Winter Storage: Keeping Your Dock in the Water

winterFall is officially upon us and this means winter is not far off. It is time to start thinking about and planning for the winter months.  In the winter the water your dock is in will change. The water can freeze and shift everything inside of it. It is important to take the proper steps for securing your dock if you plan to leave it in the water.

If you want to leave your dock in place make sure you have the trifecta of circumstances to do so.

  1. Area is protected from wind, waves don’t exceed one foot
  2. Floats will not rub on bottom or rocks when the water is at its lowest
  3. When water freeze the dock has two feet of room around it to move.

After these three things are confirmed you can proceed with the following steps to make sure your dock is secured.

  1. Check hardware to ensure everything on your dock is secure.
  2. Loosen anchor chains- this will allow for higher water when the ice melts in the spring.
  3. Remove the ladder from your dock.
  4. Ramp- Raise or remove the legs, disconnect and put on dock or on the shore.
  5. Safety line- Tie a line from the dock the a fixed object on land that will not break if pulled- i.e. tree
  6. Mark Your Dock! Use something tall enough incase snowmobilers come through; they can see it and do not run into it.

Docks exposed to the elements may need to be removed from the water. If that is not a possibility, then make sure your dock is in a secured bay where it won’t be taken away when the ice begins to crash into it. Allow the dock to be free floating but tied with a chain to a fixed object on shore. This will allow the dock to shift and move with the ice. If it is possible to take out of the water use two planks of wood under it to slide it form the water to land with the help of a winch.