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best way to move a floating dock by boat

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best way to move a floating dock by boat

Old 04-04-2018, 03:59 AM
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Default best way to move a floating dock by boat

should be simple moving a 40 ft section of 6 ft wide floating dock about 5 miles in the waterway. thinking about on skiff pushing and another in the front to guide it. anyone have a better way to move it?
Old 04-04-2018, 04:05 AM
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Tie it off along side of you and drive it home
Old 04-04-2018, 04:22 AM
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A single 40’ section? I have 12’ sections that have moved with a skiff. Watch the wind and current. I would certainly have a couple boats for 40’.
Old 04-04-2018, 04:28 AM
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I have a friend who towed a long section of floating dock from somewhere in the Fort Myers area to Marco Island with a 20' Wellcraft. The story is funny as hell. He took a couple of old timers from the neighborhood with him. They decided to ride back to Marco on the dock. As they got further south, police reports were coming in of a submarine sighting with human trafficking going on just off the beach. He met every branch of law enforcement that day.
Old 04-04-2018, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Classic25 View Post
I have a friend who towed a long section of floating dock from somewhere in the Fort Myers area to Marco Island with a 20' Wellcraft. The story is funny as hell. He took a couple of old timers from the neighborhood with him. They decided to ride back to Marco on the dock. As they got further south, police reports were coming in of a submarine sighting with human trafficking going on just off the beach. He met every branch of law enforcement that day.
that sounds like a good time lol
Old 04-04-2018, 04:52 AM
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I have towed a few docks much larger than this - even double deckers. Tow is the key here - just like a boat would be towed. I do not recommend pushing or tying on beside it. Just don’t get in a hurry! Good luck!
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:05 AM
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Hip Tow them. We used to do this at the marina all the time. We built docks in the winter and delivered them via water in the spring. Used a 12 foot workboat with a 40 Etec on the back
Old 04-04-2018, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by yknot fishing View Post
should be simple moving a 40 ft section of 6 ft wide floating dock about 5 miles in the waterway. thinking about on skiff pushing and another in the front to guide it. anyone have a better way to move it?

A little more detail will help. What kind of waterway are you talking about? Flat calm lake, River with strong current Bay with chop? and what kind of boats do you have available at either end.

For close quarter maneuvering, I would want my bow directly into one end of the dock, secured tight, and lines to each side to keep me centered. Then push it like a tug would a barge. Once you are out in open water switch to a tow, make sure you have enough line that your prop wash is not fighting the dock as you tow.
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Old 04-04-2018, 08:38 AM
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you might want to temporarily swap out your regular prop for a lower pitch prop
Old 04-04-2018, 09:01 AM
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Tow it to the new location. Avoid any attempts to push the dock; they will not go well. You might want to have another boat and a few extra hands with you to assist with maneuvering when you arrive at your destination. How about putting an outboard on one end of the floating dock along with a few deck chairs and making a day of it?
Old 04-04-2018, 09:14 AM
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If the waterway is sheltered or you can choose a calm day I would definitely hip up to it and tow alongside.

If choppy or unprotected waters than I would tow behind using a towing bridle for steering control and have a second bot available to help control it when making arrival at the new location.

I second the idea of a simple 2x12 outboard mount, a 15-25hp outboard and some deck chairs with cold beer.
Old 04-04-2018, 09:16 AM
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You tie it to the back of your boat and find a slow speed that works best. I would recommend picking a time when your running with the tide not against. I've done it several times.
Old 04-04-2018, 09:22 AM
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This was a 6 mile tow on the St Johns River here in Jacksonville. Towed behind due to ship and tugboat wakes it was too rough to tow alongside. We put it on the hip when coming alongside the pilings at my Dad’s place.


Old 04-04-2018, 09:39 AM
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Towing three 120' float strings side by side up a river with 16' boat and 40 e-tek. Trick is to have the tow post a couple feet ahead of the stern
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:41 AM
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by KP06 View Post
I second the idea of a simple 2x12 outboard mount, a 15-25hp outboard and some deck chairs with cold beer.
Legally speaking, the dock would need to be licensed and registered as a vessel to do this.
Old 04-04-2018, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by The Peddler View Post
Legally speaking, the dock would need to be licensed and registered as a vessel to do this.
That's why nothing simple can get done quickly in our Country - too much regulation.
Old 04-04-2018, 11:29 AM
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I would pull it and when I got close throw it in a proper hip tow. Also don't be in a big hurry. towing puts a lot of stress on your lower unit. Also use a longer rope. One of those cheap twisted nylon ropes is great because it floats and has a lot of stretch.

The way to tie up for a hip tow is to have your stern a little further back then the dock and angle your bow into the dock a little bit. a stern line, 2 springs, and a bow line.

Might also be worth working something out with a tow boat.
Old 04-04-2018, 11:37 AM
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I wouldn't push unless you have proper "push bars" not sure what they are called. I know that my friend pushes his barges but he has a boat with custom push bars welded to the front.

Also fyi, when ships are pulled up and down the Miami River the tug in the back does all the steering, the front just pulls straight. I think those guys have some experience on maneuvering a vessel in tow.
Old 04-04-2018, 12:46 PM
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For 40' I wouldn't hip tow it. Pull it behind you with a bridle, or tie off to one corner. If the skiff your using is like a whaler or Carolina skiff with a square bow, start pushing when you get in confined quarters. If your motor is anything over 15 hp you can easily do this without damage to your boat or motor. A lot of misguided responses here, you can easily do that with one boat and anything over a 15 hp if you know how to tow and how it will respond.

Last edited by gregb5220; 04-04-2018 at 12:57 PM.

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