Winterize Your Dock with Wooden Floating Docks

Your dock can be left in place when:

  • protected from wind and waves. Maximum wave height 1 foot
  • water is at its lowest level floatation tanks do not rub on rocks
  • the dock has room to move when ice expands and or shifts

To properly winterize a dock left in place you need to:

  1. Check and tighten all bolts & screws every year as they become loose with wood shrinkage and motion
  2. Loosen anchor chains to allow for higher spring water levels. Be certain anchors keep the dock a safe distance from a rocky shoreline or rocky bottom. This might mean changing where the anchors connect to the dock
  3. Flip up or remove the ladder
  4. Disconnect ramp from the dock & put on the dock or on shore, place pins back on the hinge
  5. Raise or remove ramp legs if any, or disconnect ramp if its hinged to shore
  6. Tie the safety line (chain is best) from the dock to a strongly fixed object on shore, such as a tree
  7. It is a good idea to mark your dock with a tall reflector for snowmobilers to see

Swim Rafts should always be brought in close to shore or completely up on shore ensuring that floats do not rub on rocks. To prevent swim rafts from escaping in spring tie back to a strongly fixed object on shore

Winterizing for Exposed Locations – high wind exposure

Your dock should be towed to a protected bay or taken out of the water if you are exposed to a large open body of water with high winds where moving ice could crush the dock against the shore.

  1. Raise or remove any pipe legs and flip up or remove the ladder.
  2. Disconnect ramp and place on dock or shore
  3. Disconnect anchor chains and secure them to shore with a rope.
  4. Float the dock into a protected bay, anchor it out from shore with cinder blocks and tie a safety line to shore. The dock should be free floating away from shore and rocks; the dock should have room to move when ice expands and or shifts.

It is always better to use a chain rather than rope for your safety line because a chain is stronger and will not be frayed or chewed by muskrats. It is a good idea to put a winterizing sign on your dock with your name, cottage address and phone number on it. Mark your dock with a tall reflector for snowmobilers to see.


If a floating dock has to come out for the winter use a winch attached to a fixed object on shore. Place wooden planks on the ground to slide the dock upon: these planks should run underneath the dock floats to protect them from rubbing on rocks. Tie the safety line to dock from a fixed object on shore to prevent it from sliding back. Mark your dock so you know it’s yours. Check & tighten bolts every year.



Your aluminum sectional leg dock can be easily removed from the water if you carefully follow all instructions.

  1. Have enough help to lift and move the dock frame without dragging
  2. Remove or flip up the ladder
  3. Start at the furthest section out from shore, removing one dock section at a time working your way closer to shore
  4. The docks have decking panels that can be removed. Remove the first panel, the one furthest out, and take it to shore. Continue with the rest of the panels working your way into shore. Store deck panels in an area where they will not be affected by high spring water levels and secure them to a solid object on shore.
  5. Disconnect any hinges between dock sections and store the pins in the hinge OR undo the connecting bolts holding the dock sections together.
  6. With a minimum of two preferably four people carry the dock frames to shore and store safely for winter.

Never leave aluminum docks in the water for the winter and always detach them from the shore completely.

*Mark your dock with your name, address and phone number for identification

Winterizing your dock courtesy of RIDEAU DOCKS LTD.
Wooden Floating and Aluminum Dock specialists
For further information regarding dock winterization visit: