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On cool spring days, there’s nothing like sitting wrapped in blankets and sipping hot cocoa to inspire daydreams about warm weather and sunny afternoons on Okanagan Lake. While our minds may be ready for the boating season, our residential docks and boat lifts are still waiting for spring dock building and maintenance.

While we can’t yet lower the boat into the water and get our wetsuits on, there are ways to get a head start on boating season. Here are three things you can do this spring to set yourself up for a great summer on the water.

1. Plan Dock Building, Repairs and Upgrades

Has your dock lost its lustre? Is it getting crowded with all the kids, grandkids and relatives? It may be time for dock building, repairs or upgrades.

Whether you’re looking to turn your dock into a haven for summer relaxation or just need more ways to use and launch your favourite watercraft, the winter and early spring is the perfect time for planned dock repair and construction.

Unsure if your dock needs work done? Ask yourself these four questions:

  • Does the dock still meet my needs? Consider an upgrade if your family is growing, you have new equipment or are spending more time on the lake each summer.
  • Is the wood beginning to rot? Wooden docks typically last between 10 and 15 years. When it’s time to upgrade, we recommend an aluminum dock with a projected lifespan of 30-50 years.
  • What condition is the decking in? Worn decking doesn’t always mean it’s time to replace your dock. If the foundation is strong, you can always update the decking with treated Douglas fir planks or concrete panels.
  • Does the dock wobble? If you feel your dock swaying beneath your feet, it could be a sign of structural damage. We recommend an inspection from a Kelowna dock builder to ensure your dock remains safe to use.

2. Submit Required Permits Early

Any time you’re working in or around the water, you need to have the right permit. Known as a Section 11 application under the Water Sustainability Act, this permit informs the Ministry of Environment of your plans and is a mandatory part of the dock building and repair process.

While these permits are an important step in protecting both you and the environment, it often takes between two and six months to process the application. Depending on the time of year, it can take as long as 12 months. That’s why we always recommend submitting permits during the off-season.

When you work with Shoreline on off-season maintenance and repair work, our qualified estimators review current guidelines and regulations to provide a quote and timeline so you know when you’ll be able to get back on the water.

While we’ve all seen Natural Resource Officers patrolling construction sites during the summer months, they are also active during the winter. Even in the off-season, repair or construction work that’s done without a valid Section 11 application can lead to fines or even an order to tear down the dock.

3. Schedule Your Annual Boat Lift Maintenance

Routine boat lift maintenance is just as important as dock building and repairs when it comes to preparing for the summer boating season. For most lift owners, this work happens in the spring. But did you know you can schedule maintenance over the winter and into the spring season?

Whether our trained boat lift technicians inspect your lift during the spring or summer for signs of damage, wear and corrosion, regular service helps protect your boat, keep your lift running for years to come and ward off costly repair bills.

Ready to get a head start on summer? Give us a call at 250-769-7694 or reach out to us online to get started.