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Jack Docks FAQ
Can I add on to my dock in the future?

Yes. Our modular design allows for you to add additional frame sections in the future. Most people have changing needs as time goes on, whether they want to moor another boat, go out deeper into the water, or add a larger patio section. Modular docks are the only way to go, since you would need to order a whole new dock in other circumstances!

Can I reconfigure my dock to a new orientation in the future?

Yes. The frames can fit together in most any orientation, with predrilled holes to allow for reconstruction in different shapes. Some orientations require drilling a couple extra holes or an extra end rail. If you know you want to have the flexibility to change configurations, ask about both orientations when you order, and we can make sure you have everything you need!

Can I use a winch or an ATV to move my dock?

Jack Docks are designed to be transported easily by hand. Each frame section is only 45lbs. Without the decking, moving these docks is easy to do. Longer rolling Jack Dock packages come with wheels at least every 40ft of dock to roll with one or two people. Trucks, ATV’s, and tractors can damage the frame if not handled appropriately and is not recommended. Winches can be safe if applied to the axle of a pipe dock or a safe part of the frame when gentle force is used, but are not needed.

How can I make rolling my dock even easier with more wheels?

Easy. You can add as many wheels or supports as you would like. Simply add jack support or pipe support kits to Jack Dock packages, or give us a call and we can help customize your dock for you! Quick connects are great hardware to make connecting rolling dock sections together as well. You can hook them together instead of bringing your tools into the water. It is supposed to be easy, right?

How deep can the jack supports go?

Reference our Jack Support Guide, as there are multiple areas of adjustment and multiple sizes of jacks. Also, the frame is 12 inches tall, with the jacks overlapping that distance. Generally, the short jacks with wheels work in water depths of 12-46”, the tall jacks in water depths of 39-59”, and the extra tall jacks with wheels in water depths of 56-80”. Verify with your dock plan and the jack support guide to make sure you are getting the appropriate sizes of jacks. We can help you with this as well!

How do I build my Jack Dock?

Building a Jack Dock is easy! Follow the instruction pdf or instruction video!

  1. Lay out the frame parts in the way they will be arranged
  2. Assemble the frames by tightening the nuts/bolts
  3. Add jack supports at least every 16ft apart
  4. Add axles/wheels or drop legs under the jacks
  5. Put the dock frame in the water
  6. Drop the decking in place, starting with the shore end
  7. Screw jacks to adjust height as needed with ¾” socket driver
How do I secure my decking to my frame?

Although decking does not need to be secured since it sits in the frame tightly, you can secure your decking for peace of mind or on bodies of water with abnormally large waves. There are many other ways to secure the decking to the frame, most popular of which is with zip ties. You can zip tie under the dock frame and through the decking stringer so that it doesn’t get carried away by a storm, and can later be cut when you are ready to winterize your dock. Another way is to use deck lockers. Dock packages with poly decking include deck lockers, but the other decking types can purchase them separately. Lastly, by predrilling and bolting the decking through the frame, you can bolt the decking to the frame with hardware not included.

How do I winterize my dock?

In the event of freezing, all docks are recommended to be taken out of the water. Taking the dock out for the winter is easy!

  1. Remove the decking, starting with the lake end of the dock
  2. Pull the frame out of the water
  3. Store frame fully assembled or broken down on the shore
  4. Store decking out of the elements for longest lasting decking
How do the jack supports work?

Jack supports are so easy to adjust. A ¾” nut turns the mechanism with an 18” range. Simply turn the not on top of the jack with a wrench or cordless drill with ¾” socket to change the height. This allows you to change the height of the dock from the top instead of getting wet and lifting! There is no easier way to own a dock than to have jacks! Follow this link to explore optimal water depths for different types of jacks.

How long does assembly take?

Assembly takes about 15 minutes per frame. The first frame is takes the longest, and each subsequent frame is faster. Assembly time depends on the number of people and tools available. The only required tools is a pair of crescent wrenches, but the job goes faster with socket drills or impact drivers.

How strong are the dock frames?

Very strong. The 12” tall truss beats the industry average of 8” tall frame. A taller truss withstands opposing forces better than a shorter frame. Angled aluminum, diagonal braces, transition plates, and serrated nuts also contribute to a very strong design. Many docks are used in marinas to carry many people, and trees have fallen on Jack Docks with minimal damage. Strength should always be part of the discussion, but it is our number one positive feedback we get from returning customers. Jack Docks are so much stronger than customers anticipated!

I am on salt water.

We offer a marine grade aluminum frames, which holds up under salt water conditions. The corrosive process on the hardware may be increased, but the grade of aluminum we offer will resist rust. Over time there is some susceptibility to “pitting rust” or surface rust. Generally, pipe supports, or pilings are preferred for supports in salt water. Reference literature on aluminum in salt water.

I have a river with current or very big waves.

Not a problem. We offer pipe docks with augers to drive your pipes down into the lake or river bottom. The truss design allows for waves to hit the dock with minimal repercussions as the truss “cuts” through the wave. Although a general rule of thumb is to never try being the first one with an aluminum dock on a body of water. If everyone else stays away from aluminum, it would be wise for you as well.

Is assembly difficult?

No. If you can screw a nut on a bolt, you can assemble a Jack Dock.

Is hardware included?

Yes. All the hardware required for the frames, securing the supports, and fenders are all included with the dock packages. Hardware for securing decking is not included as it is not needed.

My configuration isn’t one of the standard packages.

No problem. Contact us and we can help you with your custom project. We have built many creatively shaped docks from our 4x8ft frame sections and decking, including 100+ft docks, elaborate slips, tiered docks for waters with tides, floating docks, decks, ramps, and riser seating. We have a lot of fun getting creative and we would love to consult your next project.

My dock cannot rest on the shore, but must be freestanding.

No problem. Though all Jack Docks packages assume you can rest the dock frame on the shoreline, you can purchase a shore end support or a shore ramp kit to add to your order. We offer shore end supports that match the rest of your jack or pipe supports, and we can even add wheels. Shore ramps include these supports, and finish a dock off nicely for even easier access.

What advantages are there for aluminum decking?

Aluminum decking offers the longest lasting decking product on the market. It won’t rot, crack, fade, or splinter like other decking. It is strong, light weight, and attractive. Aluminum does conduct heat. With the powder-coated finish it helps keep the decking cooler, and protects against slipping. Reference powder-coating literature. Ribbing also helps with traction. The wood grain finish is an incredibly attractive option, with gray and brown colors available. Many have tried to replicate this attractive decking option, but none have succeeded. It’s the envy of the decking industry.

What advantages are there for cedar decking?

Cedar decking is the most economical of our decking options with the most traditional look. Western red cedar is naturally mold resistant hard wood. Reference literature on western red cedar decking. It is kiln dried and ready to receive stain or topcoat. All wood will decompose in the elements and need to be replaced. An attractive finish will keep your traditional dock looking great!

What advantages are there for poly decking?

Poly decking is the best for traction control. It is designed with ribbing and holes to allow for grip on the feet and water to drip through. Competitively priced, this decking option keeps cool and dry and is hassle free. All plastics can decompose over time in UV radiation, so this will need to be replaced, but it does contain an additive to delay the decomposition process and give you a decking option that will stay beautiful for years. Reference literature on polypropylene and radiation.

What are the advantages to Jack supports?

Jack supports are so easy to adjust. They are built with a worm gear stainless steel screw inside the aluminum chamber. A ¾” nut turns the mechanism with an 18” range. This allows you to change the height of the dock from the top instead of getting wet and lifting! There is no easier way to own a dock than to have jacks! To explore optimal water depth measurements for each jack, follow this link.

What are the advantages to Pipe supports?

Pipe supports have no moving pieces, so they can naturally go a bit deeper without any wobble. They adjust in the traditional fashion and will be very dependable.

What is drop-in decking?

Drop in decking is a dock decking design that allows you to remove and install decking by setting it in a form-fitted nest in the framing. The decking style favors easy installation and removal, since the decking more than doubles the weight of the dock. Each decking panel measures 4ftx4ft and weighs less than 40 lbs each. There is no better way to go!

What is the best hassle-free decking?

Jack Docks offers powder-coated woodgrain aluminum decking which will require the least maintenance and will last the longest. It is a highly sought-after decking option.

What is the weight limit on the docks?

Each support can bear 1000lbs, so with supports every 16 feet, your dock will have an approximate weight capacity of 45 lbs/sft, the same as your average deck. For docks at marinas or public traffic docks, we recommend putting supports every 8ft.

What type of hardware is included?

Our most recent Jack Docks models include grade 8 zinc-plated hardware for the frames, and stainless steel for hardware that is submerged. Stainless steel is not used on the frame because contact corrosion will occur with different metals, and the aluminum frame must not corrode. Thus, hardware may show signs of rust and need replacement, but replacing the frame should not be necessary. Reference literature on contact corrosion.

Will aluminum rust?

Certain grades of aluminum can rust depending on the alloy and finishing. The aluminum we manufacture is marine grade 6061, so it will not rust. Reference literature on aluminum corrosion.