Thursday, October 22, 2015

What's Up Dock?

Brace yourselves. Our dock is in and I have words and pictures. 

Probably too many of both, but our dock is in! 

It was actually a really interesting process, one that took all day. Plus a couple of months in the shop beforehand. The dock floats, but we'll have pilings too. Please don't ask me to explain, suffice it to say it floats.

And has pilings. 

We met our dock guy at a boat launch on the lake. They actually construct the pieces in their shop, assemble it on the water, then pull it by barge over to our lot. It must feel really satisfying to build something so well that people enjoy so very much.

Our dock guy (Bobby at Carolina Dock) has been so nice to deal with from start to finish. His crew is great too, and they enjoyed teasing hubs by showing him half the walkway and telling him that was the whole thing. Hubs tried to act like no big deal, but he was sweating on the inside thinking they'd made it only half as long as it needed to be. They were kidding of course, and I say high five to the dock build crew. It's hard to pull a fast one on hubs. 

Back to Tuesday. We pulled our camp chairs out of the trunk and plopped ourselves beside the lake to watch the dock come together. When we arrived fog was lifting from the water, and the crew was floating around in the cove, setting the roof frame in place. Before I go any further let me state for the record I'm going to make up my own words for some of the dock parts. 

Lucky for you I've got pictures. 

Eventually the guys floated over to the shoreline and cabled the barge and dock to the land. I asked the roof man if he'd ever slid off one of these things and he assured me he hadn't.  

Our dock build motto is go big or go home. Residents on the lake spend a lot of time hanging out on their docks and we want to have plenty of room for friends and family to hang there too. If you build it they will come-ha! 

But really they will so let's make room.  

Essentially it's a deck on one side of the boat lift and a 'sidewalk' on the other side of the lift. I bet hubs is shaking his head reading this because I'm not using proper boating terminology, but he loves me anyway.  

We covered the entire dock because this is South Carolina people. We'll probably add a ceiling fan under there too because July mid-afternoons on the water beg for someone to please move some air.

While all the assembling was happening we passed the time taking selfies-

...dashing across the parking lot to snap photos of the mountain backdrop-

...and feeling dazzled by the glorious October sun dancing on the water-

He is not happy at all. 
We spent a few more hours chillaxin'...

...admiring the crew's handiwork-

...and worrying about this guy sliding into the water-

Rest assured he remained securely on the roof.

I had no idea so much would be done on site, and it was a fun thing to see happen. There are a few 'parts' to connect, beginning with the dock itself or the deck as I like to call it or the swim platform as the experts call it. Then you've got the boat lift, which we'll add later. We don't have our boat yet and we don't have power on the shoreline yet, so we had the builder install brackets now and he'll come back when we're ready to add the lift.

If you're going to swim, and we're definitely going to swim, then you need a way to get yourself out of the water. We opted for what they call swim stairs which look like a ladder, but they're angled because we're not getting any younger.

Besides the dock and the roof and the stairs and the storage box, there's a walkway connecting your floating dock to your land. That's important. The lake honchos dictate where on the shoreline your dock can sit. Not precisely, but every lot has an area called the pier zone, and included in that is how far out in the water you can take your dock. Almost everyone goes out as far as their permit allows because you want to be in deep water and also you want as wide a view as possible.

We'll have another small 'pier' that fits between the walkway and shoreline but they haven't set that yet, because we need the inspector to give the okay on where we've placed the dock. We're well within our zone, so it should be just a matter of ticking a box. Once that's done the dock team will come back and drop pilings to hold the dock in place and they'll remove the cables currently holding it to the land. Everything's a process when you're building. 

After the dock, roof, walkway, stairs, and box were connected our crew pulled the barge away from the shoreline and started the ride across the lake to our lot. There she goes...

 And here she comes...

There are not enough words to describe how specific hubs was we were in directing the barge operator to the exact precise correct spot we needed him to hit.

I mean you can't have the dock sitting crooked in the water and the barge operator was so patient moving it 1/32 of an inch left, no right, no go back left, wait that's too much...bless his heart. We're not annoying at all.

There's a small island within view of our lot, and we're doing our best to put this little island in our line of sight. We rewarded the crew with Gatorade and Snickers because they earned it.

Once they got the dock in place there was still more to do, namely cabling it to the land so it doesn't float away before the pilings are dug. Details, pssht. When everything was secure hubs and I put up a couple of chairs and had us a little party.

Actually, one of our neighbors walked over and brought us a beer to toast the occasion. We chatted for a bit, and he ended up inviting us to dinner, which was so nice. His wife served us melt in your mouth roast beef and fried green tomatoes and I already told them we'd return the favor.

I also told them if it was spontaneous they'd likely not get a roast beef dinner. Wow. It was awesome. And we're happy to have neighbors who are up for last minute entertaining. We love that.

And for anyone who's's my house-

See that mountain of red dirt? Well, right behind it you'll find the makings of our house.

Hubs likes to have me stand where four of those posts are sitting and tell me I'm at the front door, except on the lower level. Okay. Whatever...the dock is in and I don't even need a house.

How 'bout we pitch a tent and live right here?


  1. If I enjoyed swimming or boating I’d be so envious right now. Envious anyway and I have a tent!

  2. Such an exciting time. Thanks for sharing your pictures and telling about the building. I'll likely never have a dock, so it was fun seeing and hearing about yours being put in. I hope you enjoy many years on that dock together.

  3. Well now I'm seriously jealous! That dock is definitely party worthy! I can see your excitement over it jumping off the page :) Beautiful shots... I love the water!

  4. Wow. I'm impressed by how the dock came floating across the water half done. Ours is all treated wood and so was built there in place. But, I love the fact that you can get it partially put together and then finished so quickly! What a beautiful thing!

    1. The dock itself is a Brazillian hardwood, but the framing is some sort of metal. Docks on the lake float as opposed to what you'd have on the rivers and Bay where the entire structure is wood and pilings are deep.

  5. Yay for a dock! It's feeling even more real now, I'll bet.

  6. So cool to see how it was assembled and placed. And I love how dock comes before house. First things first when you live on a lake. :) What kind of a boat are you getting?

    1. A bow rider, one we can ski behind. That's the plan, but we haven't made a firm decision yet. Not a pontoon...hubs is anxious to ski.

  7. WOW!! How utterly exciting that must have been! And somehow I can just "see" the parties on it already. And then WHAT nice neighbors as well. I think this is shaping up to be all you dreamed it would be. i am soo enjoying watching it all go up with you...soo glad your sharing. Have a good day!

  8. Oh, how exciting!! We have plans for a small dock and deck over our pond next summer. I'm thinking y'all will enjoy this so very much! Love seeing the progress.

  9. That's pretty exciting stuff, and must be quite the education. I could not have watched the guy on the roof. My palms sweat just looking at pictures. Beautiful views are worth every 1/32 of an inch!

  10. What a great outdoor space to sit and enjoy the water. I have to say that is something I have never seen before here in the north and I've seen a lot of lakes and a lot of docks. But, it sure is awesome!

  11. Oh my goodness... that is just like something out of a dream. How many wonderful memories are going to be made there

  12. You're right! They will come. We had more company when we had our lake house than any other time. People come by car and by boat but it was a fun time. Floating dock and walkway? No thank you. I cannot handle it with my menieres disease. We once went out with a group from Honey Bear's work and docked at a restaurant and store that was floating, I was so sick I had to walk up on land and stay until time to leave again.
    Mama Bear

    1. We love company and always have a houseful, no matter where we live. We've tried to make room for guests to be comfortable, although most people don't even mind an air mattress on the floor. I definitely relate to the need for solid ground : ) Our dock floats but the water is pretty much still in our part of the cove. Unless there's a lot of boat traffic you don't feel motion, and we don't get much boat traffic where we're situated. It's a no wake zone too, so any traffic is moving slowly.

  13. How fun!! I'm so happy you are sharing all of this with us! It feels like we are right there with you. Great to get to know your new neighbors and dinner sounds like it was awesome! I'm so excited for you! The dock is wonderful - beyond wonderful!

  14. Joyce, being totally honest here, this blog post of yours is one of the most interesting posts I've ever read on all of the blogs I follow. Thanks for the play-by-play pictures and descriptions. This is something I sincerely doubt I'll ever get to see or experience for myself, so seeing it from your perspective is both an education and entertaining. Thank you for sharing!!

  15. Wow that's some dock. I can see you and your husband are very happy down there. Miss you up here though.

  16. What a beautiful oasis your new place is gonna be! Love it all!! The view alone is so beautiful!!

  17. That was fascinating ! And so amazing and beautiful. Oh, to be on the water.

  18. "How 'bout we pitch a tent and live right here?" Sounds good.