Dock installation has a reputation for being the most hated chore a cottage owner has to tackle each year. Those who hate it are usually in the same situation – they own a heavy all-pine dock that requires 100% augering.
We talk to dozens of customers each year who, in frustration, decide they’ll do or pay almost anything to eliminate this back-breaking work. They look at rolling docks and many other fancy options, only to find out that they’re mega-expensive and most of them don't work nearly as well as advertised.
Did you know a properly designed conventional dock can be installed in about 3 minutes per section without any augering or heavy lifting, even in muck? You can save thousands of dollars while retaining the flexibility of nearly any configuration is icing on the cake.
There are a few basics things that are key to quick, easy assembly:
Light Weight Sections
No matter what style of dock you have, remember that if it's not light, it's not easy. Old splintery, hot, all-wood sections often weigh 200 – 250 pounds, or potentially more if they're wet. Alumi-Span offers over 25 different sizes and styles of dock sections ranging in weight from 45-150 lbs. All aluminum and vinyl docks are by far the lightest; however, Alumi-Span also offers a cedar option with weights just slightly more than our all aluminum or vinyl sections. Cedar saves a lot of money as compared to the more maintenance free materials and it is still significantly lighter than a pine dock.
Many conventional wood docks and some aluminum frames ones do not have a stringer bracket to connect the dock to the crossarm. A dock like this has to be augered or the poles would fall over. Adding stringer brackets and bottom plates to an existing dock with conventional augers can automatically take a lot of the work out of it.
Q: “That solution is for a dock with bottom plates, and I have a pontoon boat that I tie directly to the dock in high winds. I have to auger, don't I?”
A: In most cases you don't. You can simply install our inexpensive permanent augers.
These rugged units are designed to be left under the ice all year, creating a permanent underwater base for our regular post. It's just as fast as bottom plates and gives you the added option of dropping fully assembled supports into the bases first.
You can use a combination of permanent augers and bottom plates depending on where you need the support of an augered post. We also offer large bottom plates for areas where a larger plate is needed. These can be especially useful for installing trusses - just like the permanent augers, the large bottom plates will allow you to stand the trusses up and simply lay the sections on them. A properly designed dock using these components only requires you to remove or tighten 4 bolts per section when installing or taking out your dock.
Q: “That’s fine for beach conditions but what about heavy muck, that can't be easy!”
A: That’s where Alumi-Span’s famous Bigfoot System comes in!
These units work just like Perma Augers, but are designed to push down into muddy bottoms. Once installed they form a permanent underwater base that not only facilitates installation but also gives you something solid to stand on when you're in the water. Additional advantages of both permanent systems are that they place the dock for you perfectly every year and you never have to adjust anything. You can also put the farthest section in first and build back to shore since you know exactly where it will go. Also, if you absolutely insist on conventional augering, just use a few right where you tie your boat. The rest can be bottom plates.
Why Choose Alumi-Span for Aluminum Docks?
The answer is in the name! Since 1956, Alumi-Span is a name that people trust. Whether it's a complete boat dock system or the individual components, we manufacture our products using quality methods and materials. With the high quality and dependability of Alumi-Span, it's no wonder so many property owners in Michigan have selected our aluminum docks over the years. In Detroit and the surrounding areas, we’ve built a reputation you can depend on.
Interested in a new dock or replacement parts that will last? Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 855-523-2444 to find out more.