easy before you even think about being cold. Heck I even ocean surf with it all winter!
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:24 AM   #26
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www.mythicdrysuits.com, located in Maine, has excellent dry suits which are probably made in China(?), starting at $329 ..... I have one .... need to go get into it and get my dock done .... and stop with the yard work .... already. Is a myth that they are made in Maine, but so what .... they are made in China ..... and sold from Maine .... or something.


Walmart in Plymouth has these large air mattresses, made for camping or something, made by Intex, in their mark down aisle close to the greeting cards .... selling for $9.00 .... and they look like it could easily float a dock section .... you can probably stand up on the floating dock and paddle it all the way to Weirs Beach to go visit The Dive .... which apparently has left the dock area ..... but I digress here .... oops? Hellooooo out there ...... calling The Dive ...... where r u? ...... I need a drink ..... real bad! ..... in order to properly install the dock ..... a good drink always helps with this antique dock installation .... for correct alignment!

Oh well ..... before the Chinese tariffs took effect, you could buy one for $229 .... what I paid ..... but is now $329 ..... so sorry and too bad.
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