Our dock has gotten into pretty sad shape.
I remember when my dad built it nearly 30 years ago. He was a high school drafting teacher, and another drafting teacher friend of his ran a dock-building side business, so the 2 of them got together and built ours. I was in college, and my male college buddies made good grunt workers. Some of the work had to be done in the water; it was early spring, the water was cold, and my dad and his friend were certainly not going to get in the lake! So those young guys were naturally picked for that job. I had some good friends back then :-)
The dock was a fairly simple, U-shaped dock/boat slip, with a pitched-roof covered in tin, and it served us well for many years.
A few years ago, though, I became wary of that roof. Every time the wind or boat traffic stirred up waves and rocked the dock, that roof would sway back and forth more and more. I just knew it would fall one day, and I didn't want someone to be under it when it did! So My Man dismantled the roof and hauled away all that old wood and tin. Fun.
With the roof gone, the wood dock was now more vulnerable to sun damage, and the U shaped slip became unstable and wobbly to stand on. We knew we needed a renovation, but dock work is expensive!
Finally, this fall was the time. We couldn't afford a brand new dock, and the general structure of the old one was fine (thank you Dad!). So we hired some guys to come and upgrade the dock we had.
First they needed to replace the floatation on one of the fingers of the U. (My Man and my dad had already done this on one of the fingers a few years ago.) The dock guys brought in a barge with equipment to lift the dock high enough to slide out the old, white styrofoam and slide in the new, black floats.
Then, they replaced some of the old decking. Some of the old deck boards were in good enough shape that they could just be flipped over and reattached. The sun does the most damage to the treated lumber, so the underside still looked pretty good. The wood that was too damaged was replaced with new wood.
Next, they installed an underwater stabilizer to keep the fingers of the U from wobbling and twisting.
And finally, they replaced the bumper trim all the way around.
It is amazing how much better it is now. You can walk on it barefooted without getting splinters, and you can jump around and it won't wobble. It is so stable now you feel like it must be sitting on ground instead of floating. The multi-colored deck boards look a little funny, but a few months in the sun should even that out some. And for the money we saved, I don't really care how it looks ;-)
I can finally feel comfortable inviting folks over, and not worry about their safety on the dock!