New Buffalo water levels

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by sfergson727, May 2, 2019.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2007
    Northern IL.
    2000 400 Sedan Bridge with twin CAT 3116's

    2000 340 Sundancer - SOLD!
    210 Monaco 1987 - SOLD!
    Twin Caterpillar 3116's 350 HP straight drives
    Isn’t that what dinghies are for!
  2. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    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.
    Great Lakes likes this.
  3. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Wow...this is a big bummer. Sorry to hear this, MM...
  4. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    IMG_4230.JPG 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.
  5. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    Sorry for your loss MM.
  6. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    2000 Cruisers 3870
    8.2 Mercs
    85 Sea Ray Monaco 197
    260hp Alpha 1
    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...

    spikedaddy99 likes this.
  7. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    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.
  8. spikedaddy99

    spikedaddy99 Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 11, 2008
    Prentice, Wi
    2005 500 DB
    MM, you sure it's not the polar ice pack melting? :p 2 months or so until rendezvous!!
  9. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member

    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.
    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?
    Brent Nutting likes this.
  10. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    IMG_4230.JPG IMG_4266.JPG
    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.

Share This Page

Show Sidebar