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Thread: Piers with pilings

  1. #1

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    Piers with pilings

    As I splash around in my PA-12 on straight floats in southern Maryland, I find that many of my associates have waterfront property. Due to the tides, occasional hurricane, and lack of regular seaplane operations, there just aren't many seaplane-friendly docks. In fact, there's only one and it's at the seaplane base I'm using. Lot's of big pilings everywhere, and fixed decking. The shoreline is generally unsuitable, too.

    I am wondering what people use to make docks like this usable. It seems to me that the only way to do it is to park nose on. One must keep the bows from sliding underneath the dock boards, which could also damage the prop. I envision a very low cost bumper system you could hang off the side and projects a few feet below the waterline. Then you could nestle in nose-on and tie the sterns of the floats off to the side. Does anyone have pictures of a setup like this? Even better would be a portable one that I could toss in the extended baggage compartment for impromptu visits.

    Thank you,
    Silas

  2. #2

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    Tires roped on
    Likes BC12D-4-85, 46 Cub liked this post

  3. #3

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    Roped to what? The decking is typically 2-6 feet from the water, so I need to account for tides and the empty space between the dock deck and the water. The pilings are typcially not the same distance apart as my floats, either. I could build a wooden wall across two or three pilings, but the tides would require several tires in height. Would 6" PVC pipes laid vertically into the water provide enough cushion? There still needs to be some sort of framework across 2-3 pilings to attach something to.

    I am hoping to find someone who has built something for this kind of access at a low cost and maybe have some pictures.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    mvivion's Avatar
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    I have no idea how you’d dock at something like that. Looks like damage ready to happen.

    MTV

  5. #5

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    Camel logs

  6. #6
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKClimber View Post
    Camel logs
    So, is he supposed to carry those around in his 12? Maybe talk to some of the owners/operators and try to get them to do so.....

    MTV

  7. #7

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    Ha! Low flyby and precision drop!
    But seriously just ask to have camel logs on some of the piers.

  8. #8
    180Marty's Avatar
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    Here's the way they do it south of New Orleans at the oil rigs. Old car tire carcass on tips of floats. A friend let me sit in the left seat a few times and Golden Meadow we tied up to a work boat and walked across the street to a cafe----pretty cool experience. Where in MD?
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  9. #9

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    Camel logs.... You might need to help me out on this one. Google wasn't super helpful, but I found this picture which might indicate what you're talking about. Is this about it? A sturdy, but floating standoff? If so, where does one find such things?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

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    looks like some open shore line in the grass to the left, can't you just beach it there? bring lots of rope which you should always have in the plane anyway and some portable tie down anchors. boots or sandals if yo need to walk in the water.

  11. #11

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    They're pretty common in Alaska and function to protect the pilings as much as the docking ship. Usually it's just a spruce log with rings to float up and down the pilings.
    Here are some pics from Kodiak:
    www.reidmiddleton.com/reidourblog/uscg-kodiak-station-fuel-pier-cargo-wharf-upgrades/

  12. #12

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    Thank you all for the suggestions and especially the camel idea. I think that may be the easiest method, but maybe not the cheapest. For a PA-12, I could make a section from a decent size diameter of PVC and be able to tie off nose-on against it (and also keeping it from submerging under the float).

    Most of our shorelines aren't the best, either. There are very few sandy beaches. Mainly, the shores are protected with large, pointy-granite rip-rap or have a steep, inaccessible grade.

  13. #13
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I'm with MTV, that looks very hazardous. Is the wind always calm or light without changing direction? Is there ever a boat wake? Are your docking experiences always precise? You might consider a substantial anchor with plenty of rope and a swim suit.

    Do you have a mechanic who is good at making repairs?
    N1PA

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    I'm with MTV, that looks very hazardous. Is the wind always calm or light without changing direction? Is there ever a boat wake? Are your docking experiences always precise? You might consider a substantial anchor with plenty of rope and a swim suit.

    Do you have a mechanic who is good at making repairs?
    All reasons I avoid them right now.
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  15. #15
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Camels can work, but don’t offer very good options for protecting the plane in conditions like Pete noted. And, those things get slicker than deer guts on a doorknob, so getting to and from can get real sporty as well.

    So, what do boaters do thereabouts? Are any of these docks near restaurants, etc? If so you might suggest to management there that a small float attached to this piers might bring in business, from boats as well as you. A float can be attached so that it slides up and down with changes in water level.

    MTV

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