Friday, October 17, 2014

Dock Cable Installation

Fall is when we prepare the cabin for winter. This includes checking our anchors. The 3/4-inch steel cables can deteriorate and weaken over time. Fall’s lower lake level and still warm water makes it a good time to do repairs.

Putting the rope in place.
This year, we doubled the anchor for our dock.

It’s used for our woodshed float and new barge. With that heavy load, a strong wind could snap a weakened cable. Double cables are like an insurance policy. They're available when you need them most.

Pulling the cable in place.
Our good friend John came helped us with the project. His expertise as an “aquatic engineer” is unsurpassed. Plus, he built our cabin and knows it inside and out.

First, the distance was measured and cable ordered with enough extra to swag down in the water, out of the way of props and to prevent breaking under stress.

Bringing the cable to the dock.
Steel cable is heavy and unwieldy to handle. Wayne and John used a long rope to span the distance from the end of the dock to a sturdy stump on shore that was in a good position to be the anchor point.

Once the line was in place, our cedar log raft was used to carry the cable to the stump so John could anchor that end with a loop and cable clamp ratcheted down tight.

A turfer pulls in some slack.
Then, as Wayne pulled the raft towards the dock, John let out the cable. He was careful not to let it reaches the lake bottom and get caught on snags or logs.

As they neared the dock, the pulling became more difficult. Even with buoyancy from the water, the steel cable became very heavy.

The cable is "tied" to the dock.
When the raft reached the dock, John secured the end of the cable with a rope.  This was attached to a turfer, and the cable was mechanically pulled farther out of the water until there was enough slack to attach it to the cedar log that supports the dock.

A cable clamp to secure the cable.
John wrapped the steel cable around the exposed log and tied in a knot.

He used another clamp to connect it together and keep the wrappings from coming undone.

Then the loose end was secured with a log staple.

Dropping the cable in place.
Thanks to John we’re ready for those winter storms. And we don’t have to worry about losing our dock’s precious cargo. -- Margy


  1. Even more important now that the Fall winds have set in. You are very lucky to have John for assistance!

  2. Good sturdy cables - I know how heavy they can be. That is quite a job - but necessary. Glad the weather held for you to get it done.

  3. Lot of work but worth it of course. Nice to know you don't have to worry about drifting away!! LOL Thanks for the look see Margy

  4. Definitely need strong cables. Great shots!