Dock Gear


4 Considerations for Buying Dock Bumpers

For someone who doesn’t own a boat, something like a dock bumper might seem insignificant. But what boat owners know is that the type of duck bumper you choose is integral for many reasons. Dock bumpers are not just about convenience. They can do some real damage to your boat if you don’t choose wisely. And, they can either enhance boating safety or make it more risky. Investing in a quality product like C-Marine Bumpers is the best way to go. Here are four factors to consider when buying dock bumpers.

How Is the Dock Going to Be Used?

Is the dock going to be used for fishing boats which are mostly going to lie underneath the dock? Or, is it going to be used for pontoon boats that are mostly above water level? Since the idea behind a dock bumper is to prevent boat damage, strategically placing the dock bumpers is important.

Is It Worth Investing?

We won’t deny that sometimes dock bumpers can get pricey. However, if you don’t invest in a quality product, then you risk paying more to repair damage. The C-Marine Bumpers are the highest quality bumpers in the industry that also look amazing. They are comprised of urethane memory solid foam construction unlike other cheap vinyl or plastic competitors. C-Marine bumpers are also are not just air filled, so they won’t burst or rupture. C-Marine bumpers can accommodate boats up to 30 ft, 45 ft, and 70 ft. They are the type that the Coast Guard uses because they keep boats free from damage. 

 

What Type of Dock Is It?

If you have something like a pleasure boat dock that is constructed with pilings which are vertical support posts that lie beneath it, you need to apply dock bumpers to the pilings to prevent boats being damaged from bumping up against them. If you have a floating dock that does not have pilings, then it would be more appropriate to use cushioned boat dock bumpers to minimize boat contact with the dock.

What Aesthetic Do You Want?

Dock bumpers come in a variety of looks. You can use something as remedial as a rubber tire as a dock bumper, but they are not going to be aesthetically pleasing. If you want to make your dock look more “upscale,” investing in a dock bumper that is eye-appealing is essential.

The type of dock bumper you choose is highly critical not only to keeping your boat damage-free, but also to protect passengers as they get into and out of your boat. You should consider the aesthetics of your dock as well as the size and demands of the boats using it. If you don’t invest enough to get quality dock bumpers, the resulting damage can cost a whole lot more. To see a vast selection of dock bumpers to suit your needs, check out DockGear.com. They have a vast number of styles and colors to choose from. 

3 Types of Dock Ladders: Which Type of Ladder Is Right for You?

Dock ladders

Photo by StockSnap on Pixabay

When choosing a dock ladder, it’s important to take into account all factors to determine which type suits you. In addition, depending on where your dock is and the harshness the ladder will have to withstand, choosing the right material is critical to making a wise purchase. If you choose unwisely, it can decrease the life of your ladder. Here are three types of dock ladders and how to choose the right one for you.

1. Straight Dock Ladders

The straight ladder is the ideal choice for stationary docks and seawalls that have fluctuating water lines. They allow for easy climbing out of the water and make it just as easy to get in. They come in a variety of lengths, available in 3, 4, 5, and 7 step models, and they also have 2 inch or 3 1/2 inch depths on the treads to provide more safety.

The advantage of a straight ladder is that it stays put in the water. If you’re pulling your boat right up to the dock, you don’t have to worry about damaging it should you forget to remove the ladder. However, if you are purchasing a straight ladder, it is a good idea to buy one that is either steel or stainless steel. That way it can withstand the rigors of being submerged over long periods of time.

2. Flip-Up Dock Ladders

Flip-up ladders are made to use with floating or fixed docks and rest above the dock when not being used. They have a lock pin mechanism that keeps them secure in either the up or down position. Available in 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 steps models, they are highly versatile and suitable for use with people of all ages. The step sizes also vary and can come in either a 2 inch or 4-inch tread to accommodate your needs.

The advantage of a flip-up ladder is that its design allows for easy access on and off a boat, but they can be removed from the water easily when not in use. This is good for areas of high marine growth. You can also detach the ladder from the mount with ease for easy storage.

3. Retractable Dock Ladders

The retractable ladder is an excellent choice for use with a seawall or dock. The lower section of the dock ladder retracts above the water line to reduce corrosion and to extend the life of the ladder. Retractable ladders come in 4, 5, 6, and 7 step models, and they have either a 2 inch or a 4-inch deep tread for additional safety when climbing in and out of the boat. A retractable ladder is ideal when you want to get the ladder up out of the water. They are also an excellent choice to reduce corrosion from sitting idle in the water.

The ideal dock ladder design and material depends on the dock it will be used with. Whatever your needs are, Dock Gear has the right dock ladder for you. We offer a vast selection of ladders of all types and styles. Explore our dock ladder selection today!

All About Boarding Ladders

When it comes to docking your boat, you want to make sure that you have all of the necessary bells and whistles including safety equipment. Boarding ladders are a part of that puzzle to complete your boating needs. These ladders allow people to get in and out of the boat for swimming or aid in boarding the boat from a dinghy. These ladders aren’t very helpful in rough seas but are a necessity at the dock. Types of boarding ladders vary between the types of boats they are needed for. These include:

Gunwale ladders and runabouts

Swim step ladders

Platform ladders

Transom ladders

Removable ladders

Things that you should be aware of are:

Where the ladders mount

Comfort of the ladder

Security of the ladder

How the ladder is constructed

The materials the ladder is made of

All of these aspects will have an impact on how the ladder can is used and how long the life of the ladder will be.

If you’re looking for the best in boating supplies, look no further than DockGear.com. We are your one-stop shop for boating and dock supplies and accessories. We pride ourselves on quality and good prices. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about your boat and dock supply needs.

Tips for Installing and Choosing Dock Ladders

Have you ever thought of relaxing and taking time in the water? It does not matter which source you enjoy, it can be in a swimming pool, and lake or an ocean. How you get into the water and out of the water is a constant and can be solved with many simple to more elegant ladder solutions. You may be taking ride in a boat and jump in for a swim but the big questionis how will I get back into the boat. This access problem exists for both boat docks and boats. Thankfully there are a wide variety and styles of dock ladders and boat ladders which make access to and from the water more enjoyable to both swimmers and boat passengers. To find and install dock ladders the following are some tips to consider when answering the how, where, which and when to do so.

JIF Marine Angled Dock Ladders

Where to install your dock ladder.
The dock ladders you choose must be fit exactly to its purpose. Consider the flow on and off the dock and the flow of passengers from and to the boat. The dock ladder must be positioned strategically to where it serves it’s function but doesn’t intrude on the dock space. Especially with finger piers choosing a finger pier style ladder is ideal. For other areas of your dock a standard stationary (fixed), lifting (retractable) or swing (flip up) style ladder will work fine. Where to install It comes down to structural considerations, user preference and how it looks and functions for your needs.

How to mount the dock ladders.
The dock ladders must be fixed to the most stable part of the dock. This aids in the safety of the swimmer getting out of the water. Most dock ladders mount with 4 to 8 bolts (2 on each side or 4 on each side). Ideally you want to use stainless steel for longevity and better resistance to the marine environment. Galvanized steel is okay too. The length of bolt will vary according to the structure. Another good idea is to have more support under your dock by using mounting plates or blocking up underneath with a 2×4 for additional structural support. Simply mounting into deck boards may not be enough. This is something you’ll have to decide on site.

Which ladder do you choose?
You should consider the material of the dock ladders in relation to the environment of use. For everyday use on a fresh water lake, use a standard marine grade aluminum dock ladder. Even a galvanized steel dock ladder will work. Both these materials will hold up for many years in fresh water environments. For salt or brakish water you can use an aluminum or galvanized steel but they won’t last as long as a higher end stainless steel dock ladder. Dock ladders made from stainless steel will cost you more in the short term but will pay for themselves over the long term. Plus they look a whole lot nicer!

Another factor to consider when choosing dock ladders is the length. A general rule of thumb is 2 steps into the water. Measure the distance from your dock to the water line, at low tide (if applicable) and then add 2 feet. Add 3 feet if you want the initial climb to be more comfortable. That way you don’t have to hike your leg up too high to pull yourself up to that first step.

When to install dock ladders.
One can install a dock ladder at anytime. The nice thing about dock ladders today is that you can buy ladders that are fixed mounted or available with quick release mounting systems. Fixed mounted ladders are more permanent. However, quick release mounting systems offer easy removal and portability. The type of systems are different between manufacturers but the end result is the same… easy removal and installation of your dock ladder. Say you have bad weather, floods or your lake freezes over during the winter. Being able to remove it will save you a lot of headache and money if you ever need to replace it because of damage. Even removing it so it doesn’t get stolen is a good idea. Bottom line, however or whenever you choose to install dock ladders is in many cases conditional to your specific needs and requirements.

Why Modern Dock Boxes Are Both Eco-Friendly And Durable

Storage options by the dockside or marina can be highly limited due to extreme weather conditions and outdoor exposure. Tools, fishing equipment, diving gear, or other toys need secure and weather proof storage to prevent damage from UV rays, corrosive sea salt, theft or damage. The ideal storage solution are sturdy TitanSTOR dock boxes from DockGear.com, with rugged construction and tough finishes. 

Why choose TitanSTOR dock storage boxes?

Dockgear.com provides top-of-the -line dock storage boxes from TitanSTOR. Unlike other boxes made from fiberglass, TitanSTOR utilizes durable and long lasting high density rotational-molded polyethylene. This is a much tougher and marine grade material, which is specifically suited to the harsh conditions on the dock. Furthermore, the affordable price allows you to enjoy the benefits of a higher grade storage box at a lower or comparable price than a less durable fiberglass option.

Benefits of TitanSTOR dock boxes.

Our dock storage boxes are not only made from quality materials, but also benefit from ergonomic design, great finishes and precise fit. Furthermore, they come in three ideal sizes to suit every requirement. All the boxes measure 24” wide and 27” high, but vary in length from 86” for the large, 71” for medium and 48” for small. They are also available in white and tan for a more appealing look.

Other benefits of dock storage boxes include:

Solid construction

The polyethylene boxes are the toughest and most indestructible boxes on the market today. They are able to withstand daily wear and tear, while keeping harsh weather conditions at bay. The solid double walled lids measuring 3/16 to ¼ inch thick further ensure that they can withstand heavy weights placed on top of the boxes, or even children jumping on them.

Eco-friendly and UV resistant

Exposure to UV rays from the sun can damage and weaken most dock storage boxes. TitanSTOR dock boxes are highly resistant to UV rays, keeping your equipment and gear in great condition. These boxes are also eco-friendly, unlike those made from other materials.

Theft and weather proof

Every dock box comes with rust resistant stainless steel hinges, which are molded in to prevent theft and tampering while you are away. The hinges are also tough enough to resist high winds that can blow off the lid, and are further secured by two locks on either side. For ease of use, each dock box is fitted with internal spring hinges for open suspension.

Finally, TitanSTOR dock storage boxes come with two air vents to keep your gear well ventilated and mold-free. They can also be mounted off the dock on metal brackets to save you space and make storage easier. The 10 year limited manufacturers guarantee will definitely give you peace of mind and assurance of quality.

 

Automating Your Boat Lift With GEM Remotes

Properly maintaining a boat involves significant time that most owners don’t have. Lack of time is one of the main reasons many people simply dry dock the boat versus using a boat lift system. The basic premise of the boat lift is that it is a mechanical device that can carefully lift the boat and then securely cradle it out of the water. By storing your boat in this manner, you prevent the growth of scum, barnacles and other marine growth.  There are two common ways to to hoist your boat.  Electro-mechanical through the use of a motor and hoist system with cradles or slings or manually with a wheel and pulley system.  The latter is more common with lighter weight PWC crafts like jet skis.  For boats a motorized lift system is ideal because of the weights involved

.GR4, GR2, GR2A GEM Remotes

The Manual Switch Versus an Automated GEM Remote

There are a couple approaches to using your boat lift when lifting the boat up and down.  A spring loaded switch or maintain switch is wired to the hoist motor allowing you to manually toggle a button and move the lift system up or down.  Spring loaded switches allow you to toggle the switch and then spring back to neutral when you want to stop.  A maintain switch will stay in the up or down position and only go back to neutral if you toggle the switch back manually.  Both of these methods can be tricky if you need to further manuever the boat.  This is where an automated GEM remotes system comes in to play.  Imagine mooring into your slip and then pulling out a key fob transmitter (just like a remote garage door opener).  Then be able to stay in the boat and position it while automatically moving the lift right up to where you need it.  No having to jump out the boat, reposition, run to the switch, reposition etc etc.  GEM remotes make using your boat lift so much easier… no different than how an automatic garage door opener makes opening your garage door easier.

Types of GEM Remotes

There are several types of gem remotes wired for different uses.  Most come standard for use with 110V operation but can be wired for 240V operation as well.  You have the GR1 which is wired for a single motor boat lift, GR1A which is wired for a single motor with Autostop capability.  Autostop requires the use of a Limit Switch which is physically installed on the hoist itself.  The limit switch “limits” the number of revolutions the hoist will make.  This is a nice safety feature so you don’t accidently switch your lift into an infinite down or up position (destroying your lift system or damaging your boat).  This allows you to set the limit switch so your boat lift only goes up or down a certain distance.  The next type of GEM remote is the GR2.  This is for a 2-motor system operating a single lift.  Next is the GR2A which has Autostop capability.  You also have the GR4 and GR4A which operates a single lift, 4-motor system.  Finally you have the GR2F1 which allows you to operate two independent motors for two separate lifts.  In other words you can operate two separate lifts with single motor configurations.  For example a single motor boat lift and then a single motor PWC lift all using the one GEM remote unit.

Cost and Where To Buy

GEM remotes can range from $350 up to $800.  They all ship with mounting brackets and one 3-button key fob transmitter.  You can buy additional transmitters as well.  Always good to have a back up just incase you lose one in the water!  All GEM remotes can be purchased at DockGear.com (www.dockgearsupply.com).  DockGear.com offers free shipping on all it’s GEM remotes and key fob transmitters.

 

How To Navigate Chop In An Inboard

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One of the beauties of stern drives is the fact that they have deep-V hulls which makes them stable in rough or choppy conditions, whether that’s a chop off the coast, or just a lake that has been churned up by other boats. As for inboards, the perceived wisdom is that they are better suited to calm waters because they have a shallow transom deadrise.

However, the inboards of today have deeper-V hulls than the ski-focused water sports boats of some years ago, and there is another factor involved. They are simply bigger. It may seem that the wider beams and deeper hulls are designed to appeal to boaters who want to carry more passengers in comfort, but the side effect is that they are more stable and offer a smoother ride in choppy conditions.

Of course, another point is that the ride comfort is largely dependent on the point at which the water breaks under the hull. Most sterndrives have a tendency to lift the bow higher out of the water – obvious, if you think about it – which means that the water breaks farther aft than on an inboard. With an inboard, you’ll notice that the angle is far less steep, so the water breaks nearer the bow. The deadrise here will often be 30 or more.

If you think about how to achieve a smoother ride in choppy conditions, one plain answer is simply to slow down a little. You can alter your speed, and keep the boat as comfortable as possible when tackling larger waves, by adjusting the throttle to suit the conditions.

You might also think it safest to take on large waves head on, but in fact, you will find that the result is a rougher trip more often than not. In addition, you may find that you dip the bow into the waves immediately following.

The answer is to turn the boat to a 45  angle relative to the bow. This will probably have a tendency to rock the boat from one side to the other a bit more, but you will find that it will decrease the impact that you get from hitting the wave head on. When the water is really rough, you might find that tacking like a sail boat gives the best ride. Yes, you will take a bit longer to get where you are going, but you will be much more comfortable getting there.

Another point to consider is if you have ballast on board for something like wakeboarding. Here, you have to understand that there won’t be as much freeboard, which means that turns need to be wider and more gentle. In addition, you should decelerate slowly, rather than slamming the throttle off completely, which will result in the boat’s following wave hitting the transom.

Overall, the answer to the question of how to navigate chop is: take it a little slower, and give yourself plenty of time so that you can make wider turns. If you crash through the waves head on, you are going to be in for a bumpy ride.

Anchoring at Night: Important Tips for Staying Safe

anchorwatchdarkWhen you’re anchoring at night, there are many important guidelines you and your crew are going to need to follow in order to stay safe. While there are numerous safety regulations and laws surrounding the practice of anchoring at night, there are only a couple of principles you need to keep in mind in order to ensure the best possible outcome when you drop the anchor for the evening. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the important tips for staying safe when you’re anchoring at night.

– Maintain Situational Awareness at All Times – No Exceptions –

The most important thing you can possibly due after dropping your anchor for the night is to set up a dedicated schedule for the night watch. In fact, federal regulations require that you have at least one individual awake and alert at any given moment in order to avoid potential accidents due to collisions and other possible scenarios. Additionally, this practice of keeping a lookout to safeguard your vessel against other threats at sea is actually required by law, and where lookouts are not being kept major fines can be incurred. Thus, to ensure maximum situational awareness, you’re going to want to have at least one crew member constantly standing guard for threats at all times. This crew member should also be outfitted with a life jacket in order to comply with standard maritime laws related to lookouts while anchored at sea.

– Strategies for Conducting a Safe, Effective Lookout –

Ensuring that your lookout crew stays alert and aware of their surroundings is easier said than done, unfortunately. The lack of sleep can take its toll, even when you have a four person crew that is actively rotating throughout the anchor time period. Nevertheless, there are a few ways to better enable your lookout team members to stay awake and alert. Firstly, you might consider setting an alarm for 15 minutes intervals in order to keep everyone awake. You might also try caffeine pills and other kinds of chemical stimulants. – Head Up, Eyes Open, Stay Alert – Ultimately, the safety of the vessel and her crew is dependent upon the knowledge, experience, and awareness of the captain. If that happens to be you, then you now understand the necessity of maintaining a night lookout while you’re anchored at sea. Maintaining an effective lookout for your vessel is of prime importance, so get out there today and come up with a plan – it may just save your life one day.

Dock Ladder Safety

Summertime is just around the corner once again, and most water loving people are just waiting until the water is warm enough to go swimming or take the family boat out for a nice fishing trip.

In many situations, individuals who are using waterways for entertainment and enjoyment will be accessing the water by making use of a dock, and thus will need
what is known as a dock ladder. These nifty modern inventions make it easy for people of all ages and abilities to easily get into the water by simply going up or down the ladder.

As great as these aquatic tools are, like anything else in life people need to be aware of any safety issues that may crop up when using these pieces of equipment. This article will discuss some common safety measures that individuals should take to help ensure the continued health and wellness of their loved ones as they enjoy the beautiful waterways that grace the nation.

Dock Safety with Wet Steps

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO ENSURE SAFETY WHEN USING DOCK LADDERS?

1. MAKE SURE THAT IT IS MOUNTED PROPERLY

This may seem like an obvious step to take, but many people are injured each and every year when the dock ladder that they are using detaches from the dock itself. If this happens while entering or leaving the water, an individual runs the risk of injuring themselves by hitting the dock or by the ladder falling on top of them. Thus, it is key to make sure that all ladder attachments are securely fastened.

2. LOOK OUT FOR SLIPPERY CONDITIONS

Since the dock ladder is used in the water itself, swimmers and boaters should stay vigilant in terms of watching their steps as they use the ladder. Whether the person using the ladder is a swimmer or a diver, they should be sure to grip the handles of the dock ladder tightly and to ease themselves in or out of the water. Divers can be especially at risk due to the extra slipperiness of their flippers as they exit the water, and for this reason it’s often a good idea to remove any diving related footwear before making use of the ladder.

3. WATCH OUT FOR HAZARDS IN THE WATER ITSELF

Even though the surface of the water may appear placid, if the water is not clear it can be hard to see what is going on a few feet under the surface. Before diving off a dock or a ladder, swimmers should make extra sure that there are no dangerous objects such as sunken branches, or even schools of fish beneath the surface.

4. STAY WITHIN THE LOAD SPECIFICATIONS OF THE LADDER

Dock ladder users should avoid over stressing the ladder, and should make sure that kids and young adults are not horse playing with the equipment.Yes, summer is around the corner, and individuals who keep in mind the tips that have been provided stand a great chance of enjoying the water all season without incident or injuries.

Looking for Boat Ladders?

Purchasing a boat ladder is a lot easier than you might think, and this product will provide you with quick and easy access in and out of your boat. It will be difficult but not impossible to find a duplicate ladder if your boat is more than a few years old. However, you’ll be able to order a replacement boat ladder easily: although you may need to drill new holes for mounting.

Boat Ladders

THE BEST BOAT LADDERS
Here are some of the types of boat ladders that we offer. All of our products come with full instructions, so you will be able to assemble and install the item without any hassle.

+ Transom-mounted ladders: These boat ladders can be mounted on the transom of your boat, making them suitable for older sailboats or power boats that lack a swim platform.

+ Gunwale mounted ladders: These temporary ladders hook onto the side of your boat (also known as the ‘gunwale’). They are easy to set up, and don’t require any additional equipment – making them a cost-effective alternative to permanent boat ladders.

+ On-platform mounted ladders: These ladders can be mounted to the top of your boat’s swim platform. Sometimes these ladders can obstruct the swim platform significantly, so you might want to opt for a smaller, less obtrusive ladder. One of the benefits of on-platform mounted ladders is that they are extremely adaptable, and they fit the majority of boats that have a swim platform.

+ Under-platform mounted ladders: Unlike on-platform mounted ladders, these can be mounted underneath your boat’s swim platform, and are popular because they don’t obstruct the top of the platform.

TIPS WHEN BUYING BOAT LADDERS

Whether you’re replacing an existing boat ladder, or purchasing a brand new one, there are a number of factors to consider. One of these is safety; you will want the ladder to be securely attached, non-slippery, and be able to support a heavy amount of weight. You will also want to choose a product that has steps which extend below the water by at least a foot or two. This makes it easier to climb back onto the dock after swimming, snorkeling, or spending time in the water. Boat ladders that are positioned too high on the boat can be difficult to grip, and might pose a significant safety hazard. Finally, consider the material of the product. Metals like aluminum can be a popular and cost effective option, but might corrode or rust over time. Stainless steel boat ladders are your best option but tend to cost a little more than other alternatives.

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