On many lakes throughout the U.S. and Canada there are 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 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 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 far more per foot than fixed docks. This extra weight can make it more difficult 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 10 foot sections are connected with flexible connectors. These docks are typically removed by taking the sections apart and hand carrying them out from the water, one 10 foot section at a time. For those who have a smooth beach, you could possibly drag the fully assembled dock up the beach with the ATV or SUV. Sometimes people will use PVC pipe as rollers beneath the dock so the dock lacks to drag on the sand.
There are manufactures now making floating docks that could have a single rigid section that is perfectly up to 32 feet long. These docks are produced from structural aluminum bolted together to make a 24″ tall truss running the length and width of the dock. Polyethylene floats are caged in the truss system and most common dock materials can be used as the deck. These truss type structures are light enough and robust enough to permit wheels to get mounted beneath the dock. When the dock is designed to be rolled up the beach, polyethylene wheels may be mounted similarly to the people used on stationary docks. When the shoreline is simply too steep or it is really not useful to keep the dock over the shore, a highway rated axle, wheels, and tires could be installed. The axle is galvanized and also the bearings are often protected using a military technology that is made to maintain positive air pressure in the bearing cavity for just one year of Drop Stitch Fabric. A square or rectangular aluminum tube can be mounted under one end from the dock. This tube works as a receiver to get a 6′ long trailer tongue which will insert about 2′ and then pin in place. There exists a trailer coupler on the extended end of the tongue that is made to connect with a trailer hitch using a standard 2″ ball.
The dock may be towed along the water to your standard boat launch ramp where tongue is inserted to the receiver turning the dock into a floating trailer. A light duty truck or SUV backs on the launch ramp till the coupler may be floated over the trailer ball. The coupler is locked on as well as the truck pulls the dock out of the launch ramp just like it had been a boat over a trailer. The dock could be towed along the highway two miles or 200 miles. Temporary trailer lights might need to be installed depending on the distance and terrain traveled.
This new “Rolling Floating Dock” technologies have dramatically reduced the irritation of installing and removing floating docks. Especially benefited are those waterfront sites which are very steep and have little if any beach. Floating Docks can be found which can be as much as 17′ wide but may be folded up in 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 simple to install and remove can make up for the beach that lots of lake front owners wish that they had.
Some manufacturers can also license the dock being a boat allowing it to 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 find out that a number of that technology is giving us safe places to unwind on Inflatable Drop Stitch with our minds relaxed knowing that the task of closing up for the winter is going to be simple and quick.