Friday, April 3, 2009

Yellow Cedar Dock

Before we started construction on our home we had already looked into building a dock. Since Swan Lake is a shallow lake that is mostly surrounded by what I’d call a marsh, it is very hard to launch a boat from the shore. Hence, the dock that extends over the marshy area into water that is deep enough to launch and tie up a small boat.

I had always heard that getting an Army Corps of Engineers Permit was nearly impossible. But my experience has not shown this to be true. We of course consulted with the Corps when we built our house and found at that time the guidelines to build were simple to follow. When I applied for a permit to build the dock I again found it very easy and the Corps responded quickly and issued a permit for the dock.

The dock was build under Army Corps permit POA-2006-33

We hand dug holes through the grass and other organic material until we hit a layer of fractured rock at about 3 feet of depth. We then hand drove 1 inch galvanized pipe another 4 to 8 feet through the fractured rock until it refused to drive any further. Then Commercial Sonotubes were used as forms to pour 1 foot diameter concrete piers to support the deck girders. All in all we pour 2.5 yards of concrete for the project. The first yard of concrete was transported by wheelbarrow and the remainder of the concrete was carried in 5 gallon buckets.

Jud drills a pilot hole for one of the last spikes that holds the dock bull rail.

I though it would be fun to cast the shape of a duck and a swan into the concrete bulkhead that holds the dock to the shore.

We had never planned on using any pressure treated lumber because I did not want any toxic chemicals leaching into the lake. I was pleased when I read the Corps Permit requirements that banned the use of most treated lumber for any dock on this lake.

I of course am a very big fan of Alaskan Yellow Cedar. In my experience yellow cedar will out last most pressure treated lumber, it’s less expensive than pressure treated lumber, it grows locally and it is much less toxic to work with, so why in the heck would I use pressure treated lumber anyway!

When we applied for the permit we were told we were the first people to ever apply for a permit to build a dock on Sitka’s Swan Lake. This means this is the first legal dock to be built on the lake. Of course there is only a hand full of dock on the 22 acre lake anyway, but it’s nice to know ours is a legally built one.

1 comment:

Gwyn said...

Greetings from Juneau!
Your dock is beautiful. I can just image sitting out there watching the water fowl. You're sure to have great photo opps.:)
I, along with many others, miss Sitka Daily Photo. Kim, from Seattle Daily Photo, asked about you the other day. I told her that I would check up on you. It's nice to see you posting. Thanks for sharing your dock with us.