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Build Your Own Dock
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Building your own dock

Building your own dock can be a rewarding activity for you during a holiday. For a complete novice, this can be a little strenuous and certain help should be taken. However, you have the basic skills with the screws and the bolts, and know a few carpentry tricks you should easily be able to make your boat dock on your own water front land. The creative satisfaction and feeling of pride you can get will be immense.  Make sure to clarify the objective of your dock. Many people go for building simple docks to get on and off their boats. However, some people like to make it in the way that they can utilize the space for relaxing and sunbathing.
Requirement Gathering for Building Your Dock    
The first thing to do is to figure out how far you will need to go in water in order to access your boat. If it is just a row boat, you can make a small dock as it needs just a few feet of water to stay afloat. However, a bigger boat would need considerable depth to be docked. Depending upon that you can decide the length of the dock. You also need to decide if your dock would float, or you can have posts that go beneath the ground.  
The dock design  
You can buy the pre defined designs of the dock, or you could decide dimensions on your own. Generally, the dock consists of two sections. The first section is around 10 to 16 feet in length and around 4 feet wide. This part comes off the land and is generally attached to a wider section of around 10 feet wide, which is the lounging area.  
List of material needed.  
You would need.

  • Screws and eye bolts
  • Pressure treated lumber panels. For a good stability, one should consider 2 x 8 inches or at least 2x 6 inch board.
  • You can get pre made posts that slide into a bracket. Alternatively, you can have metal or wooden posts.
  • Galvanized nails and rubber bumpers.

Some stores provide a complete dock building kit along with all the material and necessary accessories and choice of some more ones.


Tools required

Measuring tape, marker or a pencil, saw, hammer, mallet, etc. you will need a paper sheet with a pencil and eraser to make a design of the dock.  

Procedure of Building the Dock  

  •  Start off by cutting for the 12 L x 4 W section of the board. You will need to screw the cut out portion of 4 feet long board at the ends of the 3 long boards.
  • Ensure the even spacing by attaching the long boards at the end of 4 feet wide board.  
  • Keeping the long board perpendicular to the bottom ones screw them together.
  • Now carefully screw all the floor boards on the top of the frame which was created from the above steps. Make sure that the floor board is perpendicular to the frame.
  • The same procedure is repeated for the lounge section of the dock. Again the care should be taken that the floor section of the dock is at proper right angles to the frame beneath before screwing them together.
  • Now drive the 4x4 inch posts (wooden or metal) of your choice into the ground beneath the water at the corners of the dock. Make sure that they are stable enough to hold the free standing dock. 
  • Now apply rubber bumper material on the edges of the dock to protect the scratching of the boat against it.
  • If your dock building kit has come with a railing you can now attach that to the dock.

Word of caution
Do follow the instructions and guidelines given in the manual if your kit has one. Get some assistance while building the dock. The large pieces of wood once attached can get difficult to move by themselves. In case of doubt do not hesitate to take a professional help. It is imperative to take this caution as the safety of the boat depends upon it. However, the smooth execution of the making process can be a very satisfying and joyful experience.

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