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Posted 11/30/2022 in Informational

Boat Docks on Tims Ford Lake: Things to Consider

Boat Docks on Tims Ford Lake:  Things to Consider

Things to Consider with A Boat Dock on Tims Ford Lake

You're reading this because you're curious about building a new boat dock on Tims Ford Lake or assessing an existing boat dock.  We'll answer those questions and more.

Tims Ford Lake Boat Dock SunsetTims Ford Sunset over the Dock
photo: Amanda Herring

How to Assess an Existing Boat Dock?

Boat docks on Tims Ford Lake are often made of wood, synthetic materials, or concrete pads (newer docks).  Unfortunately many of the older docks on the lake are made of a wood top which eventually will rot and erode requiring some replacement.

When looking at an existing boat dock on Tims Ford Lake there would be two steps.  The first would be to give the dock a good review -- is there decaying wood?  Does the electricity work to the dock?  Do all switches work?  Does everything work without popping the circuit breakers?  

After the brief review the best thing to do is to contact one of the local Tims Ford Lake dock builders to have them also give your dock a review for both safety and durability.  Then have a area electrician do the same -- they'll check for grounding points, ensure you have a water voltage checker (to alert you of dangerous voltage hazards in the water), and ensure all wiring is still in good condition.

Also, how many steps from the back of the home is it to the dock?  Is it a long way -- if it is, is that acceptable?  Many stairs sometimes can be difficult going back and forth.

Tims Ford Lake DockTims Ford Lake Dock
photo: Andi Hill Pate

How Long Will a Boat Dock Last?

Floating Docks on Tims Ford Lake typically last about 20-30 years before needing replacement.  Though they may need maintenance well before that.  If it is in an area that is well traveled, docks can take a beating.

Can Anyone Build A Dock On Tims Ford Lake?

You must have a permit from TVA in order to either build or retain a boat dock -- this includes if you purchase a home with a dock, you must transfer the permit to yourself from the previous owner.  

Then you would work with one of the local dock builders to make your custom dock -- keep in mind the backlog / wait for a dock could be up to a year so be sure to plan early.

When I Buy A Home, Do I Need to Do Anything if the Home Has A Dock?

Yes, before purchasing the home, you should verify that the home has an existing permit for their dock.  If they do not have a permit, TVA may force you to remove or modify the dock to be with their requirements.  After purchasing a home with a permitted dock, you contact TVA to transfer the permit to your name.

Also, if you are purchasing a home, make sure you work with a local Tims Ford Lake Realtor who knows the area well and can provide the right type of advice on buying a home with a dock.

Dock Home For Sale on Tims Ford LakeHome For Sale With Dock on Tims Ford Lake

Will My Boat Fit on the Dock Slip?

If you're buying a home, do you have an existing boat or do you plan to buy one?  Some dock slips on are longer and wider than others.  Some wider boats such as a pontoon boat may need the wider and longer varieties.  Also, your dock lift will need to be able to handle the boat -- both in size and weight.

Do Dock Materials Matter?

Dock materials matter somewhat depending on what you are looking for.  Dock frames are made out of either aluminum or galvanized steel.  The steel tends to be heavier which can make your dock a bit more stable.  Dock tops can be made out of wood, concrete topping, or even artificial wood.  Concrete tops come in 2 foot by 2 foot sections and can easily be replaced if one is damaged.  The concrete tops also provide more weight to the dock to again improve stability.

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