The Caribbean is a beautiful vacation destination. Beaches, turquoise waters, tropical music, and palm trees create an idyllic image of a vacation paradise. When boaters from around the globe visit, you want your marina to be the place they want to settle their vessels. Keeping your docks maintained will ensure your guests are safe and will ensure they return to your business. Here are some essential tips to extend the life of your port and keep it in optimal condition.
Do a Regular Inspection
Safety should be your main priority when maintaining your dock. Check for imperfections each time you observe it. Look for any sign of rotting wood, loose screws or nails coming out of the wooden planks. It will reduce the chances of a guest tripping and falling due to an avoidable hazardous condition. Additionally, inspect the overall structure above and below the water line.
When you have a repair problem, it is best to fix it immediately to eliminate the cost of fixing an issue that has worsened over time. When ordering your supplies, be sure you work with the right building material distributor to ensure you get high-quality products delivered in a time frame that is suitable for your needs. Replace any planks that have water damage and replace parts that show signs of rust. Also, it is necessary to lubricate any moving parts. Time and weather can contribute to wear and tear regardless of how often your dock is in use.
Use a Sealant
Changing temperatures, moisture, and sunlight expose wooden docks to their marine environment. It is essential only to use treated lumber for this reason. When your landing is clean, sanded and free of debris, apply an environmentally safe waterproof sealant to the surface. There are several choices, so check local regulations to ensure you use the right product. If you add an extension dock to your marina, be sure the sealant has time to dry before you begin the installation.
Bypass Temporary Repairs
As tempting as it may be, a quick fix for a maintenance issue is never a good idea. For example, you might have handy indoor items, like fasteners, that are not suitable for use in marine conditions. Be sure always to use the types of material that are meant for use outdoors and are waterproof. Stay on top of any loose planks or mooring features that need attention. Repairing issues correctly and quickly will save you money and ensure your guest’s safety.
Protect Corners and Sides
Even the most experienced mariner can inevitably misjudge parking their boat. In addition to other factors, wind speed and direction can cause a routine parking job to be out of control. When this happens, you can minimize the damage it can cause to your dock and their boat by adding rubber mats or carpet to the sides and corners of the slip. Rubber bumpers and old tires are excellent materials that will reduce the damage from impact.
Keep Your Dock Clean
Your marina should be clean and free of debris, water sports equipment, and loose gear. These items can all be trip hazards for your guests. Once clear, clean the surface regularly with environmentally safe cleaning products. You can use biodegradable soap and baking soda paste for great results. A pressure washer can get the job quickly, but be mindful of how close you get the nozzle to the surface of the wood to avoid damage.
Understand When to Replace Planks
Over time, parts of your dock will become too weak to maintain. Planks will eventually discolor and deteriorate. When you know what you are looking for, you can spot them immediately and replace the offending wood before it gets soft and creates additional maintenance issues. If the foundation has damage, it may be a sign that you need to investigate further to see if there is a more significant issue.
Your dock is the first impression for your guest when they come off the water, and you want it to be pristine and safe. Proper cleaning, maintenance and suitable materials will keep it in optimal condition and extend its life, keeping your guests returning to their favorite Caribbean vacation hot spot for many years.
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