Dock Winterizing for Protected Locations


Your dock can be left in place if it is:


Protected from the wind. Waves from wind do not exceed one foot in dock area.

When the water is at its lowest level the floats do not rub on bottom or rocks.

When the ice expands, the dock has two feet of room around it to move.



  1. Check and tighten all bolts every year as they become loose with wood shrinkage and motion.
  2. Loosen anchor chains to allow for higher spring water levels. The idea is to anchor the dock away from the rocky shoreline, this might mean changing where the anchors connect to the dock (i.e. bringing chains to the front of the dock).
  3. Flip up or remove ladder.
  4. Raise or remove ramp legs.
  5. Disconnect ramp and put on dock or on shore.
  6. Tie safety line (chain is best because of muskrats chewing) from dock to a strong fixed object on shore (i.e. tree).
  7. It is a good idea to mark your dock with something tall for the 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 and it is secured so not to escape in the spring.


To Winterize

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Dock Winterizing for Exposed Locations


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 can crush the dock against shore.





Option 2

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 up on; these planks should run underneath the dock floats to protect them from rubbing on rocks. Tie a safety line to dock from a fixed object on shore to prevent it from sliding back.




Option 1

Raise or remove any pipe legs, flip up or remove ladder, disconnect ramp and place on dock or shore, disconnect anchor chains and secure them to to shore with a rope. 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 the shore and rocks, so if the ice moves/shifts in the winter the dock will not be damaged by being pushed against shore.


It is always better to use chain rather than rope for your safety line because chain in 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. You may also want to mark your dock with something tall for snowmobilers to see.

Option 1

Always tie a safety line to the

dock from a fixed object on shore.


Option 2



9198 County Rd 42, Box 40, Westport, ON K0G 1X0   | 613.273.2036