My pipe dock consists of 4 sections of dock and eight sections of pipe. Each
dock section is 8’x4’ and the 1.5” pipes vary in length from 5’ to 7’. I use my
pipe dock to tie up a 20’ ski boat, a 3 seat Jet Ski, and a 12’ aluminum hull
boat. At the end of the pipe dock, it sits in about 3.5 feet of water. After a
decade of use, I have never had an incident where it has failed, even in the
worst of thunder storm conditions and wave action, with all boats tied up to it.
Tools Required for Installing
a Pipe Dock
To install a pipe dock you will need
a few key tools. You will need a large sledge hammer (e.g. 10 lbs), a heavy duty
metal pipe cap, a level, a 3-4’ length of 2x6, assorted wrenches, and a hammer.
A wet suit is also helpful depending upon the temperature of the water.
Installing a Pipe Dock
To install a pipe dock I first
install the large pipe support side brackets onto the side-end of the dock
section that extends the furthest into the water.
I attach the side brackets so that half of it supports the underside of the
first section of dock, and the other half extends outward to accept the next
section of dock. I do this on both sides of the dock section, and for all 4
sections before getting into the water. The support side brackets are secured
After preparing the pipe dock sections
I place the first section of dock into the water so that the side with the
brackets extends the furthest into the water.
Photo by Mark Donovan
Next, I prop up the near side of the pipe dock section onto the shore and make
sure it is level side to side using my level.
I then lift up the far end of the
dock section, and place temporarily a 3-4 foot length of 2x6 underneath the end
of the dock section. This allows the section of dock to free stand at a fairly
I then slide the two pipes into the
end side brackets.
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Next, I carefully stand on the
section of dock, sticking close to the center of the dock.
I then use a sledge hammer, and pipe
cap to protect the ends of the pipe, to drive the pipes into the lake bed
approximately12-16”. This takes a great deal of effort, so plan on taking your
time and switching off with your helper.
Once the two pipes have been
sufficiently driven into the lake bed, I then place my level on the dock
section, and adjust the height of the dock section so that it is level (side to
side, and back to front). Simultaneously I have my helper tighten the bolts on
the side brackets to hold the dock section permanently in position. Finally, I
remove the temporary 2x6 board from underneath the dock section.
After installing the first dock
section, I then slide up into place the second dock section. I lift the near
shore end up onto the exposed side brackets and slide a bolt into each side of
it to the hold the end of the dock in place. I also put a washer and nut on the
backside of each bolt, and lightly tighten them.
Next, I lift the far end of the dock
section up, and put the 2x6 length of board underneath the center of it to
temporarily hold it up. Again, I slide in the next pair of pipes and drive them
into the lake bed.
I continue this process until all
sections of the pipe dock are installed.
After installing the pipe dock, I
then go back and use a wrench to tighten all of the bolts.
Lastly, I install my boat mooring
whips and side bumpers and my pipe dock is ready for the season.
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Additional Pipe Dock Information