Boat Dock Stairs

 
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:53 AM   #1
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Boat Dock Stairs


I have a customer that wants a set of stairs built to his dock. Part of the time the stairs will be underwater depending on the lake level. Has anyone built stairs like this? Do you have to do anything special to keep the stairs from "floating" when the water rises?
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:17 AM   #2
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


Build them out of ipe as it doesn't float :-)

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Old 02-06-2012, 09:27 AM   #3
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


I'll check to see if ipe is in the budget. Really was wondering if I need extra comcrete or if it's even an issue to worry about.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:40 AM   #4
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


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I have a customer that wants a set of stairs built to his dock. Part of the time the stairs will be underwater depending on the lake level. Has anyone built stairs like this? Do you have to do anything special to keep the stairs from "floating" when the water rises?

You say built to his dock, but the stair will be underwater at times. So, I'm assuming that the dock will be underwater as well? The steps go from what to what exactly? This is where pictures really help.

Why not have them manufactured from aluminum?
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:50 AM   #5
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


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Build them out of ipe as it doesn't float :-)
I second this, unless you can source or create a hinge/floater setup on the stairs themselves come high tide so it purposely floats.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:00 AM   #6
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


FYI - regarding Ipe

Durability: Heartwood is very resistant to attack by decay fungi and termites, but not resistant to marine borers, it has the durability and strength of teak, for a lot less money.The US Department of Agriculture and Forestry rates Ipé as "Very resistant to attack by decay, fungi and termites."
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:27 PM   #7
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


if its under water why not concrete?
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:32 PM   #8
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


Boat Dock Stairs-image-1689074842.jpg

I'm going to build off of this
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:33 PM   #9
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


Boat Dock Stairs-image-3375789530.jpg

This is what the customer wants
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:51 PM   #10
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


Good point on "floating"

What about using steel for the structure for strength and weight and finish railings and steps with treated wood?

Just a thought - I assume this is fresh water and not salt water


Sorry to invade the Carpentry section but one of your senior posters booted me off the drywall section.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:05 PM   #11
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


There are premade stainless steel stairs made just the purpose.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #12
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


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Originally Posted by summithomeinc View Post
Attachment 65033

This is what the customer wants

From the picture, that looks like p/t material.
Every project has a budget. What is your's? Did they specify a material?


FYI:
http://www.contractortalk.com/f4/how...ide-lake-4201/
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:53 PM   #13
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


I was at a marina near Philly and the boat docks there all floated. The transition from the dock to land was attached using hinges on each end of a ramp. Super easy.

Just realized you wanted to fasten the steps permantly so I deleted half of my statement. The ramp worked well though. Some senior citizens at this marina and it didn't seem like anyone was struggling.

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Old 02-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #14
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


Ok. The stairs will be made from pressure treated lumber. He wants what his neighbor has. (see pic) The dock had a floating ramp with wheels that will run up and down the stairs.The problem right now is the lake is so low his ramp is 15' from the normal shoreline. So he wants stairs to the lake bed to access the dock. I know how to build the stairs. I don't know if I need extra concrete around the posts or if I need some type of extra fastener to attatch the posts to the concrete to keep the steps in place. I plan on 1 80lb bag per post. It may not even be an issue. So the question is, Is there going to be an issue with the steps floating out of the ground when the water rises? And if it's an issue do I just need more concrete around the posts or what?
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:12 PM   #15
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


It's a good suggestion to use steel. Unfortunately it's not in the budget and I don't weld so I can't build them. I can build with wood though.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:28 PM   #16
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


I think I'd definitely go over-kill here: much larger diameter holes and much deeper than normal, definitely more than 80 lbs.

I have more than 80 lbs holding each of my fence posts.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:03 PM   #17
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


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I think I'd definitely go over-kill here: much larger diameter holes and much deeper than normal, definitely more than 80 lbs.

I have more than 80 lbs holding each of my fence posts.
What would you recomend?
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:10 PM   #18
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


16"x16"x48".

Also they have hydro cement that is made to stand up to being underwater and is non corrosive.

Probably isn't allowed by budget though.

I live on the water, but I just use a ladder!
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:11 PM   #19
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


It looks to me like the neighbors stairs haven't been asked the big question yet.....
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:25 PM   #20
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Re: Boat Dock Stairs


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What would you recomend?

Hard to say because I'm not familiar with the area, the environment, water table, soil conditions, etc.

I think it would be best to consult with contractors who specialize in dock building. I know I'd want to be as deep as possible - within reason. I'd "consider" 6x6 posts set in 16"-18" diameter holes about 50" deep and filled with concrete. I'd bolt the stringers to the 6x6 posts. All wood framing poly coated and at least .60 pcf for fresh water.

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