Water Levels

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by Great Lakes, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    On lakes where you have lots of wave action from boaters and from wind, floating docks fail due to the moving and twisting of the joints. We considered doing a floating dock about the same time a neighbor installed one. His failed after two years. As you know, docks are not cheap. Ours is going on twenty years now and shows no signs of wear other than normal weathering of the treated decking. It will likely go another 10-20 years before needing new decking. So, we do them because they last a long time and continue to look good. We seldom need to use the ladder and use the steps only for the ocassional season when water is really high. Mostly things are about right.
     
  2. atrick

    atrick Member

    98
    Mar 4, 2017
    Penna
    1995 searay 290 Sundancer
    1990 21 maxum
    Twin 4.3 mercrusers with alpha one drives
    305 chevy with a alpha one drive
    You just need to build them differently. I live on a river and my docks stay in all year long and we get constant waves especially in the winter from the wind and my first set lasted 13 years and I had to pull them because I broke a pole and the frames were rusting bad as I didn't use galvanized steel. This new set been in for 3 years and they look great and we get high water in the spring, like the river will rise 10 to 12 foot on average. My poles were 70' when the were set-15' in the dirt 10' of water which leaves 45' and been close to the top a couple of times with the floods. As I said before you have to build them differently and I got 85' of docks floating with a 25' wing for the catwalk to set on.
     
  3. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    I should have also mentioned that In addition to wave action, moving ice destroys floating docks in our lake. Our permenant dock can handle ice flows because it is made from steel pilings and I beams. Rarely, we have had spring piles, which are really telephone poles driven 20 feet into the mud, snapped off when the ice goes out in the spring time. That type of flow will take out the entire floating dock and can move it to a completely different location not to be found until all the ice is gone. So again, the design does not work outside of a protected marina environment on most Michigan lakes on of any size.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  4. Great Lakes

    Great Lakes Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    275
    Oct 11, 2016
    Lake St. Clair (MacRay Harbor)
    2005 390 Sundancer
    8.1
    This is building 7 last week
    The ice jams on the St Clair river made the water drop considerably in a short period of time. I can basically only access my boat from the bow unless I schooch down and step on side. This is still 12-18" higher than 5 years ago
     

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  5. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 8212, 741 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    I heard some warnings about that last week. It's amazing how fast LSC can fluctuate.
     
  6. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Good point about the moving ice taking away the docks and pilings. I hadn't thought of that.

    Our marina freezes over about once every 25 years or so but it sits in a bay where there is almost zero current so no movement of ice. Here's a shot of our marina in late January of last year.
    [​IMG]
    This shot was before my mechanic put in my Kasco deicer pump. Here's what my slip looked like 24 hours later. It's difficult to see, but the entire slip is ice free, extending out about 20' from the bow, and also the slips on either side of me were ice free. .
    [​IMG]
     
    sbw1 likes this.
  7. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Close. April or May of 10. That's when we had finally sealed the deal on Beachcomber.
     
    RollerCoastr likes this.
  8. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    IMG_2783.JPG
    Those Ice Eaters do a nice job. We hang one under our dock at the end and it keeps this dock open in sub-zero weather with no problems.
     
  9. hakunamatata

    hakunamatata Member

    177
    Aug 18, 2015
    Southport Marina - Kenosha WI - Lake Michigan
    410 Sundancer
    Caterpillar 3126
    I would say most of the new marinas built post 1990 on the IL/WI side seem to have had floating piers installed. Waukegan several years ago redid part of their marina and switched from fixed piers that were completed in 85 when levels were at an all-time high to floating because the levels were down so much. Yes, the ice definitely messes with them especially if the marinas don't put the bubblers in...which has been an issue for us in Kenosha as well as Sheboygan. It seems every couple of years we have to wait for our pier to be straightened due to ice damage.
     
  10. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer
    2X 454 w/ vDrives
    Our marina is in a sheltered shallow bay that freezes solid with 2ft of ice at times. The docks are built on welded steel pipe (maybe 3ft or more pipe). They don't get damaged as far as I can tell. Ice eaters only go in in the spring to help melt the ice around the slips as early as possible. No one leaves their boats in the water in our area other than the large tug boats on the commercial docks in town.
     

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