Here’s a Step-By-Step Guide to Pier RemovalPhoto of a dock in early winter, when it's time for pier removal.

November is here, the trees are losing their leaves, and winter is right around the corner. This also means that soon, boating season will end and our waterways throughout the Chain O’Lakes and the Fox Waterway will start to freeze over. In preparation for the coming season, pier removal is a necessary part of keeping your removable pier in good shape for next year.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of our pier removal process.

For a broader overview of everything having to do with docks and piers, check out our FAQ!

1.   Remove All Accessories

The first step of pier removal is to remove any extras which you may have installed on your dock. Disassemble and uninstall benches, boat lifts, and any other pier accessories. Moving them out of the way will make the pier more accessible and easier to work with.

2.   Drain Water

Infographic illustrating the pier removal process.

Click for full-size infographic.

Some docks have a tubular frame which you can fill up with water above the waterline after installation, in order to provide additional stability. If you have a frame like this filled with water, drain it to make the pier lighter and easier to remove.

3.   Remove Detachable Decking

Many removable piers have decking panels which sit slotted onto the frame. If you have a deck like this, the next step of pier removal is the detach those decking panels. This will leave behind only the frame.

4.   Remove Pier Frames

The next step is to lift the pier frames out of the water. Depending on the design of your pier, there are a couple of different ways you can go about this. One way is use a tripod winch, if necessary. Hook the winch cable to the end of the section of pier you want to lift out. Then, you can step back and use the winch to pull up out of the water.

5.   Stack and Store

Stack the sections of your pier together for easy storage. The decking panels should stack easily enough. The frames should be able to be folded up and stacked as well, though the specifics will vary depending on the design of your particular deck.

Once you have all of the parts nicely stacked together, it’s time to put your removable pier into storage. We recommend you use a storage unit. That way, the components of your dock will be protected from the elements. Moisture can cause wood rot and corrosion, and pests can move into the spaces within your tubular frame, so make sure to store your pier somewhere suitable.

So, there you have it—pier removal in five steps. That’s only a general outline, though, because your pier’s design may be different from your neighbors, and some can be more hassle to remove than others. Some designs can be a bit trickier to figure out, while others might need some muscle or a winch to remove.

Don’t strain your back and waste your time trying to tackle pier removal all on your own—give us a call at (815) 759-9134 and leave this task to the professionals at Captain Rod’s Boat Lift & Pier Services!