Do you have a residential boat dock at your home or vacation property?
For most inland lake docks in states like Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, or any other northern state you need to remove your dock in the winter.
Piling driven commercial docks are built to withstand ice flows so they are the exception to the rule, however, most residential docks need to be removed. There are many things that can happen if a dock is left in the water for the winter, but the bottom line in most cases is that parts will be destroyed!
Ice freezing around a dock does not usually cause the majority of dock damage. In the spring, ice starts to flow and move across the lake, and that’s when your dock or anything else near the shore is in real danger.
Ice flows can not only destroy a dock, but they can also move boulders, boat lifts, and basically anything else in their path. It is very common in northern Michigan or similar climates to have ice pile up several feet high on the shore, and that is what generally causes damage to anything too close to the edge of the lake.
In a northern climate, there are only a few situations where you can leave your aluminum boat dock in the water, including:
- • Ponds and backwaters where ice flows are not an issue
- • If you have used galvanized steel tubing, where it is much less prone to rupturing if the ice freezes around the pole
If you have doubts as to whether you can leave a dock in or not, it’s wise to ask neighbors that may have a similar situation.
Many larger lakes, public and private, also have ordinances or DNR rules that prohibit leaving anything in the water due to the danger posed to snowmobile traffic in the winter.
If you’re not sure about leaving your aluminum boat dock in the water during the winter months, ask our team of experts! We’ve been building and installing aluminum boat docks for over 60 years and have the expertise and knowledge to help you. If you do have a dock that was damaged in the winter months, we can help with that too! Contact us today to learn more.