Design & DIY

Cottage Q&A: Lightweight dock options

A floating dock on a lake By Sandra Burm/Shutterstock

I have a 60-by-3-foot wooden pole dock on metal stands that has reached the end of its life. I am 65 and need lightweight removable options so I can continue doing this job myself hopefully for many more years.—Paul, via email

Brandon Jewitt, the owner of On the Water Designs in Gravenhurst, Ont., says an aluminum pole dock could be a good option. “The big advantage of aluminum over wood is that it’s very light,” he says.

The dock should be designed in multiple sections and the decking should also be removable. “It’s all about breaking the dock down into smaller pieces that are more manageable and then having those pieces be as light as possible,” says Jewitt, who notes that, at only three feet wide, your current dock is pretty narrow. “With an aluminum dock, you could do a five- or six-foot-wide dock, and it would probably still be lighter than the dock you have now.”

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While pole docks are the most stable, another option would be a floating dock, which you may even be able to leave out all year round, says Jewitt. However, at your current width of three feet, a floating dock would be very tippy. Floating docks need to be wider and are therefore more expensive than pole docks.

To make installation and removal even easier, consider adding a wheel kit to your pole dock, says Paul Koziorowski of CanadaDocks in Beeton, Ont. “They can be rolled in and out each season provided the shoreline is relatively flat and doesn’t have a steep incline.” You’ll also have to be sure there are no large boulders or other objects in the way.

This article was originally published in the August 2023 issue of Cottage Life.

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