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Old 20-01-2017, 16:41   #1
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Dock Height

Hello. New to the forum. Question about dock heights. Is there a accepted standard[sort of] for dock heights. Given your individual boats height above the water line, and the height of the dock, do you have any problem getting on or off the boat due to differences in the two? Do you have portable steps or a ramp to compensate?
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Old 20-01-2017, 16:53   #2
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Re: Dock Height

dock height from water or in regards to your boats freeboard??
in regards to your boats freeboard, the dock height will vary. from water--depends on is it a floating dock or a permanently fixed dock???
i used to use a beautiful mahogany boarding ladder -- that is until hurricane patricia disintigrated it by knocking my boat down onto dock for a few hours... even broke the bronze fittings.
each of us uses a different system for boarding and disembarking--it is up to our own comforts whether we use a boarding ladder or a rope step or a molded set of steps or step over the sugar scoop transom into the cockpit. have fun figgering your favorite method.
with the permanently affixed docks which are not floating docks--they can get a lil high overhead ... not happy with em..requires monkey antics to exit boat.
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Old 20-01-2017, 17:06   #3
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Re: Dock Height

Tide? Mine range from 2-4' daily and -2' to 5' in storms or north wind.

Sugar scoops help a lot. Other wise some family members would need steps every time. Proper gates and sturdy rails help (not just stanchions).

Remember that it's not just people. Loading supplies is also an issue.

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Old 20-01-2017, 17:07   #4
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Re: Dock Height

Floating docks are extremely advantageous. Also, a low deck level makes steps unnecessary unless for those of limited flexibility. Many power boats, however, have very high decks, making the swimming platform a necessary yet compromised location for docking. Fortunately, I don't have that problem, just stepping over the gunwale to dock.

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Old 20-01-2017, 17:25   #5
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Re: Dock Height

Floating docks are generally about 1ft above water level.

Fixed ones - it depends on the tidal range and varies according to the state of the tide.

The sugar scoops on my cat means I can just step off onto anything from water level to about 6ft above water level.
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Old 20-01-2017, 17:37   #6
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Re: Dock Height

As stated above... Floating docks are usually 12-24 inch "freeboard" Fixed docks are totally dependent on tide range.

Fixed docks in Bocas del Toro were fine with a 1.5' average tidal range. In Balboa the range is 18' and a fixed dock can be a challenge.
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Old 20-01-2017, 19:47   #7
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Re: Dock Height

Depends on the vessel and dock manufacturer. Most floating docks are about 1' above water.

We have a portable folding plastic step. 2 steps high to get on the 3.5" of our Liberty 458.

We love stairs and steps for exercise. Good balance training too.

Also keeps undesirable critters like seals and sealions off the boat. Sneaky dogs that crap on the dock are also stymied.
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Old 21-01-2017, 08:56   #8
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Re: Dock Height

Thank you all for your response. I am a recently retired welder, fabricator, and machinist. Have been reading here and other forums for some time. Would like to live aboard but have no boat at this time. My plans are to build an all aluminum power cat about 38ft x 14-20. The 20 wide I would have to build in two sections and do final assembly at the water. The 14 wide will get me on the water much faster so that is likely the route that will be taken. We are in western NC about 250 miles from the coast so hauling the to the water is a can do. Power Cat may not be technically correct. Couple of 20 hp diesels. Not interested in going fast. Just going. Have also entertained the idea of a single, center mounted electric in addition to the diesels. Realizing the power requirements for electric may require 1500 to 2000 watts of solar to replenish battery banks. [Big banks] Anyone familiar with this companyhttp://www.thunderstruck-ev.com
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Old 21-01-2017, 15:11   #9
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Dock Height

Build a conventional boat, no science experiments, this will actually get you on the water with something that works, after your boating if you still feel the need, then start experimenting.
I would size my motors so that she could comfortable cruise on just one, I think 20 HP may do that.
You will be very surprised at just how little fuel a 20 HP Diesel burns at a comfortable RPM, fuel cost is negligible compared with trying to go electric.
My guess is to get any significant propulsion out of Solar your looking at 8KW+, and the weight and cost of the battery banks will kill a light weight aluminum Cat's performance. A problem is define significant propulsion
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Old 21-01-2017, 15:48   #10
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Re: Dock Height

Yes, there is a rule. The rule for non floating docks is:
-whatever time you want off the boat, the tide will be at extreme low condition.
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Old 21-01-2017, 16:29   #11
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Re: Dock Height

Really depends on location, where I am there is only a couple of feet difference in tides so fixed docks are no problem
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Old 21-01-2017, 16:57   #12
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Re: Dock Height

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Build a conventional boat, no science experiments, this will actually get you on the water with something that works, after your boating if you still feel the need, then start experimenting.
I would size my motors so that she could comfortable cruise on just one, I think 20 HP may do that.
You will be very surprised at just how little fuel a 20 HP Diesel burns at a comfortable RPM, fuel cost is negligible compared with trying to go electric.
My guess is to get any significant propulsion out of Solar your looking at 8KW+, and the weight and cost of the battery banks will kill a light weight aluminum Cat's performance. A problem is define significant propulsion

You are right about the fuel burn on a small diesel. I have a Kubota tractor which has a three cylinder 23 hp. I can bush hog/mow heavy grass[weeds] at 2100 rpm for about 8 hours an 5 gallons of fuel.
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Old 21-01-2017, 17:10   #13
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Dock Height

My engine is 44 HP at 3600 and will push my boat at 8 kts wide open.
If I run it at 2000 RPM it burns 1 gl an hour at 6.5 kts.
On the ICW we will make 50 miles a day without pushing it, nice leisurely travel and we will burn about 7.5 gls a day, I believe that about $15.
You don't get up every day and helm all day long, so what I'm saying is as long as you have an efficient hull and of course run a smallish engine at hull speed, your fuel burn as a total cost of ownership is very minimal.
The ROI on electric propulsion for someone that is actually cruising is never, and a pure power boat your going to have to run a generator to get anywhere.
Now if you had unlimited funds then I am sure a carbon fiber Cat with a Solar farm and a huge Lithium bank could actually cover a lot of ground.
Cost? I'd guess Millions?
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