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Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by sfergson727, May 2, 2019.
Isn’t that what dinghies are for!
I have no data to back this up, but my guess is that it's all about money. The marinas I've been at with floating docks have invested way more to build and maintain them then the fixed-dock facilities. Harsh winters wreak havoc on the anchoring and guide systems, floats and hinges. Floats get torn off, entire piers become mis-aligned, utility connections break...
In contrast, the fixed-dock marinas can be inconvenient as hell for boaters, but they tend to stay-put.
This high water might change the game though. This spring in LSC and Erie, wind tide (seiche) is putting the majority of fixed docks under water. Damage is inevitable, and I assume boaters in fixed-dock marinas will start looking for alternatives.
Wow...this is a big bummer. Sorry to hear this, MM...
GFC, Fixed docks work well with changing water levels in spite of how illogical that seems. That is the case because the changes can be accommodated with stairs, which we have now and which work very well, or with ladders when the water is low. Floating docks are very vulnerable to ice movement and can be ripped from their moorings and carried away along with all the utilities. The other main issue is wave action which causes noise and pin failure where they move up and down. The noise is very annoying and the other is a maintenance expense. Our dock has seen the lowest level of Lake Michigan and the highest level and we have always been able to use it with zero issues. When the ice goes out in the spring, it shakes back and forth with the ice flow and survives undamaged. Had we installed a floating dock, it would have needed replacement on multiple occasions over our years of living here which dates back to 1977.
Sorry for your loss MM.
The Lake will go down soon as it has in the past and this will be forgotten until next time. The rise happened very quickly on the heels of the record low. The record low was in 2013 and by 2015 north winds were flooding the dock, it just now has reached a dangerous level.
Last October the water was 2 feet over the dock...
I remember how quickly things changed in 1986. Lake levels were pleasantly high during the summer, and then we had a cool wet fall. It poured rain almost every day in October and our new rip rap sea wall had water at the very top and the dock had water 3-4" below the decking. We though we would need to raise the dock. That fall was followed by normal precipitation for an extended period and then dry weather for a while. We never saw high water again until the past several years. The water level at our dock is not currently close to what it was in October 1986.
MM, you sure it's not the polar ice pack melting? 2 months or so until rendezvous!!
We're not totally immune from our marina freezing over as shown below. It doesn't freeze every year, but does about 2 years out of 5. Even when it freezes though we don't get the depth of ice that you do, nor do we get the shifting ice like the Great Lakes does.
This is a pic of the municipal marina I'm in now. As you can see, the pilings, docks and roof structure are stout as hell. I can't imagine any amount of shifting ice moving these docks around.
This is the privately owned marina I was in before. Not as stout, but it does freeze as often as ours and the docks don't move a bit.
I would think that the cost of removing the docks every fall and reinstalling them in the spring would start to get pretty expensive over the years. At some point that cost (and the associated problems with removing and reinstalling the docks) would get to where a private marina owner would start to consider installing floating docks like the ones in the photo above.
IMHO when someone says "we do it that way because we've always done it that way" that's a good sign to start looking at new ways of doing things.
But then, what the heck do I know?
A few years ago during ice out a small flow snapped this outboard spring piling off at the floor of the lake. Water is 20 feet deep at that piling. Required jetting out a hole around the buried piling and putting a lasso around it. It just kept coming up, up, up until all 25 feet of it was on the barge. We dropped a new class A pile in the hole along with $2,000 and we were back in business. One of the joys of dock ownership.