Dock and Boat Lift Damage

Dock and boat lift damage was severe in the wake of the Aug 4th, 2017 storm.  We were reminded of how important it is to choose the right dock and boat lift for your boat. So many homeowners were reeling thinking about having to replace their entire dock and lift system.

Even ShoreMaster owners had some issue with their dock and boat lift.  Fortunately for most of the ShoreMaster owners, the damage looked severe in the early morning hours. Within a day things had settled down and they had minimal damage like missing deck panels.  In most cases, these were later recovered downwind of the dock…

Why is a ShoreMaster dock and boat lift so important?

Shoremaster prides itself on premium quality docks and boat lifts.  They can stand up to some of the harshest conditions Mother Nature throws at their systems. Their design team considers severe storms like these to provide you with a dock and boat lift system that can last a lifetime.  That’s why ShoreMaster has the largest market share on the Bay of Green Bay – they work.

Some dealers screw solid decking down firmly and count on the sheer weight of the system to keep everything in place. ShoreMaster doesn’t do this for a reason.  They want the decking to get blown out in a storm as severe as this one.

Yes, you read that correctly – They WANT  the decking to get blown out.  Why?

Over the years, our experience has shown that when a deck is attached permanently to the frame, the structure takes the brunt of the pressure.  All too often, the whole dock becomes a twisted mess as a result. In fact, we have seen ShoreMaster aluminum docks left standing after a storm.  At the same time, the steel dock with rigid decking is a twisted mess on both sides of the ShoreMaster dock.

How does Shoremaster solve this problem?

ShoreMaster solves this problem in two ways:

  1. They now use Glacier Flow Through decking.
  2. They use a plastic clip on the bottom of the decking.

Glacier Flow Through decking has 42% of the surface open.  The open surface allows most of the pressure from a wave to pass thru the deck panels harmlessly.  

image of Glacier Decking by ShoreMaster - Tan

Glacier Flow through PlasticDecking by ShoreMaster

The use of a plastic clip to hold the decking in place means that the decking will stay in place for the average wave or strong winds.  With repetitive large waves, the clip is purposely allowed to break-off. The clips will break long before your dock frames become a tangled roller coaster mess like other dock brands.

Speaking of which – Have you tried the roller coaster ride at Bay Beach in Green Bay?  While you are there, remember your dock would look like that roller coaster if the clips had not broken.

What about the decking you just lost?

The decking is plastic, has a low surface area, and it will sink to the bottom quickly.  During this storm, we were able to recover 99% of the panels downwind.  The decking is usually less than 50 feet away at the bottom.  We found the panels intact with only broken clips.  Isn’t it cheaper to replace some clips than to replace an entire dock frame?

What about the lifts?

ShoreMaster lifts are built to hold up too. ShoreMaster’s all aluminum welded frame, and the premium components protect your watercraft investment under the harshest conditions.

The bolts that hold screw-together boat lifts together can wear out over time, especially with strong wind and wave action.  They can give out when you need the protection the most. Welded frames offer durable stability.

How reliable are the lifts?

Recently, customers have come in and told us they couldn’t find a lift with a better-constructed frame.  They know that a Square or rectangular frame is much stronger than a round tube anytime.  Plus the round tubes are thinner.  They look at the wall thickness of the uprights and racks and find that ShoreMaster has the thickest construction in the area.

image of SS Rail

The other guys



image of SM Rail

ShoreMaster Heavy wall construction & brass pulleys

Notice the brass pulleys on the ShoreMaster lift versus the plastic pulley on the competitors lift.

These are a few of the design features that ShoreMaster implements to provide their customers with the very best in waterfront equipment. These elements mean that we keep you on the water all summer long.

If you were affected by storm damage on the Bay – or are looking for a premium dock and lift system – Contact your authorized ShoreMaster dealer – Pier & Waterfront Solutions. We will be able to assist you with:

  • Service work,
  • Replacement parts,
  • A new system or
  • any other needs you might have for your waterfront.

We even service “those other brands.”  Ask us about it.

Where is Pier & Waterfront Solutions?

PWS is located at 7325 St. Hwy 42/57. That’s 1 mile North of County MM (Hwy 42) and 3 miles South of Sturgeon Bay. Look for the Idlewild Road intersection.

Our staff is ready to assist the year round.

Don’t forget – Give us a call If you want to see an issue discussed on our site.

Call Jerry at 920-493-4404 or Email with any questions.