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 Dredging Cost

The cost to dredge a boat slip is up to 30 dollars per cubic yard. The price includes pulling the sediment, storage containers, and disposal. Dredging is labor intensive but requires boats, pumps, pipping, licensing, and more.

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. 

Making the decision to pay a dredging company means shelling out a significant amount of money. However the cost is because of the physical labor required to complete the task.

In many situations, dredging companies are not capable of reaching the work site with large specialized equipment therefore hand dredging is required. Hand dredging is physically demanding and requires putting employees in the water to remove the accumulation of sand, muck, and garbage surrounding canals, docks, and boat lifts. Due to the efforts, dredging costs are high.

Dredging Cost Breakdown

When it comes to breaking down the cost of dredging it requires a significant amount of effort, permitting, and equipment.

The equipment including vessels, pumps, and hosing are high in cost to purchase in addition to annual maintenance fees.

Gear must be manned by trained professionals who are educated on how to properly dredge a boat slip or canal.

Prior to beginning the dredging process, permits are required which take time and cost money to acquire for approval.

The dredging cost breakdown is the reason why professional boat dredging is high in cost.

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. 

How To Dredge A Boat Slip: What Are The Steps To Dredge A Dock By Twin Engine Boats

Dredging is a necessity when boat slips become filled with muck, sand, and debris. Many people ask how to make my boat slip deeper. Before dredging a slip or canal be sure to abide by the regulations.

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. Here are the steps on how to make my boat slip deeper.

Step 1 

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.

Step 2

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. 

Step 3

With the engines running, monitor the progress of the dredge. Utilize a measuring stick to determine the depth level. 

Step 4

Shift both engines in the opposite direction to evenly clear the slip space. 

Step 5

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. 

Dock Dredging: 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. However, diy canal dredging isn’t for everyone. Remember, avoid long intervals, so the space does not become too shallow.