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Old 06-24-2008, 10:42 PM   #1
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engineering challenge

Hi all,
I have got myself an interesting problem in that I have to cross 30' of lake/cove water to access an acre of property. I also need to run my riding mower across the floating walkway and be able to swing this thing 90 degrees for a neighbors boat access. I was thinking 5' x 8' sections of floating dock using plastic barrels or poly floats tied together and anchored to my seawall with a heavy duty hinge. I am unsure how I would swing the walkway one way or the other and how I would deal with the wind wanting to push it open or closed. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I added a picture of my situation in "my photo's". the wood 4x4's sticking out of the water are supposed to be for the landings.


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Old 06-24-2008, 11:23 PM   #2
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Here's your other thread with some thoughts in it. floating walkway challenge

How about having a fixed dock on the far side (where the 4x4s are), and then having two 12' sections of floating dock which are attached to eachother with a hinge, and one is attached to the seawall with a hinge. Then a cable attached to the far ends folds them into a vertical position by closing the docks like a book laying face down on the water.


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Old 06-24-2008, 11:51 PM   #3
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thanks for the reply. I forgot where I put that first post Anyway I am required to have a 30' opening, but your idea sounds like a good one. Do you mean it would open like a bifold door?
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:07 AM   #4
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To begin, sweet looking spot you got there

Personally I like a task (i am an engineer) thats not simple. This is what I would do. Obviously this is just for a visual.

Picture a drawer slide turned turned on its side (flat). Take three 10 foot sections of dock and attach it to the top of the slide mechanism. Secure it on the opposite side of the water so that it is flush with the ground level and when retracted only extends as far as the middle 4x4 posts. Mechanically driven, it would extend across the water and attach to a small platform on the close side of the water.

Sorry, the visual was a little harder to represent that i thought it would be. Red is dock when retracted. Blue would be extended dock. Yes, i know its not to scale, paint sucks. I wish it was my project!

Last edited by tigerbalm2424; 06-25-2008 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:47 PM   #5
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Build a hovercraft

That's what I'd do, cuz it'd be more fun than just crossing the pond.

Or here's another whacky idea, use some guide wires over it, and hang from them and slide over the water.

Or build a tunnel under the pond.

The accordian stack idea is good, but it would leave it stacked vertically when not in use, a lot more visible, not sure if that matters. The slider idea good too, but a lot of decking on the shore.
How about a stacking slider plan,
that slides on top of eachother when not in use, and to extend the top slides out and locks to the one below and so on. I guess with big tanks it would be pretty thick, I'd do flat foam instead under the decking.

hope that helped.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:14 AM   #6
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What about a "Rainbow Bridge"? You don't mention if there are height restrictions...but it could be an interesting application
The entire process that one builder used can be found over at Taunton Press' forum "Breaktime." This tread has some incredible documentation and where I snagged these pictures.

EDIT: here's a site with many pictures of individuals bridges ranging from 1' to 50'

engineering challenge-rainbow_bridge_-_initial.jpg

engineering challenge-keithf273.jpg

engineering challenge-2x6x51_stephanel.jpg


when it comes to breakfast, the chicken is dedicated, the pig is committed.

Last edited by RippySkippy; 06-27-2008 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Added resource link
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