On many lakes throughout the U.S. and Canada you will find docks that are installed in the Spring and removed in 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 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 are either made entirely of polyethylene, or have a wood, aluminum, or composite deck that sits along with the plastic floats. Floating docks weigh far more per foot than fixed docks. This excess weight can make it harder to create a long rigid structure which is light enough to become completed by hand. Frequently the longest floating dock sections are limited to about 10 feet. For too long docks, the ten foot sections are associated with flexible connectors. These docks are generally removed through taking the sections apart and hand carrying them out from the water, one 10 foot section at any given time. If you have a smooth beach, you might be able to drag the fully assembled dock the beach with the ATV or SUV. Sometimes people 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 is perfectly up to 32 feet long. These docks are made from structural aluminum bolted together to create a 24″ tall truss running the length and width in the dock. Polyethylene floats are caged inside the truss system and most common dock materials can be used the deck. These truss type structures are light enough and robust enough to enable wheels to be mounted beneath the dock. In the event the dock is designed to be rolled in the beach, polyethylene wheels could be mounted similarly to the people used on stationary docks. If the shoreline is too steep or it is really not convenient to store 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 having a military technology that was created to maintain positive air pressure inside the bearing cavity for one year of Drop Stitch Fabric. A square or rectangular aluminum tube can be mounted under one end in the dock. This tube behaves as a receiver for a 6′ long trailer tongue which will insert about 2′ and then pin into position. You will find a trailer coupler on the extended end in the tongue that is designed to connect to a trailer hitch having a standard 2″ ball.
The dock can be towed over the water to a standard boat launch ramp in which the tongue is inserted to the receiver turning the dock right into a floating trailer. A mild 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 from the launch ramp the same as it was a boat on a trailer. The dock could be towed on 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 that are very steep and have little if any beach. Floating Docks can be found that are up to 17′ wide but could be folded up in the launch ramp car park to simply 8.5′ wide so no special highway permits gbpman needed. Some docks can also add a large second deck. Big docks that are easy to install and take off can make up for the beach that lots of lake front owners wish that they had.
Some manufacturers can even license the dock being a boat letting it be motored round the lake with an outboard and tiller handle. These docks turn into a safe, fun, and mobile platform for swimming and fishing. While technology is racing around us, it really is nice to find out that some of that technology is giving us safe places to unwind on Inflatable Drop Stitch with the minds comfortable knowing that the task of closing up for the winter is going to be simple and quick.