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Boat Maintenance on Floating Dock

Old 11-15-2020, 12:07 PM
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Default Boat Maintenance on Floating Dock

I am evaluating various floating boat docks such as jetdock, EZdock, etc. and need help understanding how maintenance is performed on boats on these floating docks. My boat has a single outboard engine. For example, how do I perform an oil change? How do I flush the engine after each use? How do I repair anything on the engine such as trim motor/ solenoids? The floating docks have a couple of feet around the sides of the boat for walking around the sides of the boat and boarding the boat, but no room directly behind the boat/ access directly behind the engine. Based on the vast majority of the traditional boat lifts I have seen, it is the same situation. Limited access on the sides and no direct access from the rear. The only difference is that the traditional boat lifts are raised much higher in the air. Appreciate any insight.
Old 11-15-2020, 05:11 PM
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No problem on changing oil w extractor pump or flushing with port built into modern outboards. Very hard to change lower unit oil on one of these docks without getting wet. Getting wet is the easiest way without hauling. Where are you located? We are a dealer for Wave Armor in NC.
Old 11-15-2020, 06:32 PM
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On lift it is easy for lower unit or prop work, use another boat or platform. I use Oil vacuum extraction even with boats on a trailer. You may need to borrow a trailer for some maintenance.

For flushing, you don't tell us what engine you have. Most engines have a fresh water flushing port somewhere on the outside. I just hook up a garden hose, and what ever fitting is required and fush for 5 minutes as soon as I get into the dock. With the floating dock, I probably would leave the motor down and for the flush, and then pull it up and rinse off.

Last edited by thataway; 11-15-2020 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Adding information
Old 11-16-2020, 03:21 AM
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Probably a lot easier to haul it out on a trailer for an annual engine service.
Old 11-16-2020, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Clinker View Post
Probably a lot easier to haul it out on a trailer for an annual engine service.
I have a separate floating work platform to get to the back of the motor if needed. Otherwise I put it on my trailer for the annual service in my driveway.
Old 11-16-2020, 06:37 AM
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I do not believe gear lube can be done properly on a floating dock. The rest should be easy, You would need to get motor trimmed down and completely out of the water to do gear lube. It can be done a traditional lift with a work float.

Old 11-16-2020, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Clinker View Post
Probably a lot easier to haul it out on a trailer for an annual engine service.
This is the best answer. Why wouldn't you just put her on a trailer quarterly to inspect and maintain?
Old 11-16-2020, 06:47 AM
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changing the oil is simple with a vacuum pump.
flushing is simple as long as your engine has a flush port.
lower unit stuff isn't really going to happen on most floating docks because you can't the engine trimmed down without some of the lower unit in the water.
on mine, I have the air assist dock, so I miiiiight be able to pump up the ass end as high as it can go and be able to trim the motors down without them being in the water.
Honestly, I haven't tried. I just put the boat on the trailer because I want to drop the lowers every time I do service.
When I had my boat on a traditional lift, I was able to remove and install a lower unit by using another boat as my "platform".


Old 11-16-2020, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by coores14 View Post
changing the oil is simple with a vacuum pump.
flushing is simple as long as your engine has a flush port.
lower unit stuff isn't really going to happen on most floating docks because you can't the engine trimmed down without some of the lower unit in the water.
on mine, I have the air assist dock, so I miiiiight be able to pump up the ass end as high as it can go and be able to trim the motors down without them being in the water.
Honestly, I haven't tried. I just put the boat on the trailer because I want to drop the lowers every time I do service.
When I had my boat on a traditional lift, I was able to remove and install a lower unit by using another boat as my "platform".

What size boat do you have and manufacturer of your dock. Looking at getting one of these
Old 11-16-2020, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Funtimz View Post
What size boat do you have and manufacturer of your dock. Looking at getting one of these

Old 11-16-2020, 12:34 PM
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Engine maintenance like your boat is on a trailer or in the yard is just not happening on a lift or a jet dock. I have/had both and you can't expect to do lower unit oil changes or complete draining of the oil from either. On the Candock/Jet dock our Whaler sits on I don't even attempt engine maintenance. I'll pull the boat on it's trailer to do that. When I had my twin engine lift kept Southport, using a floating work dock/barge worked in a pinch, (but most don't have the space to keep a spare work dock). Even then, when I did work from a floating dock on my twin Yami's, it is challenging due to the dock moving no matter how well you tie it off. Oil drips/spills are the norm, and just a few drops of oil make a big mess for your neighbors to complain about. I mostly used the dock to access the props for polishing or changing zincs, and pumped out the crankcase oil with a Moeller vacuum pump. Lower unit oil changes are best left to end of season, or yearly maintenance when the boat is in for service on the hard.
Old 11-16-2020, 01:53 PM
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Thanks everyone for the insight. I am new to this and just assumed everyone was performing maintenance on their boats while on their lifts. I am not ready to purchase anything this year, but I will include having to pull the boat out for this type of maintenance in my considerations. I will have to make sure the engine can be flushed as you described. I don't know where any connection is for flushing... I only know it is a Yamaha 150 and likely a 2015. Thanks again!
Old 11-16-2020, 05:59 PM
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Side of the motor just below the cowling should have what looks like a female hose end. Unscrew it and put hose on it but be sure not to loose the rubber gasket.

As far as the lift and service, couldn't you use a trash can or metal wash pan with weight in the bottom to hold it down some and work in the dry hole? Not sure if that would work Just a thought.
Old 11-17-2020, 08:33 AM
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Biggest pain in the butt is trying to get to your drain plug...nearly impossible!
Old 11-29-2020, 04:53 PM
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Thanks. What about attaching these ports? I understand from research you can attach them to the seawall with metal bars of some type or mount a couple of metal poles down into the sea bed to hold the port in place. If you attach to the seawall, does driving the boat on/ off the port put undue stress on the seawall so I should stay away from that and install poles into sea bed?

I did not think about the drain plug before either, so I will have to research that. With these ports being sold... Wave Armor and Jetdock, etc., however, there must be a way for customers to reach the drain plug... or are people just not removing their drain plugs? My boat is self-bailing so maybe I don't need to remove the drain plug at all.
Old 11-29-2020, 06:41 PM
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I remove my drain plug maybe once a year.
Why does it HAVE to be removed every trip?

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