10 Boat Dock Repair Tips

Looking for 10 boat dock repair tips? Boat docks, like the boats they house, need annual repairs to keep them in working condition. Many people unfortunately let their old boat docks go, and they become a sunfish's favorite spot to hide. If you’re not ready to let the lake claim your boat dock, then here are some repair tips to keep your dock in working condition.

  1. Use treated lumber. If your boat dock wasn’t constructed using treated lumber, this is an excellent place to begin making repairs. Make sure to remove all un-treated lumber and replace it with water-treated lumber. This will extend the life of your dock and remove the need for major repairs down the road.
  2. Seal your wood. To repair your boat dock, you will need to keep it regularly sealed with deck sealer. Make sure that you seal your dock at least once a year. If you can, it’s a great idea to remove your dock from the water, let it thoroughly dry, then seal it.
  3. Check wooden platforms. If your boat dock is set on wooden platforms, you should definitely check these out. You won’t need scuba diving gear to dive under the water and inspect these, though! Just grab a pair of goggles and check each platform with your hands. If you suspect an issue, make a note of which platform is giving you problems so you can replace it.
  4. Repair wooden platforms. If you don’t have the manpower to replace a platform on your boat dock, you may look at the option of repairing it. Marine putty can be used to repair holes in the bottom of boats, and works extremely well in patching holes in your platforms. If your platform is beyond repair though, you may need to look at completely replacing it.
  5. Replace old platforms. If you have an issue with one of the platforms which your boat dock rests on, you may have to replace it. Replacing a platform may seem like a major task at first glance, but it’s actually fairly simple. You can begin by installing your new platform next to where your old one is. Next, simply remove the old platform with a saw. You should do these steps in this order because if you simply remove the old one first, then your boat dock may shift.
  6. Perform maintenance on metal platforms. Some boat docks, especially older ones, use metal pipes for platforms. To maintain the life of these platforms, you should regularly treat them with a rust-resistance substance, such as a commercial lubricant. If you run into problems, such as holes or rusting, you can remove these older areas and weld a new piece of metal to these rough spots.
  7. Check any barrels. If your boat dock uses barrels as a support system, make sure to check each of these barrels to see how buoyant it is. Barrels are fairly easy to replace. It is likely not worth trying to repair them, since water has a tendency to seek out places where it’s not allowed!
  8. Treat any chains. If you are using chains to connect your barrels or keep your boat dock in place, it’s a good idea to regularly treat them with lubricant. This will keep rust off of them and extend their life span. You may also need to do some minor welding to repair old, rusted chains.
  9. Check the screws. If you have a loose plank and can’t seem to figure out the problem, you may have a missing screw. Screws or other small products are usually the first things to go on your boat dock. Make sure that you check all of your screws, including those on the sides, top and bottom of your boat dock. If you suspect any issues with your screws, don’t be afraid to change them!
  10. Repair worn-out rope. Many boat docks also use rope to keep the boat tied up. If you have a frayed line, this is a quick fix. Take a soldering iron or another heat source and warm up these frayed ends. This should melt them back together and keep your ropes working!
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