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DOCK INSPECTIONS

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by jsschieff, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    it,s not ignorance it’s reality. A realtor lists the property to the best of his knowledge. If a buyer wants to dock a boat there, he needs to do his due diligence. Just like a realtor is not an architect and doesn’t display in the listing that a 1 story house can be made into a second story. It is outside of their scope, expertise, and job. Deep water access simply means there are no fixed bridges, or locks impeding access to the ocean, and you can take a small boat to the ocean, has nothing to do with depth AT the house.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Sorry but deep water access has nothing to do with fixed bridges. Fixed bridges is a separate question to be asked. Deep water means at least 3' of depth at the dock at low tide (some use 6' as the mark). And yes realtors do check so their listing can be as honest as possible. That of course does not relieve a buyer of their responsibility to do due diligence and check for themselves.

    "Deep Water or Deep Water with limited access: Deep water means that at a normal low tide you are expected to have at least 3 feet of water depth at your dock and in the creek or river your on that leads to a large body of water. Deep water with limited access means that your are expected to have at least 3 feet of water at a normal low tide at your dock but the creek or river your on may have less than 3 feet of water depth at low tide between your property and a larger and deeper body of water that you would want to access.
    Most deep water real estate listings that are deemed "deep water" have the required 3 feet minimum. However some listings do not disclose the accurate depth of the channel. So it is always a good idea to check it yourself (I always do for my clients) to be sure." N.C. Real Estate

    "Deep-waterdocks -- commonly defined as those with at least six feet ofwaterat low tide and suitable for a large sailboat -- are often worth two or three times as much as those in more shallow water" WSJ
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    There is a lot of due diligence on any home, but especially any waterfront home. We likely didn't do what we should have as we were so in love with the home, but we were lucky. So, here's some of what a prudent buyer should do beyond what any homebuyer should do.

    -Check flood zones and history of flooding at that very specific location. Check that against storm surge history for that location. Also, check specific hurricane history for the home.
    -Check water depth at low tide and then subtract for any lower tides that are ever seen. Find out history of dredging, who is responsible, and to what depth. Look at other boats in the same canal, especially those deeper in it. Ask neighbors for any history of silting.
    -Have docks and seawall examined by builders who would likely be on the most conservative side as they'd like business upgrading them. Sending a diver without dock building experience won't get what you need. If there are pilings, you need to know how sturdy, need to find the original approvals and the depth they're driven. Need to look for any erosion around them or unsteadiness. Floating or fixed dock, height of pilings, level of fixed dock vs floods. However, in the total picture, the dock is a relatively minor expense. The seawall can be major. How does height of seawall compare to current recommendations or requirements, especially in light of rising sea levels. How thick is wall, what is surface behind it, every inch of it should be examined. In the Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale areas, most seawalls are good as permits and design is strict. In other areas of FL there have been major problems and needs for replacement. However, the costs to build in Fort Lauderdale are high. I've seen seawalls quoted at $300-800 per linear foot on the west coast but in Fort Lauderdale they run from $800-2,000 per foot plus $2000-5000 for engineering and permits, so a 100' sea wall could cost as much as $200,000 and even have more hidden costs in removing the old and addressing any problems.
  4. AnotherKen

    AnotherKen Member

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    wow, I was a little surprised by the idea that a deep water dock would only be expected to have 6 feet of water at low tide. I think almost any sailboat has a keel that would end up stuck in the mud with a deep water rating like that. I always thought deepwater was 60 feet or more at low tide.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Actually most I came across put it at 3', enough to get most smaller boats through. 6' is good for most average sized sail boats and motor yachts. In a place like Ft. Lauderdale I doubt anyone looking for a waterfront home would consider less than 7' or 9' deep water.
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Here are some tidbits on the standards for the city of Fort Lauderdale. Only the center 20' of the canals are dredged by the city. There is then some dredging up to 20' on each side to maintain a slope but not as deep as the city. They can not dredge within 10' of a dock or seawall. Normal dredging is to a depth of 4-5'.

    Now we front a main canal just off the ICW and have canals on both sides. Their depth is 9' in front of our house and 9' on one side and 7' on the other. 10' from our seawalls we have at least 7' on all three sides. However, on our right side, as you go back in the canal the depth drops to as low as 5'. Other canals in our neighborhood have depths of at least 9' where they intersect with the main canal we face and those going to the ICW have 12', 9', 9', 10', 6', and 4'. Then as you take those canals away from the ICW they drop as low as 4'. There's a huge difference between being the house at the entrance and the one deep in a canal. Most of the boats you'll see will be up to 60, 70 or 80' but there are some over 100' and up to 120' or so. Except for point lots, most only have 80-100' of water frontage.

    These are all man made canals, but the ICW is only maintained to 11' and outside the channel through here is typically 7-9' but there are areas as low as 3-4'. ICW and Canals around it are not deep water by traditional terms. You do not see many sailboats in these neighborhoods.