"The Weekend Lake", Family Trip to the Lake Cabin

"The Weekend Lake" is a well-shot video by videographer Matt Wiebe featuring he and his wife and their dogs at their family lake cabin. This is the perfect exhibition of what lakeside living has to offer: relaxing on the boat dock, canoeing, boating, swimming, watching wildlife and more.

Sailing the Coast of Maine, Short Documentary

Here is a short documentary by Dreamlike Pictures about a trip sailing the coast of Maine from Portsmouth to Casco Bay in the Spring a few years ago. The video is well shot and gives a honest portrayal of what life is like for boaters and fishermen in coastal Maine.

Build a Floating Home or Boathouse, What You Need

At HarborWare we get hundreds of calls throughout the week with questions about how to build a boat dock, particularly what size and quantity of dock floats are needed. Our more complicated answers are usually about floating homes and boathouses that are extraordinarily heavy.

First of all, we highly recommend consulting with a local licensed engineer familiar with boat docks to obtain a weight estimate of the structure. They have the ability to do this even if the structure isn't built yet. Second, you'll need to get necessary permits in place before breaking ground. Third, you want to pick the right size of dock floats and the right quantity. Floating homes and boathouses are usually a much bigger investment than a small lake house dock, so you'll want to do things right the first time!

Introduction to Dock Floats for Boat Docks

Dock Flotation (dock floats, float drums) can be defined as any device used in the construction of a boat dock that allows it to float on top of a body of water.

A floating dock will move up and down with water levels, contrary to a standing dock that is built on stilts which does not ever move. Most boat docks that are built on a water source connected to a dam are floating docks due to the effect dams have on water levels. When the dam opens up, water levels can drop several feet and if your boat dock is floating, it will lower down along with the water level.

In the mid-1900's, dock floats looked much different then how they look today. There were three primary types: styrofoam blocks, metal pontoons, and barrels. For many reasons, these primitive floating devices are now obsolete and are outlawed in most US states. Over the years styrofoam became hazardous to the environment, polluting lakes with small foam pieces that broke off little by little over time. Metal pontoons and barrels are hollow, so when punctured docks began to sink rapidly. Also, barrels that where once used to house chemicals were being re-purposed as dock flotation and started leaking deadly chemicals into our water source. Eventually the "encapsulated dock float" was developed and replaced all forms of dock flotation.

Introduction to Marine Anchor Shackles

Screw Pin Anchor Shackles come in two types: Galvanized Steel and Stainless Steel. Galvanized steel is less expensive but can only be used around freshwater and it's lifespan is lower than stainless. Stainless steel is necessary around salt water because it's better suited to withstand corrosion. Stainless steel can be used around any body of water and has a longer lifespan than galvanized steel. Anchor shackles come in different designs, but HarborWare carries the bow-shaped variety.