Dock Question -specifically for those on the St Lawrence

Glava2876

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I have had some boat navigation and docking experience, but never had my own.
We are waiting to close on our camp and our Bennington won't be delivered until May. So, since this is my first dock and boat, I am trying to do the homework now on leaving the boat at the dock both short term and long term -any ideas or comments will help educate me.
We will have a 50' permanent dock on the St Lawrence (So others that are located on it too may be especially helpful).
It is all pressure treated wood and about 1/2 of it is covered to the water level.
Since we are on the Southern side of the St Lawrence, the wind/ waves looked to come from the west, which is the same direction as the river flow.
When I was up there last week, it was windy and the waves were rougher on the west side of the dock and the east side was more calm -so it would seem that keeping the boat on the east side is best.

So, my questions and concerns are:
The dealer said that the round bumpers are the best type for having on the boat -correct?
I am thinking that I'd also put a permanent bumper strip around the dock -is this a good 'next step"?
Also looking at the whips that keep the boat away from the dock -again, would this be another good "overkill"?
Lastly, during the summer, there may be 1-2 week periods that we are at home and not at the camp -if we are all "bumpered up" can we leave the boat in the water or should we always pull it out and leave it on the trailer?
Thanks, Glen
 

KC24

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Have you considered a boat lift?
St Lawrence river is Beautiful, Bought an older Century Coronado up there several years ago and did our Sea Trial. 1000 island area is quit the place. I'm sure you are going to enjoy.
 

Joeb14

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Not on that river but am familiar with it, and have a tritoon on one of the finger lakes. Second the motion to get a lift. Nothing beats the peace of mind to have your boat out of the water and protected.
 

ILLINOIS AVE

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Agree with KC24 get a lift! Check with you Marina or Dock and Lift guys for a used lift, or Craigslist. Fall is the time to buy one! Try to get a 120" with the appropriate weigh for your boat.
 

Glava2876

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Have you considered a boat lift?
St Lawrence river is Beautiful, Bought an older Century Coronado up there several years ago and did our Sea Trial. 1000 island area is quit the place. I'm sure you are going to enjoy.
Thanks, that is another thing that i was thinking of and the only initial PIA is that it would have to be taken out each year. I have to do some research on them too, but my additional concern is that our place is quite literally right on the river -maybe 6' of shore which is actually bedrock, and the place sits on the bedrock and is about 8' above the river level. The way the lower deck/ dock run, I don't think I can get it through and then there are tree's between ours and our neighbors places.
So, I don't think that I can just pull it up on shore, maybe there is one that can be taken apart in small section -again, I have quite a bit of time, so that may end up being the best option.
 

KC24

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Ask your dealer about lifts, They may have a solution for easy removal working with the manufacture. Good luck.
 

lakelifeMN

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I have seen boat lifts with airbags or other systems so you can launch it and float it to your location. If you have a place near you to get it in the water this could be an option. You can get a floating boat lift too if there is no bottom you can secure it to.
 

lakelifeMN

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I'm not an expert on if you could put a lift in the area you are describing. You should check with your local lift dealers for that info. If you have a spot near you to access the water for your lift this is one I saw that looked really neat for trying to float it to your location.
 

Vikingstaff

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Glava, I think there is another option to research, and it would certainly solve your lack of space in putting in and taking out or storing a lift in the off season. However, it will be dependent on water depth dockside, and the lake bottom conditions you spoke about with the bedrock.

How about Sea Legs?

They are in effect hydraulic lift legs attached to the bottom of your pontoon/tritoon. Since they are attached to the bottom of the pontoon, but act as a lift, you would 100% eliminate the need for putting a lift in, and taking one out, or storing the lift in the off season. You’d in effect have your “lift” with you wherever you go with the Sea Legs. We switched from a covered lift to Sea Legs in 2019, and I would NEVER go back.

Pros: Lift is always with you, so you can pull up and secure your boat anywhere that is not too deep. Easy operation. No need to be as “precise” with docking as when using a lift or under a canopy with support arms. Keeps the boat out of the water like a normal lift. The flexibility is awesome. Leaving behind the worries of docking in the narrow parameters of a lift is awesome. Being able to secure your boat anywhere somewhat shallow on your Sea Legs is great. Not having to worry about putting in, taking out or storing a lift in the off season is SPECTACULAR. We dealt with that for two years, and it was a challenge. Never again.

Cons: Costs are in line with a top of a line lift, so not cheap. Some minor nuances to get used to in using one, but that is true with docking in a lift as well. Nuances are much easier with Sea Legs than docking in a lift though. Limit to how deep you can operate them in (6’ from bottom of pontoon floor structure to lake or river bottom, so after you factor in pontoon diameter, you can lift the bottom of your pontoons about 4’ off lake bottom - they also make a new 8’ extended version for those in slightly deeper dockside water). Normal length Sea Legs add about 300 lbs to your boat weight, evenly distributed. Impacts your boat performance due to increased weight; expect a 3-5 mph drop at WOT depending on the type of pontoon you go with and the HP motor you will have.

For you, this MIGHT be the perfect solution to the challenge of a lift. I only see two possible questions to answer before you might investigate this possibility further: (1) I am assuming the entire shor/dock area is firm due to bedrock. Is it very predictable and even/agnled, or very uneven and erratic? So long as it is not unpredictably uneven, you are probably okay here. (2) How deep is the water dockside where you intend to dock it? If you can dock in 4’ of water or less, normal sea Legs will get your boat and the pontoons entirely out of the water. If in 6’ of water or less, the new extended length Sea Legs will get you 100% out of the water as well (but will weigh a little more).

Below is a link to some information on them if you are curious, but otherwise have not seen them before Also, I will attach some pictures of our boat while it is up on its Sea Legs for reference visually.

Sea Legs FAQ Page

10DA935B-ED18-4FC1-ADF7-978FDF201245.jpegDD3E1395-A963-47CE-BB9A-58ADCCB9E910.jpegE5F7C92F-CF21-4402-B1E3-835CA662F1E7.jpeg8A6B976E-955D-4377-B362-24A8D230FE01.jpeg8AF637F3-02F8-4640-9C10-CC6CE61C14B3.jpeg
 

Joeb14

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. The way the lower deck/ dock run, I don't think I can get it through and then there are tree's
If the dock is permanent, you can just set the lift on the dock during winter. That is what I do. Costs me $100 each in/out. Local guy with a work barge and 4 guys just lifts it up and sets on the dock at end of season, and reverse in May. Just make sure it is tied down or blocked. One January I came out to find a strong wind ( and icy dock) put it in the water.
 

Carlson80

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I love my sea legs, not sure if it will work where you need to dock but I recommend looking into it.
 

Glava2876

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I'm not an expert on if you could put a lift in the area you are describing. You should check with your local lift dealers for that info. If you have a spot near you to access the water for your lift this is one I saw that looked really neat for trying to float it to your location.
Unfortunately we are right on the water and there is about 6' of bedrock shore and the side yards are tight, with trees, so no way to get it on my shore.
 

Glava2876

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Glava, I think there is another option to research, and it would certainly solve your lack of space in putting in and taking out or storing a lift in the off season. However, it will be dependent on water depth dockside, and the lake bottom conditions you spoke about with the bedrock.

How about Sea Legs?

They are in effect hydraulic lift legs attached to the bottom of your pontoon/tritoon. Since they are attached to the bottom of the pontoon, but act as a lift, you would 100% eliminate the need for putting a lift in, and taking one out, or storing the lift in the off season. You’d in effect have your “lift” with you wherever you go with the Sea Legs. We switched from a covered lift to Sea Legs in 2019, and I would NEVER go back.

Pros: Lift is always with you, so you can pull up and secure your boat anywhere that is not too deep. Easy operation. No need to be as “precise” with docking as when using a lift or under a canopy with support arms. Keeps the boat out of the water like a normal lift. The flexibility is awesome. Leaving behind the worries of docking in the narrow parameters of a lift is awesome. Being able to secure your boat anywhere somewhat shallow on your Sea Legs is great. Not having to worry about putting in, taking out or storing a lift in the off season is SPECTACULAR. We dealt with that for two years, and it was a challenge. Never again.

Cons: Costs are in line with a top of a line lift, so not cheap. Some minor nuances to get used to in using one, but that is true with docking in a lift as well. Nuances are much easier with Sea Legs than docking in a lift though. Limit to how deep you can operate them in (6’ from bottom of pontoon floor structure to lake or river bottom, so after you factor in pontoon diameter, you can lift the bottom of your pontoons about 4’ off lake bottom - they also make a new 8’ extended version for those in slightly deeper dockside water). Normal length Sea Legs add about 300 lbs to your boat weight, evenly distributed. Impacts your boat performance due to increased weight; expect a 3-5 mph drop at WOT depending on the type of pontoon you go with and the HP motor you will have.

For you, this MIGHT be the perfect solution to the challenge of a lift. I only see two possible questions to answer before you might investigate this possibility further: (1) I am assuming the entire shor/dock area is firm due to bedrock. Is it very predictable and even/agnled, or very uneven and erratic? So long as it is not unpredictably uneven, you are probably okay here. (2) How deep is the water dockside where you intend to dock it? If you can dock in 4’ of water or less, normal sea Legs will get your boat and the pontoons entirely out of the water. If in 6’ of water or less, the new extended length Sea Legs will get you 100% out of the water as well (but will weigh a little more).

Below is a link to some information on them if you are curious, but otherwise have not seen them before Also, I will attach some pictures of our boat while it is up on its Sea Legs for reference visually.

Sea Legs FAQ Page

View attachment 28114View attachment 28115View attachment 28116View attachment 28117View attachment 28118
Thanks, that looks like another option to consider -as soon as we can close on our place, i have to explore the bottom depth & consistency more>
 

Michiman

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Perhaps your new neighbors would have some helpful suggestions.
 

Glava2876

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Still waiting to close on our place ...man this is a PIA!
But, once I can get in, based on the options, I am going to look at a lift and hopefully be able to get it on the shore -one side in my pictures does look to be a little more open.
The closest Shoremaster dealer is in Cape Vincent and it looks like a Shoremaster 4010 vertical lift may be to one. Going to look at the options, like wheels, but I'd assume that I would want the electric motor. I know my dock has an electrical outlet on a post.
 

Vikingstaff

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Still waiting to close on our place ...man this is a PIA!
But, once I can get in, based on the options, I am going to look at a lift and hopefully be able to get it on the shore -one side in my pictures does look to be a little more open.
The closest Shoremaster dealer is in Cape Vincent and it looks like a Shoremaster 4010 vertical lift may be to one. Going to look at the options, like wheels, but I'd assume that I would want the electric motor. I know my dock has an electrical outlet on a post.
They do have small solar panel & battery packages that hook up to the electric lift motor. That way it is independently powered. They also have remote control options. Our old lift, before the Sea Legs, was set up that way. If going with a lift, I highly recommend that type of system.
 
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