With Instructables you can share what you make with the world, and tap into an ever-growing community of creative experts.
I would love to have a dock that I can use for my boat as well as to just relax on. How big does a dock need to be for a boat? Would this dock be big enough? I like the size of this one because it looks small enough that I could pull it out of the water in the winter. It's too bad that I am not good at building things, but I know some good professionals.http://www.customdocksllc.com/
Floating Dock with Barrels (UPDATED)
We built this using the published plan but increased the size to 12X12. Used 8 barrels for stability. Used 2X8's with 2X6 interior stringers for strength. The 2X4's are then angled to better fit the barrels and also fit within the 2X8's with little overhang. The L brackets had to be bent to also secure to the 2X6's. I did not build the ramp as it will be tethered to my new dock when not moved to the middle. With the 8 barrels, two of us can walk around on it with very little movement. I still need to trim the deck boards, add the ladder and cleats and anchor but I'm calling it a success.
Looks great! How well do the barrels withstand winter and the lake freezing around it? Will they start to crack after several harsh winters in the lake?
Will I have to cut the two top supports to fit them in the frame?
never heard of that - see above re wt allowance for each barrel - check to see if you got good sturdy barrels - JanetM84
Sent you a private e-mail re this idea. Mcjanet @mail.com or at friends's email@example.com - JanetM84
COPY OF MSG ALSO SENT VIA E-MAIL BECAUSE I AM VERY KEEN TO SEE HOW YOU BUILT THIS:::GeniusWe want a floating dock but need to pull it out of the water each fall because of ice where we live. Yours is the first one I have ever seen that is self rolling - We are seniors and need something like this so we can pull it out with a vehicle of some sort. Please, let me know how to build this as soon as you can. Currently our pier is all over the place because it floated off its stands [water in lake rose] so yours would simply go up and down with the water level, Again, geniusMy e-mail is Mcjanet@mail.com or you can send this to a friend at firstname.lastname@example.org - JanetM84
This is a great design, thank you! How did you drive the poles into the ground? Did you have to dig them out, and did you use concrete? Thanks!
We have a cottage on the Alleghany River in Pa. 50+/- years ago (I'm 59 so i was a kid!) Our grandfather built our families a floating swimming raft using 4 or 6 55 gallon steel/metal drums that were readily availble then...at least for him!!With the river having a current, he attached a cement block on a chain that became an anchor. The water (and sometimes riders on the raft) helped us lift the anchor and walk further out from the edge of the river, into deeper water, or carrying it back upstream if our jumping or diving or more likely the current dragged the anchor downstream and not in front of his and our side-by-side cottages. He also placed handles at the sides of the deck so we could help pull it upstream. We'd put the anchor up on the deck and just use the handles if there were as usual 4 or so kids to pull it along.To add to your design: 1) we only used this swimming deck for swimming and not a dock.2) he purposely placed the barrels in the direction to allow the dock to rock from side to side to help swimmers in the water to jump back up on the deck. If it didn't rock, it would be harder to climb on. Its much easier to hop on if it tips toward you.3) the heavy steel drums floated lower in the water so it was easier to climb up on the deck.4) We made another dock years later for my kids as the old one floated away when heavy rains made the river higher and lifted the cement block up. As it wasn't resting on the bottom of the river, it just floated downstream when we weren't there. A fix may have been a longer chain. The plastic drums we used made it harder for our kids to jump on since it didn't rock down to climb on. We had to add a ladder to the front so they could get back on by climbing up the ladder.5) he stapled an old piece of carpet to cover the deck and the sides so we didn't scrape or get splinters in our arms or bellies when pulling ourselves up on deck to dive or jump off again.. 6) at the end of summer, our parents...mabe 6 or 8 men...carried it up away from the river. As winter snow melts would raise the water level, we were unable to leave it out in the river or at the edge, so it was lugged up and stored out of water until the following year.So if a person reading your excellent instructions for building this deck is "messed up" and is too unstable to walk on...keep the mistake for swimmers and build another one with the barrels turned in a different direction! And I'd also recommend using clean, and sealed heavier steel drums for a swimming deck! This is one of my most favorite things in my early pre-teen and teenage years growing up on the Allegheny River!
I used barrels as both flotation and as rollers to move the dock. If I had to build this again, I would place the barrels so that they would extend outward from the side to provide more stability. There are aluminum brackets which capture the ends of the barrel and has rollers which the barrel to roll. My barrels also flattened once they hit the cold water. I had sealed them on avery hot day without considering the physics of air cooling and contracting.
Dave, You probably sealed your barrels on a hot day and the air cooled when it hit the water and contracted the barrels. I would think that if you floated the barrels for a couple of hours prior to sealing them and launching that this would not happen.
Great Design. I old school rolled it into the water with logs.
Just over 500 lbs. Provided this is fully submerged...
How many barrels did you use for your 10x10 raft?
I like the Idea but any chance of getting a photo posted of the posts you used for stabilizing the dock, I just wanted to see how the posts looked after.
Here are seven reasons why 55 gallon drums make better dockfloats: 1. Drums are more Rugged – The walls of a typical 55gallon drum are twice as thick as the walls of standard rectangular dock float.A 55 gallon drum can be beat with a sledge hammer without damage. Do NOT trythis on a rectangular dock float. 2. Drums don’t require Foam Filling – Rectangular dockfloats are typically foam filled to keep the walls of the float fromcollapsing. This increases the weight of the float and If the float ever getspunctured, the foam inside can become water logged with no way to dry it out.Drums, on the other hand, have a shape that makes them strong without requiringfoam filling. If, somehow, they ever get punctured, the water can be easilydrained and the hole welded up, returning the float to 100% capacity. 3. Drums won’t crush in the Ice – The round shape of adrum keep the ice from grabbing hold of it. As the lake freezes, the drums getpushed up on top of the ice. When the ice thaws and shifts, the drums and thedock are not damaged. Rectangular floats will easily crush in the ice. 4. Drums slide easily across the Ground – The roundshape and ruggedness of drums allow a dock to be easily dragged over sand,gravel, even small rocks. Hook your dock up to your truck and drag it up onshore. 5. Drums sit the dock higher above the Water – Atypical dock floating on 55 gallon drums will sit about 20” above the waterwhere as a dock on rectangular floats will sit only 10-16” depending on thedesign. A higher floating dock more in line with pontoon boats and ski boats. 6. Drums are much less Expensive – Brand newrectangular dock floats can cost anywhere from $110-140 not including shipping.A brand new 55 gallon drum is only about $50 and used drums are almost alwaysavailable in the $5-15 range. 7. Drums are already Everywhere – Shipping a singlerectangular dock float can cost $30-45. But used drums are already available injust about every community. Just search for “55 gallon drums” or “55 gallonbarrels” on Craig’s List. Locally available drums dramatically reduce shippingcosts.
Good Day! May I ask you something? What is the maximum load that a single 55-gallon plastic barrel could carry? I just need to know for my research purposes. Thanks :D
Join 2 million + to receive instant DIY inspiration in your inbox.
Download our apps!
© 2016 Autodesk, Inc.