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Leave Lift and Dock in over Winter?


jedgell
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This is our first season with a roll-in type dock and a Shoremaster lift. Wondering if anyone on here that lives in a place where their lake freezes has any experience with a similar setup? We’re trying to figure out if we should leave it in the water or pull it. The rep from Shoremaster said that the freeze by itself won’t hurt the lift, but ice floating in the water in the spring when it stars to thaw could damage it.

 

Thoughts?

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Not sure where you are on your lake. If your shore is on an open part of the lake where large sheets of ice will move, I would remove it. I am tucked in a small dead end channel where the ice won't move in large sheets/chunks so I leave the lift in. My pier sits on pallets so I remove it. If you are new to your lake, ask your neighbors what they think.
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Yeper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The freezing is not the killer. The spring ice floats can kill A lift with no problem!!!!!!!!!! If you are in an area that is protected you can do it but I would not and don't. My lake can look open one day and a wind can move an ice float in and it may look completely closed in an hour. To costly to even think about it.
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Our local ski club does dock/lift removals and installs in NE Wisconsin as a fundraiser. We'll do around 160 units this fall so I have a lot, too much, experience with this.

 

If you're a gambling person and the loss of either or both your lift and dock is not a big deal then leave them in. We have customers who should remove, don't, and have been lucky for years. But it only takes that one breakup with the right wind conditions to take out everything. The power of moving ice, even if it is just barely moving, is staggering. It will bend aluminum like it isn't there and the same goes for steel.

 

As others have mentioned, a wheel kit can be a real back saver.

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If you have trees along your shoreline you can move the lift such that the front legs are on shore and then use a pulley system/come-along to lift the backend up and out of the water and leave it on a 45 degree angle. This is how some of my ski buddies handle it given their shoreline is so steep there is nowhere to put it.

 

I can grab a picture of the setup if that helps.

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Ice can damage your dick several ways.

1) ice jacking...ice firms around your dock and if the water level goes up or down while the ice has hold of your dock, it will easily mangle it.

 

2)ice movement...if the ice moves while it has hold of your dock, it can twist and turn your dock into a pretzel. This is especially true at break up.

 

3) ice expansion...if the snow cover melts and there is hot sun hitting the ice, the ice can expand up to 10 feet per mile. This will crush anything in its' path.

 

All of this depends on the local conditions in your location.

 

FWIW, I have a large steel floating dock specifically designed to be left in the ice over the winter. It has a ramp that connects it to a large fixed dock. The ramp gets disconnected and the dock floats with loose lines tying it to the fixed dock so that it can move with the ice. One year the guy putting it away for winter did a poor job tying it up. A rope broke and the dock swung out to where it froze in the ice bridging a pressure crack. Anyhow, the two portions of the ice on either side of that pressure crack moved independantly cutting one of the fingers in half. The steel looked like someone had taken a cutting torch to it.

 

If I were you I would take it out.

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We are on a private ski lake in Iowa and leave our Shore Station lift in during the winter. Never had any issues. It does have a heavily braced VW dock on 3 sides. On a public lake in north Iowa, all lifts were pulled for winter to keep the ice floes from destroying them, but in the small habours & canals they were able to leave them in.
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