Posted on: 15 January 2015Share
Most boat owners understand the rigorous upkeep it takes to maintain their seafaring vessel. The task of maintaining a dock, however, can often be overlooked. Because of the relentless exposure to the elements, marine docks present a unique construction obstacle and must be cared for regularly. To enable the most use out of your marine investment, here are the top tips on how to maintain your boat dock.
1. Waterproof the wood.
If made of wood, water sealant should be applied to the dock and reapplied every 3 to 5 years. This will help keep molding and decay at bay. Certain hardwoods may also require extra oiling to keep the area pristine.
2. Check the hardware.
Fasteners, bolts, and nails can often become dislodged. It is important to periodically check for and tighten loose hardware, and hammer down any protruding nails. If hardware is missing, make sure to replace it with water and weather resilient pieces to avoid erosion and rust.
3. Prepare for rough water.
When unexpected weather occurs or you are teaching your kids how to bring her in for the first time, your boat may experience a bumpy docking. Place a rubber cover around the edges and corners of the dock to absorb the shock from any messy parking. This will help protect both the dock and the boat from damage.
4. Sand it down.
When it is showing some superficial wear and tear, sanding down your dock can help restore the quality of the wood. By getting rid of minor decay and splintering, you will extend the lifespan of your dock as well as avoid hazardous areas of people walking on the dock. Make sure to reapply a waterproof sealant after sanding.
5. Look after your pilings.
The foundation of your dock is perhaps the most important to watch out for. Pilings, the vertical planks secured into the water's floor that hold up the dock, should be regularly inspected by a professional and coated in a polyethylene piling wrap. This thick plastic will help protect the pilings from future corrosion.
Minor boat dock upkeep can easily be done by any boat owner, but it's always best to leave the big stuff to the professionals. After boating related accidents or weather induced trauma, make sure to hire a professional to assist with the diagnosis and repair. Consult a marine construction expert (such as Abbott's Construction Services Inc.) in your area if damages on your dock seem severe.