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What separates a stable dock from a wobbly dock? The answer isn’t cut and dry but it has an awful lot to do with the construction of the leg pockets and legs. Below you will also find information on wheel-in dock legs.
ShoreMaster uses an industry exclusive 5-sided leg in all their standing docks. Each extruded aluminum leg has a small 5th side placed on one of the corners. This point is where the T-Handle set screw presses into the leg to lock it in place. This design creates 3 points of contact between the leg and the leg pocket. Other designs will only have 2 points of contact. More points of contact = greater stability. The 5-sided legs come in sizes ranging from 3’ to 12’. Because they are made of 100% aluminum, they are extremely light and easy to work with.
What is a leg pocket? A leg pocket is what holds a dock leg in place. This is where height adjustments are made. The leg pocket is a crucial part of keeping a dock sturdy and stable. Every ShoreMaster leg pocket is double braced with stainless steel supports. Like all of ShoreMaster’s products, the leg pocket uses stainless steel and brass hardware. The use of these materials ensure that the nuts and bolts will never rust or become seized. Like the dock connectors, the leg pockets secure to underside of the dock frame with 3 carriage bolts. The carriage bolts reside in a channel that runs along the entire perimeter of the dock frame. This allows for users to easily reconfigure their dock layout by relocating the leg pockets if necessary. Each leg pocket features a single T-Handle set screw for easy adjustment. The pocket sits directly underneath the corner of the dock frame, leaving the legs flush with the side of the dock. This helps prevent damage to your boat. The lightweight dock frames and legs coupled with user friendly leg pockets and set screws allows for one person to easily level a dock section by themselves.
Your dock will become the envy of your neighbors when they see how easily it is to install and remove your ShoreMaster dock. So you’ve successfully carried your dock frame into the water and now it’s time to adjust the legs and make it level. This can often be the most time consuming and frustrating part of a dock installation. Lucky for us, ShoreMaster kept this in mind when designing their easy to use Infinity Leg Pockets.
Wheel legs are available on TS9 and RS7 style dock to help make installation an removal easier. They are ideal for waterfront with gentle slopes, in which case can make installation and removal a faster and easier process.
we also have a video Covering information on wheel-in docks such as where they are useful and where they are not.
Screw leg adjustability
Besides the obvious ways wheels can ease your season installation, one of the other reasons wheel legs can save you hassle is the fact that they can be adjusted from the top of the dock without having to get into the water.
By using a 1 inch socket with a long extension the legs can be adjusted by either rotating them clockwise to lower the dock or counterclockwise to raise the dock. An electric drill or impact driver can be used to speed up this process significantly.
The picture here is a top down view showing how these legs are adjusted. Here you can see the hex head that the socket fits on in order to spin it. Stainless steel and brass hardware combined with a grease access hole helps prevent the legs from seizing up over the years, allowing them to be adjustable when you need them to be.
Where Wheel-In Works Well
A waterfront that has a gentle slope and plenty of room to maneuver 32' of dock at a time is the ideal scenario. However many people may not have the ideal situation at their waterfront but wheel-in dock still may be a good option. 32' sections can still be separated in order to deal with only 16' at a time which can also help with saving on storage space.
If you have the capability at your waterfront to pull the entire dock out at once, caterpillar clips and a tow hitch can be installed. This allows the dock to be pulled out with your vehicle and even an ATV. If you plan on removing more than 32' of dock at once it is highly recommended that the panels be removed to make removal many times easier.
Lake bottoms that have small to medium sized rocks or have a bottom that is sandy or firm are great for wheel-in dock. Wheel-in dock is also good for areas of fluctuating water level as the adjustment can be made from the top of the dock.
And Where It Doesn't
More often than not people have a waterfront that is less than ideal for a wheel-in dock system. One big factor when considering a wheel-in dock is what kind of incline your shoreline has into the water. Extremely steep ledges and giant rocks are going to turn a wheel-in dock into more of a hassle than standing dock. Bottoms that consist of heavy muck can also cause problems when removing the dock in the fall.
Seawalls can cause problems depending upon how high they are from the water. As mentioned before the wheels fill with water making them significantly heavier which is good for stability but not good for having to lift it up onto a seawall. You do have the option of letting the wheels drain for a few minutes, however even then the wheels do not make a good hand hold and still may be more difficult than removing standing dock.
If your dock needs to be stored up a steep hill or cliff that involves carrying it up stairs then perhaps wheel-in dock might not be the best option. ShoreMaster standing dock can have its legs easily removed and carried up stairs with ease. The wheel kits are not as easily removable and do add additional weight to the dock.
If you are considering paying someone else, such as Brinson Marine, wheels may not be the best choice of dock. Typically you pay the same price for installation and removal whether or not you have wheels on your dock and wheel kits will increase the initial cost of the dock. Standing dock can also be easier to create unique configurations, especially with our curved sections, since it would be difficult to wheel in or out as one unit or even as larger sections.