Time Required: A Long Weekend (Three days)
Difficulty: Depends on how much wood you have

With their current fixed dock rotting away, brothers Andrew and Kevin retreat to the drawing board eager to fix the situation and build their dream dock. They quickly come to the conclusion that their new floating dock will need to be self-propelled so that it can be moored both at the shore as well as in the middle of the lake where the swimming is prime.

Project Steps

Step 3

Make a run to the nearest well-stocked hardware store and pick up the materials required including:

• Dimensional pressure-treated lumber

2-by-10’s for the framing and joists.

• Cedar lumber

4-by-4’s for the pergola uprights, 2-by-6’s for the pergola cross-pieces, planks for the decking, plus additional two-by and one-by stock for the bench seating, storage boxes and other goodies.

• Hot-dipped galvanized tie connectors

When using ACQ pressure-treated lumber, be sure to use connectors and fasteners that meet the appropriate ASTM G-185 standards or better. Failure to do so will likely result in your connectors and fasteners slowly dissolving away and your swim raft nothing more than a loose pile of wood at the bottom of the lake.

• Large plastic barrels

Also known as rainwater tanks or rain barrels, eight to ten of these will provide pontoon-style floatation. They’ll need to have lids and be sealed air-tight.

• Swim ladder

Also known as a boarding ladder, these can be found at your local marine supply store.

• Anchor and chain

These can also be found at your local marine supply store or fashioned out of something really heavy lying around the cottage. A wisecrack about your brother here will likely earn you a punch in the nose.

• Portable charcoal BBQ

BBQ accessories — like a fire extinguisher and water bucket — may come in handy.

• A large insulated cooler

A cooler with at least 48 quarts of cubic volume is more than enough for your on-board consumption needs but the extra empty space is important if you want to have it floating in the water in a hidden compartment underneath the swim raft.

• Electric trolling motor

Around 40-50 lbs. of thrust, variable speed, battery indicator, telescopic handle and whatever the heck a digital maximizer is, are things to look for in a trolling motor.

• Solar panel and a marine battery or two

A solar panel in the neighbourhood of 300 watts should keep the motor’s battery well-charged for those long excursions out onto the lake.

• Plenty of fasteners

A large selection of weather-resistant screws, nails, lag bolts, and hex bolts are a must in any cottage building project. If you’re using pressure-treated lumber, you’ll need specially-treated fasteners.


The Ultimate Projects Guide

The individuals featured in this website are not professional builders and the build of the projects featured in this website are intended to be for your entertainment only. Nothing in this website should be construed as construction/building advice. Check your local building/safety codes and consult with a professional before starting any building project.