In the coastal regions of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, property owners with backyard slips face the endless challenge of shifting sands. As the tides move in and out, the seafloor deposits sand and mud in areas like boat docks making it difficult to avoid running aground when docking. As a result, slip owners find ways to dredge backyard boat docks. Here are tips on how to perform the dredging process yourself with a twin engine boat.
Why Is Dredging Necessary
Unfortunately, the rapid movement of water in tidal regions constantly moves sediment in canals or other bodies of water. As a result, docks that had ample clearance for boats become too shallow to navigate safely.
Docks that become shallow must be dredged before their space does not allow the boat to enter and secure. Delayed action results in the necessity to hire a professional.
When Dockage space becomes shallow, it results in the engines sucking debris. As a result, the impellers become damaged. In addition to impeller damage, at low tide, a boat may sit high and dry.
How Much Does It Cost To Dredge Around A Dock
Professional dredging companies are expensive. The process to dredge dock space requires specialized equipment to remove and transport the sediment. Additionally, hard-bottomed seabeds are much more difficult to remove than soft sand; therefore, the price increases.
There are various methods that companies utilize to clear dock space. However, no matter the process, the sediments are collected and hauled away.
Living life in a waterfront home is a luxury, and dredging companies are aware of this. A homeowner with dock space that requires sediment removal must expect to pay up to 30 dollars per cubic yard. The price includes pulling the sediment, storage containers, and disposal.
How Often Should A Dock Be Dredged
The frequency of when to dredge is challenging. Waterflow varies based on the state and positioning of the dock.
While some areas hold depth for years, others slip spaces fill within months, preventing the boat from entering the dock.
The best bet is to monitor depth monthly and determine how quickly the sand or muck is shifting into the dockage space. Frequently monitoring will help you determine when the dock space requires a cleaning.
What Are The Steps To Dredge A Dock By Twin Engine Boats
First off, ensure that the state, county, and city allow a dock slip to be dredged before performing the work. Sealife is easily disrupted; therefore, the government monitors dock dredging in many situations.
In all situations, the current should be moving to help deposit the sand and muck to a different area beside the boat slip.
Secure the boat to the dock with extra dock lines. A significant amount of pressure is placed on the ropes and dock cleats. Also, ensure the dock is a stable structure.
Turn on the boat engines and place one in forward and the other in reverse. Gently throttle the motors up while monitoring the dock lines to avoid breaking the vessel free.
With the engines running, monitor the progress of the dredge. Utilize a measuring stick to determine the depth level.
Shift both engines in the opposite direction to evenly clear the slip space.
When possible, continuously move the boat forward, resecure, and continue the process.
Considerations When Performing A Dredge With Boat Motors
While performing a dredge with boat motors is effective, it comes with risks. Understand the challenges before attempting to complete the task.
Remember, the goal is to move sand and muck from one area to another. In the process, rocks and other debris are stirred up. As a result, the propellers can become damaged.
A second and more likely risk associated with dredging is clogging sea strainers and damaging impellers. Debris is sucked through the intakes and into the motors. Therefore, sea strainers must be removed and cleaned after the job, and impellers will require replacement on a more consistent basis.
It’s Time To Save Money And Dredge Your Backyard Dock
The process is simple; however, it is best to ask for a helping hand. The operator should remain on the boat and helper on the dock to keep a watchful eye on all aspects of the process. The slip will be clear in a short period, and the boat will have easy access in and out. Remember, avoid long intervals, so the space does not become too shallow.