This video covers the typical “To Do List” for someone who owns or maintains a cabin/cottage off grid. You can make plans, but when you finally set foot on the property, you soon discover there’s a lot more that needs to be done. The hardest thing is to stay focused and finish the job you started.
The next door neighbours 20-year-old floating dock was about to be sunk and donated to the fish, when I intervened and negotiated ownership for a 12 pack of beers. It’s an antique jewel, 4 feet wide by 32 feet long. Composed of three 12 inch in diameter Pine logs that were cut 32 feet long. The earlier builder inserted 5 gallon water jugs in-between the logs to increase flotation. The top boards were a real 2 inches thick and ranged in widths.
The big bonus, it felt like a mini island, gained 4 hours of sun tanning and increased the distance for cannonballs into the lake.
When I was trying to show my son that the old man was no slouch at making the biggest splash, one of the old boards came loose. Did not cut my foot, but it was a real wake up call. Decided to move the re-decking of the old dock to the top of the list.
I had a bunch of 2″ x 6″ x 20′ Western Red Cedar boards left over from the deck project. Western Red Cedar is durable, lightweight and quite buoyant. Put down 3 boards like tracks and screwed them into the old deck boards. The longest screws on hand were 4″ long and designed meant for roofing. But, they were galvanized and handy. The hammer drill made short work of screwing into the old timbers. Next, 5/4″ x 4″ x 12′ boards were cut 3 times to make 4′ long deck boards. These were placed horizontally across the dock with 1″ spacing (the same thickness as the deck board). Used 3″ galvanized deck screws. The ends of the boards were beveled and sanded.
The 20-year-old floating swim platform was starting to show its age. The 8′ x 12′ platform was used for docking boats, swimming and the morning coffee. Constructed from three 14″ dia. by 12′ long spruce logs. Empty 5 gallon water buckets helped with the flotation and three sheets plywood were used for the deck. Once the ice receded, our neighbour commented that it was in sad shape. The nails were popping out of the weathered plywood and it was becoming difficult to walk on. So, we drove up on a Friday night and started to work on it right away. After stumbling around in the dark with head lamps on, a bunch of 8′ long 2″ x 6″ cedar decking boards were laid down and secured with 3″ stainless steel screws through the plywood to the logs underneath. In addition, 6″ galvanized lag screws were ratcheted in every 24″. (note: It was a little tricky to not drop the cordless drivers into the lake). The next day, I got up early and put a coat of Red Label Penofin Rosewood Oil to give the cedar planks some UV protection. After a couple of hours, it was ready for the morning coffee and swimming in the summer.
I apologize for not have more step-by-step pictures. We were rushing around at night and my camera did not have a flash.