A boathouse should be just that – a place your boat can call home. Many people spend a fortune on a nice boat, only to store it in their driveway or front yard. A boathouse should offer as much protection as it does convenience, and when built the right way, may just last a lifetime.
Like with residential homes, boathouses can be built with plans, either original prints or stock plans. Just about anyone can build their own boathouse with a little practice, the right tools, and a little patience. And if you happen to need a little extra help, the team at Deep South Dock, Piling, & Marine Restoration can do it all!
Dock & Boathouse Construction
As is the case with any large-scale construction project, heavy machinery is going to be involved. The difference is, often times, these machines will be floating, such as barges with winch mounts, pile drivers, and more. There’s going to be a lot of moving parts and a lot of juggling schedules around, so be prepared; a simple boathouse can become complicated quickly.
What to Expect when Building a Dock
A boathouse is going to be an extensive project, especially considering that the wood used in dock construction needs to be brand quality materials. There’s little to no room for reusing older wood materials, especially if they’ve already been submerged in the water. The crew with the barge should be scheduled first, as they’ll need to install the anchor poles first before any “real” construction can begin. By using pile drivers and ensuring the posts are set in place, the stage is set for the next phase.
The dock comes next, forming a deck-like structure comprised of a series of wooden boards and planks that connect to the driven anchor poles. The frame is constructed first, followed by beams and walkways.
Building a Boathouse
The roof should be the next step and can be completed with whichever roofing material is best for your job and budget. Many boathouse owners use a metal roof as the shingles can easily detach and wind up in the water. Corrugated steel roof panels, on the other hand, are durable, long-lasting, and require little maintenance to keep it in shape.
If your boathouse utilizes a boatlift, the I-beams will be placed before the rest of the boathouse is constructed. Using a drive shaft, the I-beams are secured in place so that they can lift the water out of the water or set it down into the water without moving the roof frame more than it has to.
The rest of the boathouse is built based on personal preferences. Many choose to forgo having enclosed features or walls, especially if it’s being added to an existing dock. Having only the anchor beams gives your boathouse a simple appearance that still looks like a professionally-designed boathouse.
Other owners will want an enclosed boathouse, especially if it has been built on private property. This way, storage options can be installed for lifejackets, fishing gear, and other boating accessories. This way, your boathouse can be more like a boat garage, with everything you need in one convenient location for your fun day out.
Tips to Remember during Dock Construction
In many communities, it may be illegal to build a new “wet” boathouse. This is due to a wet boathouse, be it on a lake, river, or another body of water, has at least part of the construction below the Ordinary High Water Mark, or OHWM. A wet boathouse will need an entirely separate certification, as well as certifications for maintaining, repairing, and reconstruction services.
In many cases, a wet boathouse is for commercial use only; there may be instances where a residential or private use wet boathouse will be allowed, but that may be a tough uphill battle for you. Even if you’ve had your heart set on having a wet boathouse, you’ll probably have to settle for a dry boathouse instead. Often, you’re better off, as rising water levels can and will do a lot of damage.