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Old 05-19-2005, 09:18 AM   #1
upnorth
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Default Dock Damage

We have a relatively small crank-up that is hinged to a cement pad (used with the prior rickety dock that was replaced with our new one). The pad is about 5' x 5' x 8" thick. It kinda sits in the water. Before the new dock was installed, the pad was re-leveled with a pair of 2x12 PT lumber legs bolted to the sides of the pad. The legs sit in about a foot of water.

Turns out that the ice grabbed hold of the pad and/or legs , shifted it slightly and caused one of the legs to pull from the cement pad. I could have lived with this, but it cocked the dock enough so that dock legs on the far end of the dock sit about 2 inches above the lake bed -- would hardly notice it but for the wobble.

I can easily correct all of this for this season, but really want to avoid it in the future. The dock guy (who will fix it for me) recommends a bubbler. I'm not so sure that a bubbler will work so close to the shore and with only a foot or less of water at the water's edge.

My thought is to place stones/rocks around the pad so that it becomes more "on shore" than in the water. Question for everyone, will this work? If your answer will change any, let me also say that I think the damage occured when the water level rose and nearly covered the cement pad.
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upnorth
We have a relatively small crank-up that is hinged to a cement pad...The pad is about 5' x 5' x 8" thick. It kinda sits in the water.
I think "big-enough" stones would work, but you'd have to readjust them each summer.

Was it suspended with a single wire? Are any of the cement pads in your neighborhood still level?

It seems that with the strong winds affecting the dock while it's elevated for the off-season -- and the ice affecting the shoreline pad -- this may be something to "look forward to" each off-season.

A bubbler will cost a lot up-front, and electricity costs are not to be ignored. (We're talking hundreds of dollars each season, and we're not talking driftwood jamming-up the works or theft in this equation).

How about making the concrete base adjustable to the shore-end of the dock (series of vertical holes/bolts) to adjust for each winter's insult?

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Old 05-19-2005, 06:35 PM   #3
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Lightbulb Some more thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by upnorth
{snip} Turns out that the ice grabbed hold of the pad and/or legs , shifted it slightly and caused one of the legs to pull from the cement pad. I could have lived with this, but it cocked the dock enough so that dock legs on the far end of the dock sit about 2 inches above the lake bed -- would hardly notice it but for the wobble.

I can easily correct all of this for this season, but really want to avoid it in the future. The dock guy (who will fix it for me) recommends a bubbler. I'm not so sure that a bubbler will work so close to the shore and with only a foot or less of water at the water's edge.

My thought is to place stones/rocks around the pad so that it becomes more "on shore" than in the water. Question for everyone, will this work? If your answer will change any, let me also say that I think the damage occured when the water level rose and nearly covered the cement pad.
While a bubbler or similar preventative measure would probably work, I thought the purpose of a crank-up was eliminate the need for such devices. What does the "pad" sit on, is it rocky or sandy or ?? If it's not rocky then perhaps you could drive something like stakes around the perimeter of the pad to corral it so that any shifting is minimal. Has this happened often or was the old rickety dock immune to small shifts in the pad's position ? Could you add some depth adjustment to the dock's legs so that when you crank it down, the legs could be extended or retracted to the needed length ? Do the legs meet up with subsurface pads or just rest on the lake bottom ?
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Old 05-21-2005, 07:38 PM   #4
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The dock has a main frame and an A-frame that folds down into the main frame. A single wire supports the top of the A-frame and two wires extend from the top of the A-frame to each side of the main frame. No other pads in the neighborhood, so nothing to compare it to.

Our pad sits above rocks with the legs at one end used to level off. Making the concrete pad "adjustable" seems no short order. It would probably be easier and more effective to relocate the pad to the shore.

I was able to fix it yesterday -- turns out the dock shifted to the right. A friend and I lowered the dock, got in the water and gently pushed the end of the dock (and subsequently the pad) back into position. Lowered it and wala, posts were back in the original spot.

The dock legs are adjustable -- just not that much. My plan for a summer project (when the water doesn't turn my hair blue) is to relocate some rocks under the dock legs so that if (when) the dock shifts, the legs have something to land on.
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:04 AM   #5
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A small bubbler is cheaper than the permit fees required to place a gravel base under the footings.
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Old 05-23-2005, 03:22 PM   #6
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Default Dock pad adjustment

If any part of the pad is partially in the water, or rests on rocks at the water's edge, you can expect continued trouble due to the freeze/expand/thaw/shift cycle of the seasons. If at all possible, clear away the rocks around the pad and put in a form and fill it with concrete creating a very heavy block which will "out weigh" the freeze cycle mentioned above. This block would have to be below the bottom of the lake under the pad, and would probably have to be done at the lowest water time - late fall. This may be a homeowners project, but it may be a job for a dock company, or a local contractor familiar with concrete work. During this summer ride around the Lake and look at some of these set ups and see how they did it - ask the people on the dock, they are usually more than happy to talk about their sucesses.
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