How to relocate a dock

The dock at its old location.

[right] Soon after we arrived at our camp for the first time in June 2004, we found out from Ed Szekeres, our neighbor to the south, that for many years our dock had in fact been located on a corner of his property. A subsequent property survey confirmed this, and I thought it best that we resolve this issue. Since the dock is a floating dock, I figured that it would be relatively straight forward to detach it from the old location and simply float it along the shore to a new location, about 125 feet away, and safely on our property. As fortune would have it, my bother-in-law Pat (yellow trunks) made a timely arrival and readily agreed to provide some greatly appreciated expertise and muscle. Pat has spent a considerable amount of time restoring his family's 100-acre southern Ohio farm and has a wealth of practical knowledge about real world homestead maintenance.

We float the dock

[left] The dock is now free from the shore and we are about to float it out into the lake. I have dug out around the end of the dock where it rests on the shore, and removed the chains and boulders which secured the dock to the shore. The dock is now more or less free, ready to be floated to its new location. Note the rope securing the far corner of the dock to the shore - it was a breezy day and we didn't want the dock to blow away up the lake! Our neighbor to the north, Ed Corrigan (green shirt), keeps a watchful eye on the activity.


[right] This was not exactly what you would call a warm day (I'd guess 65 degrees) without any real sun and with a brisk breeze blowing up the lake from the southwest (from the right side of the picture). Not visible in the picture is a rope secured to the outer upwind corner of the dock. Karen is minding the rope as we begin to walk the dock along the shore (I am not sure how she managed to stay warm in that bathing suit - even uncle Pat has put on a shirt for his dip in the lake).

The lakebottom is very mucky here.

[left] Years of fallen trees and branches have made the lake bottom a mucky mess all along the shore. This is typical of the "messy" Adirondack ecoculture.

Approaching the new dock location.

[right] The dock is about to touch down at its new location. This was the site of a former dock from a older camp, now demolished. Under the surface we discovered an ancient crib which had supported the long vanished original dock. Before relocating the current dock, we spent a couple of days dismantling the old crib, and moving all the boulders up onto the shore. I was very concerned that we remove as much of the old crib as possible, especially the rusty metal rods that held it together, so that swimmers wouldn't have to worry about ripping open their feet or worse.

Too many cooks?

[left] There was some confusion when we actually "touched down", but everything was soon under control. This new location is a little shallower than the old location, so we had to splice two 8 foot pressure treated 2x8s to the walkway to extend the dock out into deeper water. I don't have any pictures of that aspect of the project

Ed Corrigan supervises.

[right] Ed Corrigan provided much appreciated advice and muscle. He was the builder the in its original location. Meanwhile, Karen is looking very demure in her gumboots.


[left] No comment really needed. Note the new decking to accommodate the added length of the walkway.