Owning a boat is a wonderful thing. You get to enjoy the freedom and beauty of the open sea, but it comes with costs back at home. Every time you bring your boat back home after cruising up and down the Gulf Coast or along Florida’s inland waterways, you are tying it up to your dock. With thousands invested in your boat, don’t you want to know you are tying it up to a dock worthy of securing your boat? Your boat dock, like everything else that comes in contact with Florida’s waters, is going to require maintenance and upkeep from time to time. Keep an eye out for these four signs your dock might need a facelift.
Warped or Cracked Supports
Depending upon the type of materials used in the construction of your boat dock, you may need to watch out for warped or cracked supports. Currents and waves can cause the structure to warp or bend over time due to sustained pressure, and sometimes that constant pressure can even lead to a crack or break in the supports. Other factors such as an accidental collision between your boat and dock can lead to warping and cracking.
The type of support damaged makes a difference too. Smaller supports can often be replaced individually or repaired without significant cost. A load-bearing support should be addressed right away so you don’t risk injury should the dock collapse.
Although many homeowners transition to synthetic materials in their docking, there are still those with wooden docks. The most common source of rot is fungus from the water that seeps in and causes dry rot, a condition in which the wood decays and crumbles. If it is confined to one area of your dock, it is possible to replace the individual boards with new treated lumber. If the wood rot is out of control, it is best to consult the marine construction specialists at Gibson Marine to determine the cost of replacement and learn about the benefits of different docking materials.
Foundation Damage Under the Waterline
Most residents along Florida’s Gulf Coast have docks that are permanently installed on pillars and underwater foundational supports. These docks offer convenience to you as a homeowner because you have a long-term, stable foundation that allows you to focus on the surface of your dock. However, you still need to be wary of any cracks in your foundational supports. They should be addressed immediately.
Rusted Platforms and Supports
If your boat dock has metal components in the platform or supports, the corrosive saltwater along the coast is going to eat away at the metal over time. Small rust spots can often be repaired or replaced with ease, but if rust is prevalent, it’s time to consider replacing your entire structure in the interest of safety.
Your boat dock might seem like a utilitarian place to load and unload your friends and family from the boat, and tie your boat up when it’s not in use, but it’s an important structure. Not only does it keep your boat on your property, it holds your valuable cargo (family and friends) when they are preparing for a boat ride. Ensure you keep a structurally-sound dock by watching out for these dangerous signs of decay and damage.
If you are concerned about the condition of your dock, feel free to contact us for a professional assessment and quote for any repairs that may be needed!