Building A Wharf

Hey! It’s Sunday night as I write this, another successful cottage weekend under our belts.


This was a busy one as usual, lot’s of projects on the go, not the least of which is the new wharf. It’s been a couple of years since I bothered with much of a wharf mainly because I didn’t really need one for my small aluminum boat, but on the other hand, now that my buddy Doug has a speedboat a new wharf is kind of important. So we started wharf construction on Saturday.

We are building a floater, in other words a several floating ‘docks’ connected by walkways held in place with some poles hammered down into the mud and bolted on hinges at the shore so it will go up and down depending on the water level. Speaking of the water level, the lake is still very low for this time of the year, I am concerned that if we don’t get some rain soon, and lot’s of it, we are in for a dry summer.

We did have a wonderful loud thunder and lightening storm this afternoon with some heavy rain, unfortunately it didn’t last long enough to really make a difference. I am hoping it rained longer further inland which could result in an increase in the water in our lake from the runoff. But that is wishful thinking.

Doug is the carpenter, I’m more of rock guy, my job is to move a lot of rocks. I also do a little hammer and nail work and some lifting, and occasionally some wharf design consultation, but he is the master tradesman on the job.

Now, the first thing you need to know is that we are building a wharf on a budget. Essentially a budget of zero dollars, at least so far. That means we have scrounged a good deal of the wood and we’re using some of the styrofoam that I have been collecting and saving over the years.

It’s wonderful how much you can find on a boat ride in the spring. Between what I found and what I already had, we have enough to build one small float and one large float.

The wood has been salvaged from old pallets, leftover construction materials from other projects and we will have to buy some before we are completely finished. As I mentioned, my job is to move a lot of rocks…..here is one of the ones I moved….didn’t move it too far…..

So we began with a platform built on shore, something to anchor the rest of the wharf to shore and a nice place to sit too. That’s partially complete now, it just needs some shoring up and a few more top boards to finish it. I’m thinking it’s going to be OK. That goes to a cribwork about 10 feet out from shore, filled with rocks. 

Here is a picture of the crib box that Doug built and then we filled it with rocks to anchor it down. The first walkway is going to end up on that and then go to a floating dock.

It is always interesting to watch Doug work, he truly is a master craftsman, and it shows in the way he builds stuff. It’s always so neat and his fits are perfect and level….There is no doubt of what he has built compared to what I have built…..

We had a little visit last night while we were working, a baby loon I believe. He came by tweeting, looking for his Momma no doubt. I felt kind of bad for him as he was soooo tiny. However, he eventually swam off along the shore and I hope caught up with his family.

He was a cute little fellar, I wish there was something I could do to help him out, but I know that there wasn’t, so it’s best to let nature take it’s course, with any luck he found his Mom around the bend from our place.

Of course no weekend at the camp is complete without a rousing game of darts, or 7 or 8 rousing games of darts. Friday night we tied, so Saturday night was the playoff and I am happy to say that Darlene and I won, proving that we are the best or at least the luckiest.

I’d call it a very successful weekend, good friends, some fun and the beginnings of a new wharf….what more could a cottager ask for?

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