Shallow dock

BucketsII

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So I have the opportunity to get a shallow water dock to leave my potoon in water over the summer. I measured the water at low tide and it is 18 inches. My pontoon water line is 16 inches at the back stern. Only 7 inches at bow. I an concerned that there will be times the back of my pontoon will rest on bottom. Should I worry? Is there anything I can put down on bottom seabed to protect tubes? Suggestions would be much appreciated! Ocean side of key largo has very shallow waters and long piers for docking. Bigger boats have the deeper docks all taken.
 

lakeliving

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Any chance of boat wake coming through? That would be my concern of it rising and pounding the bottom. What type of bottom structure?
 

BucketsII

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No there is no chance of boat wake since the nearest boat would be traveling far away. When we get strong winds it brings up some waves and boats there rock a bit. Bottom is sand but could have some loose rocks. I guess I can rake the area and make sure.
 

lakeliving

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Probably good to go then!
 

Potomacbassin’

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Spring/king tides and long wind events may bottom out your pontoon, but if it's a soft sand bottom I'm not sure there would be too much to worry about. Could it eventually wear a hole into one of your tubes? I guess that's a possibility if the abrasion is frequent enough.

If you install some sea legs that could be an expensive solution, but obvious other benefits? Leave your motor down and let the skeg be your sacrificial contact point? There probably aren't many good options.

But the bigger issue in my mind is, at low tide how are you going to get out of the marina if the motor is dragging bottom?
 

Vikingstaff

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I am thinking along the lines of Potomacbassin’. We are on a shallow lake. It is extremely shallow the first 200-220’ out from our shoreline. Water level drops significantly through the season. I sold our original lift and added Sea Legs 2 years ago as a result. It is excellent in solving any issues with raising the boat out of the water regardless of water depth, but can be used anywhere that is 4-5’ or less water depth - very handy. You can having it sitting on solid ground and just raise it up too.

As mentioned above, it’s an expensive solution though ($4-6k dual toon, $8-9k tritoon). On my lake it can also get very windy, wavy and ROUGH. Thus, not having a boat bang into the dock but also flexible with shallow water level, were combined concerns for us. This made the Sea Legs worthwhile for our situation.

I have had concerns a couple of times with my boat bottoming out towards the end of the season with a very low water level. The last 8 weeks of last boating season I had to walk my boat out to deeper water with 1-2 people standing on the bow to raise the stern slightly. Otherwise, It was bottomed out in the back.
 

lakeliving

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Ocean levels don’t go down over the summer like northern lakes! There is daily tidal changes but nothing like a landlocked lake gets with no rain. Not uncommon for some here in Florida based on their docking situation and boat to work around the tides.
 

Vikingstaff

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Ocean levels don’t go down over the summer like northern lakes! There is daily tidal changes but nothing like a landlocked lake gets with no rain. Not uncommon for some here in Florida based on their docking situation and boat to work around the tides.

D’oh! Of course. With it being predictable, that helps in considering options.
 

BucketsII

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Wow, those sea legs look cool but unfortunately too expensive for me! My community has a limited number of docks and the deeper better ones rarely become available. It's either this shallow dock or pull boat out after each use. When to low a tide then we cannot use the boat and just have to plan our trips at higher tide.
 
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