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Old 02-06-2013
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Cheap floating dock -- how to build?

Has anyone ever built a cheap floating dock? A favorite youtube video? Tales from personal experience?

I am part of a dinghy racing group and we need to expand. We have lots of volunteers with pickup trucks and power tools, and a budget of $500.00 (plus could probably raise more). We are thinking some encapsulated polystyrene and some scrounged lumber and firehoses. We want it to be safe and environmentally friendly, but it doesn't have to last forever.

Thanks!
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Cheap floating dock -- how to build?

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Originally Posted by wsprague View Post
Has anyone ever built a cheap floating dock? A favorite youtube video? Tales from personal experience?

I am part of a dinghy racing group and we need to expand. We have lots of volunteers with pickup trucks and power tools, and a budget of $500.00 (plus could probably raise more). We are thinking some encapsulated polystyrene and some scrounged lumber and firehoses. We want it to be safe and environmentally friendly, but it doesn't have to last forever.

Thanks!
What I do when I need replacements is to find a marina that is upgrading, they are usually happy to get rid of one for $100 or so rather than cut it up. Building your own gets pricey real quick with galvanized hardware and PT lumber.
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Cheap floating dock -- how to build?

I use plastic drums, 2x4's and plywood.
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Cheap floating dock -- how to build?

try northern tool. they ship their trailers with blocks of stryofoam. free for the asking.

-put them in the plastic drums. -those drums will leak and sink... eventually.
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Cheap floating dock -- how to build?

I built a 12x12 swim dock when I was 14. Used treated 2x6 for the frame and treated 1x6 deck planks. Dad found 4 plastic barrels for me from somewhere; used galvanized strapping to attach to dock. Screwed in a big eye to the center of the bottom, attached 15' of poly line and 5' of chain wrapped around a scrap VW motor. Swam it out to the middle of the lake, dropped motor over where it sank 3' into the soft silty mud. (36 acre private property lake)

That dock stayed out there for 15 years, through all sorts of weather and got LOTS of use. We even slept overnight on it a few times. Used to take chicks out there....and it was party central for night time, um, experimental, things....shot off a ton of fireworks for the 4th.....

Oh yeah...forgot....bought a cheapo pool ladder from Gibson's...the kind made for the above ground pools....and bolted it to the dock so it was half in, half out of the water.

We got alot of use out of that dock......
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Cheap floating dock -- how to build?

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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
I use plastic drums, 2x4's and plywood.
X10. It is bit a "red Neck" style, but it works well for years. Many 50 Gal plastic drums, pressure treated lumber 2x4 or 2x6, plywood or use deck board.
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Cheap floating dock -- how to build?

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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
I use plastic drums, 2x4's and plywood.
Sometimes you can get those drums pretty cheap (free)

Personally, I wonder how the plastic lumber would work on the non-decking areas. Granted, most docks I have seen that rotted away seem to start with the deck, but it is an idea to build an all plastic dock
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Old 02-07-2013
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Re: Cheap floating dock -- how to build?

They have Patio Decking planks that are plastic
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Old 02-07-2013
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Re: Cheap floating dock -- how to build?

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They have Patio Decking planks that are plastic
$$$$$ a single 2X is about $50 here. Used construction lumber would be the cheapest option - set the kids to work pulling the nails.

I sometimes see those foam filled tire floats very cheap on CL. I would monitor your local CL closely - there is an amazing amount and variety of stuff very cheap there - lots of surplus construction material.

The plastic drums are probably the cheapest option but filling them with foam wouldn't be. Can the lids be "welded" on to seal them permanently?
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Re: Cheap floating dock -- how to build?

Our club has build hundreds of feet of floats always using treated lumber on frames supported by those 6 or 8 ft foam billets.. they are not horribly expensive, and while bulky are not heavy. Lay the billets on the ground, build up a braced non-twisting frame. We used nylon strapping to attach the billets to the frame, then plank the float, add bullrails and cleats. Add extra foam to support ramp weights, power boxes, etc as required.
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