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tonyhay

Dry dock stop planks - advice requested

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I need to replace the stop planks on our dry dock - the existing ones are 15+ years old and leak badly.

 

I believe that I will need planks made from high grade Douglas Fir, but I'm not sure whether I will need green wood or seasoned wood, or whether there are any other special requirements.

 

I would appreciate advice from any forum member with dry dock experience.

 

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The first thing we did was burn the old stop planks for ours and fabricate a new steel guilottine gate. Not cheap even done in house, but saves a hell of a lot of time, doesn't leak and keeps the dock far cleaner.

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Might not help but langley mill have a hollow steel gate that they can add water to so it floats to take the weight up but no so much you cant push it down it works really well so when you fill the lock it just lifts up and can be moved but its strong enough for when the water pressure is behind it, makes it very light when in the water. They seal it and then any big leaks put ash down the sides it works a treat. If you put a drain on the dock side you can drain the water from the gate so you could adjust the amount it floats till your happy. Just an idea i dont know what sort of setup you have

Edited by billybobbooth

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I recently used a dock with a metal guillotine gate. I was very impressed by the seal- once some clips were bolted on the inside, it was down to very small drips. Dry enough to work on the baseplate of a boat in relative comfort....

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Might not help but langley mill have a hollow steel gate that they can add water to so it floats to take the weight up but no so much you cant push it down it works really well so when you fill the lock it just lifts up and can be moved but its strong enough for when the water pressure is behind it, makes it very light when in the water. They seal it and then any big leaks put ash down the sides it works a treat. If you put a drain on the dock side you can drain the water from the gate so you could adjust the amount it floats till your happy. Just an idea i dont know what sort of setup you have

Yes we do. :)

 

Dan

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Might not help but langley mill have a hollow steel gate that they can add water to so it floats to take the weight up but no so much you cant push it down it works really well so when you fill the lock it just lifts up and can be moved but its strong enough for when the water pressure is behind it, makes it very light when in the water. They seal it and then any big leaks put ash down the sides it works a treat. If you put a drain on the dock side you can drain the water from the gate so you could adjust the amount it floats till your happy. Just an idea i dont know what sort of setup you have

The ones on the dry dock in the harbour at Gt Yarmouth where made like that. Float it into position and open the tap so it sinks, close tap, when the dock is empty open the tap again and empty the water from the gate, close tap. Water pressure holds gate in place. When you refill the dock the pressure each side of the gate equalises and it floats again to be pulled away. This was for Coasters and trawlers to be docked so quite big.

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Many thanks to Laurence, Sarah, Dan, Billy Bob, fadetoscarlet and ditchcrawler for your excellent advice and comments. Steel gates or planks would be ideal ... except I that have a limited budget and a dry dock manager chasing me. It's wood or nothing.

 

Any advice on how to specify replacement wooden stop planks would be gratefully received.

 

Tony

 

ps Sarah - we'll probably turn the old planks into retaining walls for the garden, though a big bonfire would be more fun!

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Many thanks to Laurence, Sarah, Dan, Billy Bob, fadetoscarlet and ditchcrawler for your excellent advice and comments. Steel gates or planks would be ideal ... except I that have a limited budget and a dry dock manager chasing me. It's wood or nothing.

 

Any advice on how to specify replacement wooden stop planks would be gratefully received.

 

Tony

 

ps Sarah - we'll probably turn the old planks into retaining walls for the garden, though a big bonfire would be more fun!

Maybe contact CRT they have been making lots of new ones out of wood.

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Many thanks to Laurence, Sarah, Dan, Billy Bob, fadetoscarlet and ditchcrawler for your excellent advice and comments. Steel gates or planks would be ideal ... except I that have a limited budget and a dry dock manager chasing me. It's wood or nothing.

 

Any advice on how to specify replacement wooden stop planks would be gratefully received.

 

Tony

 

ps Sarah - we'll probably turn the old planks into retaining walls for the garden, though a big bonfire would be more fun!

We have Three sets in Circus field! Specify them as clear Douglas Fir or Oregon Pine or similar together with the dimensions. Check your existing set are all the same length- some stop logs taper vertically. Sawn timber is fine, you may need a little ash to get a good seal. The important dimensions are length and thickness so if the width you have is currently difficult then more but narrower planks is OK.

The Aylesbury ones were supplied by Greenford so a call to them might elicit details of their timber merchant. If not try Snows in Glastonbury, Robbins in Bristol, Timbmet Oxford or Fitchett and Wallacot Nottingham. Depends where you are really.

 

HtH

N

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Was thinking by time youve sorced wood and shaped you might have spent sim to metal??

 

You could always try covering in fiberglass till you have sorced a new set??

Or you could find a helpful store of stop planks near a flight or narrows, return at the dead of night with some boltcutters and a van...... ;)

I did think this but wasnt sure if the full on just nick them approach was the correct way to go.

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Might not help but langley mill have a hollow steel gate that they can add water to so it floats to take the weight up but no so much you cant push it down it works really well so when you fill the lock it just lifts up and can be moved but its strong enough for when the water pressure is behind it, makes it very light when in the water. They seal it and then any big leaks put ash down the sides it works a treat. If you put a drain on the dock side you can drain the water from the gate so you could adjust the amount it floats till your happy. Just an idea i dont know what sort of setup you have

Actually not strictly true. It has a valve to let air in or out. It doesn't flood,it relies on external pressure to force the air out to settle it into its housing when the valve is opened. When dock is flooded the valve is closed to allow it to float up.

 

Dan

Edited by stagedamager

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Actually not strictly true. It has a valve to let air in or out. It doesn't flood,it relies on external pressure to force the air out to settle it into its housing when the valve is opened. When dock is flooded the valve is closed to allow it to float up.

 

Dan

Wasnt far off when i havent seen it for years last time i remember using it was for ditton, might have been squire but its atleast 10+ years ago

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As another option.

 

Worsley have a wooden gate, without hinges. Just about neutral buoyancy and is folded down as if it has a hinge along the bottom but is actually free floating. Seals a treat with only a tiny bit of ash. Simple paddles in gate to reflood.

 

Can vote for robins timber, certainly for quality boat buidling timber. The Douglas Fir they supplied didnt look like he same tree as the Douglas from our local merchant.

 

 

Daniel

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Can I ask why Douglas Fir is recommended. I have always understood Larch was the best softwood for damp/wet conditions and is indeed what our local sawmill recommends.

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As another option.

 

Worsley have a wooden gate, without hinges. Just about neutral buoyancy and is folded down as if it has a hinge along the bottom but is actually free floating. Seals a treat with only a tiny bit of ash. Simple paddles in gate to reflood.

 

Can vote for robins timber, certainly for quality boat buidling timber. The Douglas Fir they supplied didnt look like he same tree as the Douglas from our local merchant.

 

 

Daniel

They are good but expencive but as you say there quality is second to none, its one of the companies im looking at getting my wood from had a bit from them but my next order will be much bigger so having to look at all options bit if its only a few bits you need i would recomend them

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Can I ask why Douglas Fir is recommended. I have always understood Larch was the best softwood for damp/wet conditions and is indeed what our local sawmill recommends.

Until recently good quality larch was very difficult to get hold of, but recently a disease of larch trees has made it more available. It is still hard to get hold of in decent sections - a stop plank is likely to be about 10 x 5 inches. Douglas Fir and Oregon Pine are relatively easy to get hold of in big sections.

 

If money (and weight) were no object, something like Oak, Opepe or another resinous hardwood would be even better.

 

N

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We have Three sets in Circus field! Specify them as clear Douglas Fir or Oregon Pine or similar together with the dimensions. Check your existing set are all the same length- some stop logs taper vertically. Sawn timber is fine, you may need a little ash to get a good seal. The important dimensions are length and thickness so if the width you have is currently difficult then more but narrower planks is OK.

The Aylesbury ones were supplied by Greenford so a call to them might elicit details of their timber merchant. If not try Snows in Glastonbury, Robbins in Bristol, Timbmet Oxford or Fitchett and Wallacot Nottingham. Depends where you are really.

 

HtH

N

Thanks for the excellent advice. I'll start googling and follow up on your suggestions. Tony

Maybe contact CRT they have been making lots of new ones out of wood.

Thanks for the suggestion. I have contacted CRT but I'm looking for competitive quotes. Tony

Was thinking by time youve sorced wood and shaped you might have spent sim to metal??

 

You could always try covering in fiberglass till you have sorced a new set??

 

I did think this but wasnt sure if the full on just nick them approach was the correct way to go.

I'd never thought of covering them in fibreglass - thanks for the suggestion! Tony

As another option.

 

Worsley have a wooden gate, without hinges. Just about neutral buoyancy and is folded down as if it has a hinge along the bottom but is actually free floating. Seals a treat with only a tiny bit of ash. Simple paddles in gate to reflood.

 

Can vote for robins timber, certainly for quality boat buidling timber. The Douglas Fir they supplied didnt look like he same tree as the Douglas from our local merchant.

 

 

Daniel

Thanks for suggesting Robins Timber. I'll check them out. Tony

Can I ask why Douglas Fir is recommended. I have always understood Larch was the best softwood for damp/wet conditions and is indeed what our local sawmill recommends.

The one quote that I have is for Douglas Fir. I haven't done any load calculations, but the bottom plank will be under considerable strain - does Larch have the same strength as Douglas Fir? Tony

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The one quote that I have is for Douglas Fir. I haven't done any load calculations, but the bottom plank will be under considerable strain - does Larch have the same strength as Douglas Fir? Tony

Obviously you would need to do your own calculations but looking at the only figures I have to hand Larch (admittedly American rather than European or Japanese grown in Europe) it seems a little stronger.

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Obviously you would need to do your own calculations but looking at the only figures I have to hand Larch (admittedly American rather than European or Japanese grown in Europe) it seems a little stronger.

Thanks. i should pop down to the British Library and see what reference books I can find regarding material properties. Tony

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Thanks. i should pop down to the British Library and see what reference books I can find regarding material properties. Tony

Surly all this work has already been done, CRT fit 100s to locks every year, both wide and narrow, so they mist know what thickness and material is required for different lengths and depths.

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