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Assembling the Patriot dock is a little like putting together an erector set. Each 4 ft. by 8 ft. frame unit is assembled using eighteen bolts and takes about 30 minutes per frame to assemble the dock (i.e. a 32′ straight dock will take about two hours to assemble). Assembly typically goes quicker after the first frame has been completed. We have detailed, written instructions as well as a step-by-step assembly video to guide customers through the assembly process. Knowledgeable staff is available to answer any questions you may have, send us a message or give us a call!
The Patriot aluminum frame weighs about 45 lbs. and decking options weigh between 25 lbs for an aluminum panel to 35 lbs for a cedar panel. Generally, one can figure a Patriot dock to weigh about 150 lbs per 8′ section complete with decking and supports. With the decking removed for installation and removal, the dock weighs about half what it would when completely set up and installed.
The maximum span between supports of the aluminum frames is 16 ft. The weight limit of the Patriot Docks is 40 PSF. The Patriot frames have been load tested at over 1000 lbs. on the center of a 16 ft. span. For commercial or high-traffic applications, it is recommended that additional supports be added. This will increase the stability by providing more contact with the lake bottom and by reducing the span between supports, the weight capacity is increased as well.
Patriot Docks uses 1-1/2″ i.d., schedule 40, elctro galvanized pipe for support posts. Standard dock packages include 4 ft. posts at up to 16′ from shore, 6 ft. posts at up to 32′ from shore, and 8 ft. posts starting at 40 ft from shore. The longest support posts Patriot Docks is able to ship is 8 ft. long. Longer posts can be purchased from home improvement stores for deep water or custom applications.
The dock length will need to be long enough to reach the desired water depth for boating and/or swimming. The minimal depth customers typically need to dock a boat is between two and three feet with four to five feet being optimal.
The three most common lake bottoms are going to be sand, mud/muck, and rock. Floating docks will work with all lake bottoms and may be the best option for situations that are exceptionally mucky or rocky. Floating docks are usually secured in place using pilings driven into the lake bottom or by using multiple anchors. Rolling docks are highly recommended for ease of use and will work with any of these lake bottom types as long as they aren’t too extreme. In situations where the lake bottom is very soft, wheels can be doubled up to provide more tread surface, increasing the rolling surface and reducing the amount of settling. Rolling over very soft or rocky lake bottoms can be difficult to maneuver and can cause added strain on the dock frames. Patriot offers a brace kit that reinforces the vertical pipe going down to the wheel helping to ensure that the vertical support doesn’t bend or twist. Stationary docks work very well with sandy bottoms and are an option for soft and rock lake bottoms as long as the flat bases can find firm ground and don’t have large rocks preventing the bases from sitting level. Stationary docks need to be carried or floated into position in any situation.
Each decking option has its pros and cons. The aluminum decking is the lightest, longest-lasting, and most rigid style deck. The two-tone, wood grain powder coat finish is beautiful and very durable. Aluminum decking is quickly becoming the industry standard for dock decking and is our most popular and recommended style of decking. The poly decking is maintenance-free and cool to the touch. The textured surface provides excellent traction and the slotted design allows for great water and light filtration. The cedar decking is an economical, naturally beautiful, and timeless decking option. The kiln-dried western red cedar is naturally weather resistant and is sure to last many years.
Before installing or removing a Patriot Dock, the drop-in decking should be removed to reduce the overall weight of the pier. If a rolling dock, the flat base supports should be raised to the highest setting then the dock is ready to be rolled in or out. If a stationary dock, the decking should be removed and the dock will need to be carried or floated in or out and typically requires multiple people. Floating docks can be floated to or from the shoreline and lifted to or from the shore. Every application is different and may very well require additional steps and precautions depending on the dock configuration and lake shore.
The height is adjusted manually at the support posts. Make sure there is no additional weight on the dock while the adjustments are being made. Making an adjustment typically requires getting into the water to loosen the set bolts on the Post Bracket, adjusting the frames to the desired height, and tightening up the set bolts again. Repeat this process at each support post, adjusting both sides of the dock as you work towards the lake end.
The dock framework should always be positioned above the water. Generally, a couple of inches above the water at its highest point is typical. If large waves are a common occurrence then the dock should be positioned so that the frame clears the waves.
Whichever style dock you choose, stationary, rolling, or floating, the off-season storage is generally the same. The decking should be removed from the dock, stacked up, and covered. The dock should then be rolled or carried into position on shore for storage. Once in place, all of the supports should be lowered and secured to support the dock frame. If you have a dock longer than the shoreline allows for storing in one piece, the dock length can be split into multiple sections using our Quick Connects (PN10808). It is common for floating docks to be left to freeze in place on smaller bodies of water with no risk of ice heaves. Another option for floating docks is to turn the dock inward so that the dock is up against and parallel with the shoreline, again, as long as there is no possibility of ice heaves.
Additional wheels can be added to any dock. Patriot rolling docks include a pair of wheels on the lake end of the dock. It is common on longer docks for additional wheels to be added throughout the pier to help distribute some of the load while moving. Adding wheels to an existing dock is as simple as adding a pair of axle converters, a pair of wheels, a pair of stop clamps, and an axle pipe to the existing vertical supports. It is recommended that the wheels be positioned outside the width of the dock frame on docks 4 ft. wide for maximum stability (use 6′ axle pipe).
For most applications, the dock wheel works best when it is allowed to fill with water and sink. The wheel has one hole in the tread left from the manufacturing process. It is recommended that two, half inch holes are drilled to allow water to enter the wheel and air to escape. There are four dimples toward the outside diameter of the wheel (about 8-1/2″ from the center hub) on the hub side of the wheel, these dimples should be used as locations for drilling additional holes. If using the wheel on a heavy application such as a boat lift or a heavy dock, it may be helpful to have the additional buoyancy from the floating wheels. To keep the wheels from filling with water, a silicone caulk or sealant can be used in the single manufacturing hole to keep water out and air in.
Patriot frames are very versatile! Patriot frames can be added to existing Patriot Docks, no matter when the frames were purchased! They are a direct mount and when adding additional length, the frames are typically added to the shore end of the existing dock. Patriot frames may also be attached to other manufacturers’ docks whether aluminum, steel, or wood framing. The two most common ways of joining Patriot frames to an existing dock are to either bolt the frame on directly or to use a set of Quick Connects for a little more flexibility.
Patriot offers a special hinge product specifically designed for joining a floating pier to a stationary pier. The Floating Hinge Kit allows for the floating pier to articulate from the stationary unit. This allows the floating pier to move up and down freely with the waves and changing water levels.
The aluminum and poly decking are able to be secured to the frame using deck locker bolts. The cedar decking does not incorporate a deck locking mechanism.
Patriot Decking panels are an excellent choice for replacing old worn-out decking and will fit in most 4 ft. wide docks. The maximum support span for Patriot Decking decking is 24 in. but these panels will also work with lesser spans like 16 in. If using the aluminum panels for the retro-fitting project, the Deck End Caps may be necessary to finish off the edge of the panel if the dock frame doesn’t cover the decking’s exposed edges.
Yes, it is very common that boats are moored to Patriot Docks. Here are a couple of best practices when mooring a boat to the dock. If mooring a large, heavy boat, consider adding a couple of extra supports to add stability and weight to the dock to support the load of the boat. The boat should be tied off to the vertical angles of the aluminum frame or to the dock supports. If installing cleats or mooring whips to the dock, the accessories should be mounted through the decking and through the aluminum framework for the strongest connections. Add bumpers or fenders between the dock and the boat to avoid collisions.
Replacement parts are available if any issue does occur. If an aluminum component of the dock frame fails under normal use, Patriot Docks will replace the part in accordance with the warranty policy. Generally, this requires the defective item to be shipped back to the factory and a replacement piece will be sent out upon receiving and inspecting the defective part. If a part or component is damaged due to user error, replacement parts can be purchased through a dealer or by contacting Patriot Docks directly.
The Aluminum Jacks can be serviced at home. The quickest way to apply grease to the jack screw is to insert the grease gun hose into the open jack tube on the bottom of the jack. Apply grease to the screw then operate the jack to distribute the grease along the screw shaft. The Aluminum Jack can be completely disassembled for comprehensive cleaning or repair by removing the roll pin in the top hex nut.
Yes, hand railings are available for Patriot Docks. There are a couple of ways to create a railing for the dock. The first and most economical method is to use galvanized fence brackets and light-duty chain to create a chain railing. A solid railing can be created using our railing adapters atop the steel support posts where either aluminum or plastic pipe is used horizontally to create the solid railing between vertical supports.
Patriot Docks allows pickups on a case-by-case basis from our warehouse in Harris, MN. Please ask one of our dock professionals if pickups are an option for you.
Frame hardware consists of Grade 8 Yellow Zinc plated (similar to galvanized) bolts with serrated locking nuts. Yellow zinc plating is 600% more rust-resistant than steel bolts and stainless steel can compromise aluminum framing via contact corrosion between dissimilar metals, where aluminum is weaker.
Yes, your Patriot dock is modular, meaning you can change your design if needed. Some designs may require extra supports or extra parts. Contact one of our dock professionals to inquire if your new configuration requires additional support or parts.
We offer marine-grade aluminum frames (6061T6), which hold up under saltwater conditions. Rinsing aluminum is always recommended since aluminum is not perfectly immune to corrosion. The corrosive process on the hardware may be increased, but the grade of aluminum we offer will resist rust. Over time there is some susceptibility to “pitting rust” or surface rust.
There are many methods for anchoring a floating dock, including with pilings, anchor systems, stiff arms to shore, and cable systems. The anchoring system depends on how deep your water is, how much water moves, and what your lake bottom and the shoreline are like. Each Patriot Floating Dock comes with sleeves for a variety of anchoring applications. For more tips, see our Floating Dock product specifications.
No. All Patriot Floating Dock packages include the parts for the dock, and the anchoring is dependent on the application. This is added aftermarket.
Yes. Patriot Docks include all assembly hardware. No hardware is provided for extra applications relating to joining the dock to an existing structure or adding aftermarket accessories.
Not if water freezes. In the event of freezing, all docks are recommended to be taken out of the water. Taking the dock out for the winter is easy!
- Remove the decking, starting with the lake end of the dock.
- Pull the frame out of the water.
- Store the frame fully assembled or broken down on the shore.
- Store decking out of the elements for longest-lasting decking.
It is not recommended. Patriot Docks are designed to be transported easily by hand. Each frame section is only 45 lbs. Without the decking, moving these docks is manageable. Trucks, ATVs, and tractors can damage the frame if not handled appropriately and voids the warranty.
Aluminum is not likely to rust as it is a marine-grade alloy. Tarnishing can occur, but it can also be buffed out. Some submerged steel hardware may be vulnerable to rust over time, but every surface is protected from rust through electro-galvanization or another galvanizing process.
Patriot Lifts are operated by a mechanical screw jack, which lifts the frame at the lakeside while the shore side is fixed. This simple lift eliminates the need for cumbersome and breakable cables and expensive parts. Simply lower each jack to position the lift in the water, guide the watercraft onto the bunks so the bow sits out of the water, and jack up the stern out of the water. The jacks are operated by hand crank or cordless driver with socket adapter.
Yes, the hex nut on top of the boat lift jack is a ¾” nut. When it is turned by hand crank, wrench, or cordless drill, the jacks independently raise and lower. There are many points for fine-tuning the height: screw jack, adjustable drop legs, and the point of attachment to the lift.
Yes, other watercraft are commonly used on our PWC lifts, but the size of the vessel must not exceed the weight limit or the width limit of each lift’s specifications.
Yes, we have products to customize your lift, including the Remote Kit for PWC Lifts, and the Splice Tube Kit. You can also add taller drop legs to your jacks to achieve a deeper lift. Ask one of our dock professionals about unique customizations, as we cannot accommodate other changes requiring fabrication.
No, the lifts do not include the wood for the bunks. Treated 2x4s or 2x6s should be added to the bunk kits after the lift is received.
The maximum height setting on the jack is about 56 inches, but the water depth would need to be closer to the optimal range of 12-48”.
Patriot Aluminum decking features a very durable powder coating making it very difficult to scratch. Regular usage and traffic should not scratch the finish. Dropping metal on the surface could scratch the finish.
Aluminum decking is engineered with channels to cool from below the surface. Temperatures for gray aluminum are significantly less than that of brown, and brown aluminum matches the temperatures radiating from cedar decking.
No. Composite decking includes fibers that are not conducive for marine use. Composite decking is also very heavy compared to our decking options. For a synthetic maintenance-free decking surface, be sure to shop for poly or aluminum decking.
Yes, aluminum and poly decking require a step of assembly. Cedar decking, however, is shipped pre-assembled unless other arrangements are made.
Cedar Decking is kiln-dried and ready for stain or sealant. If the cedar is not sealed, the wood will turn gray, and weather at a faster rate. Stain can be added to add any desired color tones, and any deck sealer will be effective in prolonging the life of the wood.
All decking panels are 4×4 feet and each material has a different weight. Aluminum panels weigh 26 lbs, poly panels weigh 33 lbs, and cedar panels weigh 35 lbs.
Patriot Docks all feature drop-in decking panels in order to make installing and winterizing a dock extremely light and portable. Thus, cleats are not readily compatible with Patriot Decking panels and are thus not offered. All accessories that typically mount to the decking surface like cleats can be mounted to Patriot Docks as long as the decking panel is bolted to the frame.
Many applications do not require a ramp or gangway, especially those which only require the dock frame to rest on the shore. Ramps can be required if there is a major elevation change from the shore to the dock, or if the dock floats (all Floating Dock packages begin with a ramp). Ramps and Gangways can be a very useful transition to the shore, making it easier to board your dock, especially for the elderly and children.
Patriot Docks has a seasonal display and friendly customer service at our warehouse in Harris, MN. Alternatively, individual parts can be ordered, and in some cases, samples sent to you.
Most Patriot Dock accessories mount to the dock frame by drilling new holes where you would like the accessory to go. Some of the holes in the frame may line up already with where you want to position the accessory.
Decide where on your dock you would like your stairs to go, and measure the distance from the top of the decking surface to the lake bottom at that location. Each stair kit has a range of acceptable heights. See specifications for each stair kit height range.
All Patriot Dock packages include decking. To add your own decking to Patriot frames, you can order frames and components individually, or ask one of our dock professionals about complete dock packages without any decking.
Patriot Docks are engineered as a modular dock to allow for unlimited designs. Dock packages represent common dock designs and easy packages to purchase, but do not limit what can be done with Patriot Docks components. Custom shapes can be achieved by purchasing a similar dock package, purchasing components, or inquiring for help from one of our dock professionals. Reference Patriot Dock Instructions for general guidelines and rules for dock support locations.
Patriot Dock decking can be added to a residential deck on land. Decking panels have a 24” span. Aluminum decking boards can be capped or trimmed with an aluminum angle.
No, the gangways offered are the only length available.
The Ramps do not swing completely back to lay on top of the dock, but can articulate upwards just past a vertical position and downwards until restricted by the dock itself.
Ramps can be removed or attached to docks when they are removed.
No, handrails are not an accessory available to add to the stair kit.
Patriot Angle Trim can be used to add Patriot Aluminum Decking to other dock frames or to trim the decking panels on alternative applications. Patriot frames feature a lip to prevent side-to-side decking movement and cover the unfinished board edge. Trim pieces can be secured to the dock frame to mimic a lip or they can be positioned on top of the decking panel to secure it down.
The number of Patriot Floats determines the buoyancy of your dock. Each Floating Dock Package includes the minimum number of floats required for normal use, but additional floats can be added to increase buoyancy at certain locations where the load is heavier or to increase overall stability. Each float has a capacity of 390 lbs.
No. Patriot only sells new docks, parts, and dock kits. On an irregular basis, there may be “scratch and dent” or non-premium items available at a sale price. Ask one of our dock professionals if there is any sale items available at this time.
Patriot Dock wheels are designed to sink. There is a hole in every wheel, which allows water to fill the wheel. This helps to anchor rolling docks. When the dock is rolled out, the water drains so freezing water does not harm the wheel. More holes may be drilled in the plastic to allow the water to fill and drain more quickly.
No. We build all of our docks from 4x8ft dock sections as building blocks. Specializing in one modular size has allowed us to perfect the design and create virtually limitless shapes and lengths.