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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Fall 2017 > LET’S TALK DOCKS


Prep your dock for harsh winter weather: repair any damaged, splintered, or worn sections in the fall

Hack it: better dock removal and storage

Does it float? You may be able to just leave the thing in the water (towed somewhere sheltered if need be). “It’s very likely that people bring in docks when they don’t actually need to,” says Daniel Jones of CanadaDocks. A dock that is configured as a rectangle withstands the lake’s icy grip the best, says Joshua Cooper, the sales manager and dock designer at On the Water Designs in Kilworthy, Ont. If yours is U-shaped, “take it apart and raft the pieces together like canoes into one solid shape.”

If you’re removing it, does it come in sections? Store each piece in the order that you’ll need to access it come springtime, says Jones. “Put the bottom section where you can get at it easily, because it will be the first section to go out.” If you can, store your dock in a shed or a boathouse. If not, protect the sections with a tarp. If the boards are wood, store them upright, says Cooper. “Moisture can build up under the tarp. But if the boards are stored vertically, then any water has the chance to drip off the face of them.” Even non-wood docks are vulnerable to damage. “The biggest risk is something falling on it,” says Gord Wiltzen, the area manager at Sandale Utility Products in Surrey, B.C. By something, he means part of a tree: “It seems random,but it does happen. You need to make sure you’re not storing a dock under any tree with limbs that are likely to fall.”

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About Cottage Life

Cottage Life’s Fall issue brings you the magic of the season. Kick your campfire up a notch with desserts that are delicious and pure fun. Get inspired by the story of a family whose three generations pitch in to add on to their retreat—gaining hands-on skills and a love of the cottage along the way. Discover the secrets to better sleep at the lake. Build a fold-up workbench, and get the lowdown on Tesla solar roof tiles, two handy jacks, and six small problem-solving gadgets for your workshop. Choose the best water-filtration system for your family (so you can stop hauling water to the cottage!). And when it’s finally time to close up for the season, we’ve got 17 smarter ways to put your boats, docks, plumbing, and more to bed—with a lot less stress. Plus, as fish numbers drop, we asked the experts what’s going on below the surface of our lakes. Chock full of advice and inspiration, this issue offers the best of fall at the cottage.