When temperatures in an area drop below freezing, ice forms on lakes, rivers and other bodies of water. Ice can damage floating docks, so it makes sense to remove the docks before the brutally cold weather comes.
If you have a floating dock, the first thing to do in preparation for its removal is to take off all accessories and put them in storage. For instance, if you have chairs, tables, or decorations on the dock, remove them first before dealing with the dock itself.
Next, temporarily tie your dock to the shoreline. Wherever you have chain anchors, pull them out one by one. If the anchors are exceptionally heavy, and it’s easier to leave them in the water for next season, attach a buoy to each one—that way you’ll be able to find them easily next spring. If you use pole anchors, detach the pole connectors from the dock, sliding them off. The poles can then be pulled out of place and stored for the winter.
The gangway can be detached from the dock on just one side (leaving it out for the winter), or completely. After that, dock pieces can be taken apart and brought to shore for storage. Ideally, it’s best to start from the waterside and work your way back to the shoreline. It would helpful to convince some buddies to be involved in the process to make it easier—and more fun.
Depending on your approach to dock removal, you can detach them piece-by-piece or leave some connected and haul them away. If you get a couple people to help, it’s probably easier to take them away connected, rather than spending the time to detach each one. Some people use their boat trailers to take the dock pieces out of the water. You can float the dock on top of the submerged trailer, tie the dock onto the trailer, and pull it out, rather than having several men do heavy lifting.
After the dock pieces and accessories are on shore, find a good spot to store them. If you have room in a garage, that’s great. If you want to leave them outside, store the dock face up. In the spring, you can power wash the dock before putting it back in the water so it will look clean and fresh.