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Cheap dock ideas

 
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Hey guys we recently moved to a new property and have an abundance of water now. There’s a lake within 100feet of my back yard and a large pound even closer then that. So I’m interested in cheap docks you guys have built?
I’ve been saving pallets from work and thinking that might be a start. Only problem is there osb ones mainly so I’m worried they’ll rot quickly. I don’t want to spen to much because I don’t have a nice beach on ether one. The pond is deep mud on the edge and the lake is 100feet of cattails. Mainly just hoping to be able to gain access to the water without having to use waders, and to be able to launch my kayaks from them. Thanks for any ideas/pictures of docks you guys have made.
 
pollinator
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Perhaps something akin to a Neolithic trackway?

Edited to add a link to this TimeTeam episode where they excavate a Neolithic trackway and endeavor to build a replica section using Neolithic methods

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pollinator
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario -Zone 1b
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James Whitelaw wrote:Perhaps something akin to a Neolithic trackway?



Awesome post! Thank you.
 
pollinator
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You could make a spit of land in the way that chinampas are constructed.

All that would be needed would be stakes of about three feet long pounded about halfway in as a border and retaining wall. To this, you would bucket dredge sediment from the pond until it brimmed and was filling the area enclosed by the stake perimeter. Branches and slash could be added perpendicular to the upright stakes on the inside before adding the sediment, so as to keep more of the sediment there.

If you're taking from the pond, you would probably end up with the raised bed bordered in all the wet-footed and reedbed species, but I would speed this up, as well as seeding the new spit with a custom seed mix designed to like wet feet and to form shallow root mats that hold the soil structure, and therefore the new chinampas-inspired causeway-dock, together.

But that's just a thought for if you don't have materials suitable for the Neolithic trackway. Let us know how you proceed, and good luck.

-CK
 
Jacob Hendrickson
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That Neolithic pathway is a great idea. I need to clear some fist sized trees anyway so I could use that material from that. Do you think the under rail is needed? I suppose it adds support so you’re stakes don’t tip. Only thing I’d be worried about is deeper water. The cattails form floating mats on the edges but if you step off you’ll go from knee deep on the mat to  neck deep with your waist in mud. Would this same design still work in that deep of water?
 
pollinator
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Here in Missouri, the redneck solution is 55 gallon poly drums. They float when needed and keep your boardwalk or dock out of the muck when there's not enough water to float. Just get those bungs on tight! And of course you have to have them at least a little corralled under your dock with some simple carpentry.
 
Jacob Hendrickson
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Yeah I thought about the floating dock I’ll have to do some digging on Facebook/ Craigslist for barrels. I think a combo of floating/ Neolithic might be the way I end up. Still open to ideas of course. I’ve still got a few months before open water so plenty of time to plan. I wonder if there’s any other options for floats other then barrels that are readily available?
 
Matt Todd
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Jacob Hendrickson wrote:Yeah I thought about the floating dock I’ll have to do some digging on Facebook/ Craigslist for barrels. I think a combo of floating/ Neolithic might be the way I end up. Still open to ideas of course. I’ve still got a few months before open water so plenty of time to plan. I wonder if there’s any other options for floats other then barrels that are readily available?



Drums are somewhere between free and cheap. The only other option I can think of is the floats you buy at the big box hardware stores made explicitly for this purpose. Not cheap, but a heckuva lot easier to link and attach decking to than drums.
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steward
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That Neolithic track way is cool!  I think the under rail is needed to keep the pegs from laying down (falling open) over time.  One huge concern for some areas would be if you get frozen water.  I'm guessing significant ice would mess them up but I'm not sure.

100' of dock isn't usually cheap but there are ways to do it.  One common way around here is to put in pilings (vertical pegs).  Maybe a pair of them 3' apart and put them every 8 feet.  Then run beefy boards down the length of the pilings.  After that you can lay pallets on the rails, use fancy deck boards, use reclaimed deck boards, etc.  Since the pilings are vertical I suspect they wouldn't be damaged by the ice as badly.  But they might be pushed around...

Could you trim out a swath of cattails so your dock only has to get you onto the water and you can paddle through the cattails to open water?
 
pollinator
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Build a hovercraft, it may be easier.
 
Jacob Hendrickson
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I’d like to cut the cattails back anyway to promote more habitat for ducks. how it is now it’s just to deep and we get wood ducks in the yard eating acorns but few ducks on the lake. I’d like to change that by exposing mud flats to some degree. So that would help with the length of dock needed.I just don’t know how to deal with floating cattail mats? I’m going to cut and burn some of them to reduce mass, (or possibly use it as mulch) while the lake is frozen. once it thaws what does one do to the floating root mass that would be left? If it was feasible to pull them out I would but it’s like 4 acres long. That would be tough to carry out threw the cattails that are left. I also plan on relocating muskrats from my grandparents place to my lake to help cut them back as I hear that works to a degree.
Anyway back to the dock I think a path in the shallows with a floating dock/ kayak landing pad at the end is what I’ll end up doing. Can pilings be made of wood? I suppose that’s a possibility as well.
 
Mike Haasl
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Yup, pilings are traditionally wood.  I think Tamarack is common, probably cedar or black locust would work as well.  
 
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