Freeze Proofing Your Floating Dock

freeze proof channel dock freeze proof dock on lake RollingBarge.com sells two classes of floating docks the “Channel Dock” and the “Truss Dock”. Both kits use 55 gallon polyethylene plastic drums as the floats. The strength of the aluminum combined with the flexibility and shape of the drums allows these docks to survive the freezing and thawing of most ponds and lakes.

The pictures above show four of our Channel Dock sections:
    4×6’ Ramp
    4×12’ Floating Gangway
    8×8’ Floating Dock
    8×8’ Floating Dock

These four sections are hinged together and the entire system was allowed to freeze into the ice. Leaving the dock on the ice not only saves the hassle of removing and installing it, but it allows it to be used all year round including times when the lake is only partially frozen (extending your ice fishing season!) channel dock sections floating dock on freezing lake Why are most floating docks removed before the lake freezes?

Typically it is not the freeze that damages floating docks, but a partial thaw. Most floating docks use rectangular dock floats. rectangular floating dock float floating dock float These floats have vertical sides that drop down in the ice. During a thaw the ice can break or crack and put tremendous pressure on the sides of the dock float causing it to crush or puncture. blue barrel for floating dock black barrel for floating dock white barrel for floating dock However, the 55 gallon plastic drums are made from much thicker plastic than the typical dock float, and they are shaped so that as the ice moves the barrels are forced up onto the ice instead of being crushed. truss dock on freezing lake freeze proof truss dock Above is a 4×8’ section of our Truss Dock that we let freeze into the ice. With our Truss Docks, it is important that the dock is not loaded up with furniture or something else that would cause the frame to touch the water. If the dock frame is allowed to freeze into the ice it could be damaged when the ice thaws.

Our Truss Docks are designed with one 55 gallon drum per every 8 square feet. This insures that the frame stays above the ice even with Trex style laminated wood decking (which weighs about 5lbs/sqft).

Connecticut Gangway Installation

We sold this gangway system to Tyler in Connecticut. Tyler owns a marine contractor business and was given the job of fixing up the docking area at a lighthouse in Connecticut. The gangway was 20’ long and 4’ wide with a live load capacity of 1,000 lbs. and was decked in a marine grade treated plywood.

Tyler and his team custom built their own dock for the system, assembled the gangway and towed them both out to the lighthouse. They attached the gangway to the island using some of their own custom built seawall connectors. The gangway rolled on the dock and they wrapped it all up by installing a couple of stiff arms to hold the dock in place. Tyler was very happy with the ease of assembly and left us 5-stars in his review.
Here is a link to a video of Tyler’s gangway installation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAXXZuv8Al0
Gangway Shipment

Gangway Shipment

4 Foot Wide Gangway

4 Foot Wide Gangway

Gangway Attached to Seawall

Gangway Attached to Seawall

Long Island Sound Floating Dock Assembly & Launch

We sold this truss dock system to the Douglaston Club in New York City. Robert was in charge of putting the dock together and launching it for the use of club members. The dock system comprised of two 8×24’ truss docks (bolted together into a 16×24’. The system used a total of 32 barrels and allowed 384 square feet of dock space. The dock was installed on the Long Island Sound making our ABYC saltwater approved design critical to this application.

Robert assembled the kits on a small basketball court, taking advantage of the level ground to help the pre-drilled holes line up. When the docks were fully assembled, he loaded them onto a tow truck and launched them onto the sound. He bolted the docks together on the water and anchored it to the sea floor. This dock system also took advantage of our ability to issue a Boat Certificate of Origin to allow the dock to be legally registered as a boat. This can save on dock permitting costs or even allow you to install a dock in a location that typically do not allow them.

Ontario Canada Floating Dock Assembly

We sold this truss dock to John for use on a lake in Ontario, Canada. The dock system one 8×16’ truss dock and used a total of 12 barrels. This lake freezes over every year and John did not want to be bothered with taking the dock out every fall. Our freeze-proof floating dock designed proved perfect for his application.

John’s team spent about three days assembling this dock. Once assembled, the team launched the new dock and tied it off to the two existing docks. John is happy with his product and is expecting to order more docks in the near future.
Canada Floating Dock Shipment

Canada Floating Dock Shipment

Truss Dock Barrel Installation

Truss Dock Barrel Installation

55 Gallon Barrel Dock Floats

55 Gallon Barrel Dock Floats

Truss Dock Aluminum Cross Bracing

Truss Dock Aluminum Cross Bracing

Floating Dock Pre Launch

Floating Dock Pre Launch

8x16 Floating Dock

8×16 Floating Dock

Rolling Barge Truss Dock Kit

Rolling Barge Truss Dock Kit