Posted on October 28, 2021
Seasonal boat owners know when there’s a chill in the air that it’s time to remove the boat dock system from the water. Your dock sits in the water all summer, and while they’re designed to be durable, they shouldn’t be left in the water in the fall and winter. This is especially true if you live by water with a lot of ice movement or an area prone to serious winter weather conditions. Once you remove and store your boat, the lift, and the accessories, it’s time to think about your dock. Approach dock removal with a plan and ensure that you’re taking proper care of it as you’re winterizing it.
Removing your dock is the first step toward winterizing it, and this process can be easier with the right accessories. ShoreMaster makes many of its docks and accessories from lightweight aluminum, which can easily be removed from the water. We also have accessories compatible with the Infinity Boat Dock system that make removal quick and easy, like a boat lifting arm, specially designed tires, and a wheel caddy.
For whatever reason, you might decide not to remove your dock from the water (although we’d recommend it if possible for longevity’s sake). If that’s the case and you’re in an area with ice formation, an agitator or bubbler installed properly can help control ice formation.
Once you get your dock out of the water, you’ll need a place to put it. Choose somewhere flat that isn’t going to flood, and use blocks or pallets under the dock sections and legs to keep them from touching the ground. Ensure that your dock is right-side up when you store it: this will allow the drain holes on the pier and legs to do their job and prevent water accumulation.
For the basics of dock decking storage, your materials don’t matter. All dock decking should be removed from the frames, cleaned thoroughly, and stored in a dry place. Storing decking inside is ideal, but if you can’t, cover the sections with a tarp or plastic to keep out the elements (but not too tightly, which can cause mold and mildew). Wood decking should be stored flat, and while you can store plastic and aluminum decking on the ends, don’t drag the panels against each other. Stack the frame sections face-to-face and clip-to-clip. Like with your dock frames, use pallets or blocking to keep sections off the ground. Mark any outdoor storage areas prone to snowfall with flags to prevent collisions with ATVs or snowmobiles.
Your dock winterizing process might look a little different depending on where you live and what your waterfront is like, which is why getting help from a local dealer that knows your water is a huge plus. ShoreMaster has an extensive dealer network. Contact a dealer near you for tips tailored to your shoreline.