Why You should Buy a Floating Dock in Australia

Picture the scene: you’ve just returned from a glorious Saturday’s boating off your local coastline. The tide is out and the water line is way too low for you to be able to dock your boat to the pier. Floating docks in Australia have become a big part of modern boating life, because they are the best, easiest and safest solution to this problem as well as many other many challenges involved in owning a marine vessel.  

FAB Dock is based on the Gold Coast, where more than 200km of waterways have made the South-East Queensland location one of Australia’s most popular boating destinations. In an area this large, the speed with which you can assemble and reposition our inflatable floating docks has been a game-changer, allowing boatowners to focus on the fun element of boating – to enjoy more time navigating the city’s canals and seaways.  

The adaptability of our floating docks in Australia has two huge benefits. If you frequent either coastal seas or inland rivers, you’ll know how water levels can fluctuate, depending on the tides. Owning a floating dock keeps your afloat at water level, so no matter the swell, you can dock relatively smoothly. Keeping your craft high and dry means it is less exposed to saltwater erosion and helps reduce the massive environmental cost that products like anti-foul marine paint can have on the ecology. 

Floating docks are also far more functional than stationary docks, in that they can be fixed to any kind of coastline or structure. Whether you are holiday house-boating in Victoria or you’re on a fishing trip in the Territory, changing the shape and size of your dock to suit your surroundings is vitally important. 

FAB Dock inflatable dry docks are portable, which means that if you’re cruising the Aussie coastline for a few days, you’ll be able to dock at your own convenience. Our inflatable docks come in standard (17ft to 44ft) and custom sizes to accommodate most marine vessels, from your river runabout to your multi-hulled pride and joy.  

By utilising our specialist knowledge and innovative engineering, the experienced FAB Dock team has helped increase the awareness and usage of floating docks in Australia. There are plenty of different options to suit various boats, so talk to one of our qualified team members today about getting your boat out of the water easily and quickly when you’re not using it. 

Floating docks are affordable and their durable nature means you won’t have to spend a lot of money replacing or repairing them, whether you’re berthing in fresh or saltwater. In terms of convenience, preserving the quality of your boat as well as your vessel’s impact on the environment, FAB Dock inflatable dry docks are the way to go.  

Contact FAB Dock for further advice about floating docks and we’ll provide you a no-obligation quote for our forward-thinking products. We’ll help you find the best solutions for your docking woes, so please contact us today at our offices in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Know Your Boat Is Safe in Our Marine Docking System

FAB Dock founder and CEO Dean Howard has one of the most gratifying jobs in the world, being able to give all his customers the “peace of mind” of knowing their boating investment is safer with our marine dock system.

One of the most common phrases I hear from our FAB Dock customers all over the world is the peace of mind they now have, seeing their boats are safely tucked away and no longer exposed to the ravages of the saltwater environment. Their vessel stays clean and dry inside their FAB Dock marine dock system, until they venture out next time to enjoy their boat.

I feel exactly the same way. Without seeming too biased, I could never own a boat again knowing I had to keep it in saltwater, particularly a stern drive. 

After another great weekend on our boat with my wife, we washed her, flushed her (the boat, not the wife), covered her up and now I am off for another few weeks in the United States to attend various boat shows [see our article on The Docks Expo in Nashville].

I’ll also meet with other dealers and install more FAB Dock marine dock systems, this time in Florida as the knowledge of how amazing our product is spreading rapidly overseas. All this time I’m away, I’ll be happy in the knowledge that my boat will be as clean and dry when I get home as it was the day that I left her. 

If you value your boat and your time spent enjoying it, consider what that’s worth to you then include the value of our in-water marine dock system and you know it’s the right investment for you.

Dean Howard, FAB Dock founder & CEO

 

How FAB Dock Works

The FAB Dock dry docking system literally wraps your boat with a protective layer on the water level. It acts like a shrink-wrapped skin between the water and your boat to keep it clean and dry, even while on the water with no environmental impact.

Most owners of leg, stern or shaft drives think the propeller will pierce the material, however, we’ve manufactured a hand-welded super-durable product, made from the best components in the world to withstand extreme conditions. 

Not only is your hull secured against saltwater damage, the in-water dry dock cannot be punctured by a propeller. If you have leg drive, we build custom pockets to fit the legs to protect your boat completely. Every cut, every seam has been analysed to ensure FAB Dock fits your boats perfectly. 

The environmentally sound FAB Dock system was in development for 9 years, undergoing rigorous testing, before it was launched on the market in 2011. During that time, it’s proven itself time and time again as the “go to” for any boatowner wanting to protect their investment – from 17ft to 100ft vessels. 

FAB Dock is the world’s leading in-water dry docking system.

Where to Buy

Contact the knowledgeable team at FAB Dock for an online quote. We have offices in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, proving the benefits of owning a marine dock system are far-reaching.

Still using antifoul? For the love of the ocean, please stop.

Humans are waking up to the consequences of plastics in our oceans. But what about the consequences of antifouling or bottom paint? Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not hurting our marine creatures – and us.

https://youtu.be/4wH878t78bw

You might have seen this viral video of a turtle getting a straw pulled out of its nose. Those images caused such outrage that they led to bans on plastic straws.

Or you may have seen the pictures of seabirds lying on the beach, with bottle caps spilling out of their guts or the poor dead whale where 40kg of plastic bags were pulled out of its stomach.

If you have, chances are you feel pretty bad about it.

Those images probably make you think twice about the way you dispose of trash. Hopefully you’re not be the kind of person who would chuck a plastic bottle over the side of your boat or throw a plastic bag full of rubbish into the water.

Because you love the water – that’s why you have a boat, isn’t it? A boat that takes you out into clear, blue seas and wide, open spaces.

A boat that leads you to coral reefs where you can snorkel, dive and explore the wonderful underwater world.

A boat that allows you to share in some of the planet’s most precious places – lakes, rivers and oceans.

The trouble with invisible things

The problem is, humans can be motivated by horrible images like that turtle but we don’t do so well when the problem happens at a different scale.

There’s a lot of research about this. It turns out that people don’t care much about things they can’t see.

We’re pretty good at ignoring something that’s invisible – like toxic chemicals.

So where does that leave us with antifouling – also known as bottom paint?

Bottom paint is toxic, even deadly. But we still slather it all over our hulls in the false belief or hope that it will keep our boats clean and efficient for at least a few months.

What’s the problem with antifouling paint?

Antifouling paint is toxic and poisonous. It’s designed to kill living things; marine life in particular. Which it does, just as surely as plastic in a seabird’s stomach.

This happens in several ways.

  • Antifoul hurts shellfish and molluscs, deforming them and causing some species (such as dogwhelks) to change from female to male.
  • It poisons many different species, including ones that don’t grow on your boat.
  • Big fish feed on little fish, little fish feed on smaller creatures. Smaller creatures feed on bottom paint. That means the toxins in bottom paint are accumulating in the food chain. And we all know who feeds on the big fish – humans.
  • The cuprous copper oxide in Antifoul paints never actually breaks down, so it sits in the sand or mud and gets released back into the water when the bottom gets stirred up. This means those toxins are swirling around again, many years after some boat owner decided to do some antifouling.
  • Humans can be affected too, depending on their individual sensitivity. Think about that next time the family are swimming around your boat.

So why are we still using antifoul on our hulls?

That’s a good question. There are people all over this earth who spend their whole lives trying to work out why we do the things we do, whether it’s about getting healthy or not driving drunk or cleaning up after a picnic in the park.

It turns out there are a few key answers.

Firstly, we humans need to understand the reasons for changing our behaviour and we have to believe they matter. If you want to know why bottom paint matters, check this post insert link to previously written antifoul post.

We also need to feel that change is possible, that it’s relatively easy to do and that other people around us are doing it too.

Plus, we may need more information and someone to help us make changes.

Which brings us back to the antifoul problem.

You can stop trashing the ocean – the team at FAB Dock will show you how

Fortunately for all of us, turtles included, there is a solution.

You can say farewell to toxic bottom paint if you use a FAB Dock. Our unique solution keeps your hull clean and dry. There is no need to paint it with toxic antifoul because the water won’t touch it and those nuisance molluscs and algae won’t grow on it.

That means no toxins in the water, no toxins hanging around in the mud or sand below your boat, and no toxins building up in the food chain.

So next time you see another picture of an ocean creature dead from plastics, just remember this: invisible things can kill too.

Don’t be the boat owner who ignores that and trashes the waterways that we all love.

We’d be very happy to show you how FAB Dock keeps the waterways clean.

 

 

Electrolytic Corrosion. Or, how come my prop dissolved?

 

Uh oh. You know you’re in trouble when one (or more…) of these things happens:

If you have an aluminium or steel boat:

  • Blisters start appearing under your paint
  • Pits form on the underwater areas of your boat
  • Blisters pop up in lines along sharp edges such as chines and keels
  • Corrosion appears, or white calcium deposits
  • Paint peels off in sheets
  • Metal components literally dissolve – sometimes in days.

If you have a fibreglass boat:

  • Blisters start to appear and paint starts to peel on Stern drives.
  • There is pitting on your propellers and shafts.
  • Zincs or anodes are disappearing faster than usual.
  • Exhaust components are corroding.

What is doing this to your beloved boat?

Chances are it’s one of two processes – electrolysis, more accurately known as electrolytic corrosion, or galvanic corrosion.

Here’s a quick explainer:

Electrolytic corrosion

This happens when an accidental, or stray, current is present, usually due to faulty wiring or a defect in the metal. These harmful currents may come from on board your boat or from the dock. They are made worse in marinas because other nearby vessels may be generating these currents. The stray current seeks to earth itself and if seawater is present, look out! Seawater acts as an electrolyte, meaning that it is an efficient conductor of electricity. That means stray currents will flow into and through it, causing corrosion in conductive metals. This is particularly noticeable in places where conductive metals are ‘shedding’ current into the sea. Or when your prop dissolves…

Think that can’t happen? To get an idea of how rapid corrosion can be, consider this:

1 ampere flowing for 1 year = the loss of 9kg iron, 10kg copper or 35kg lead.

 

 

Galvanic corrosion

This corrosive process occurs when two different metals touch each other with an electrolyte (such as saltwater) present. Different metals have differing electrical potential and when you put them close to each other, they will generate a very weak, corrosive current.

Prevention: watch out for the neighbours

Imagine two boats floating next to each other in the marina. Both are made of different metals and that means they are generating a weak current between each other. Weak, but strong enough to do damage over time.

Things are worse if these boats are connected to shore power and share a common earth conductor.

And don’t think you’re safe if you own a timber boat. Timber boats have metal fittings, after all.

That means you need to protect your boat.

What’s a poor boat owner to do?

There’s not much you can do about the neighbours but there’s plenty you can do to help your boat stay afloat.

Here are some common solutions that will minimise the risk of corrosion:

  • Fit a sacrificial anode. These are made of chemically active metals such as zinc. They erode faster than other metals, thereby protecting them. Warning: an anode will not work when you are at risk of electrolytic corrosion from stray currents in the process of leaving metal fixtures.
  • Get your vessel checked by a marine electrician and get them to fit an electrolysis blocker.
  • Use marine certified electrical leads and make sure you turn off all the power when you’re not aboard.
  • Don’t leave metal items lying around in your boat. It seems harmless, but it isn’t.
  • Paint your boat or coat the metal so that is isolated from seawater. This includes using corrosion inhibitors.
  • Use a FAB Dock.

Use a FAB Dock and rest easy

Saltwater conducts electricity, so isolating your boat from saltwater will go a long way towards protecting it. This makes FAB Dock an outstanding solution to the problem of electrolytic corrosion because a FAB Dock is designed to stop your boat from sitting in saltwater. Our patented pumping system senses the amount of water around your boat and pumps it out. This will help you keep seawater from conducting corrosive electricity from and to your hull, prop and fittings.

There are other benefits too. Installing a FAB Dock means that not only will you reduce the risk of corrosion but you won’t have to apply antifoul either.

See our blog here on why you need to ditch the anti-foul / bottom paint

https://fabdock.com/fab-dock-benefits/5-reasons-why-you-need-to-ditch-the-antifoul-or-bottom-paint/#more-4881

Check out the FAB Dock and find out how you can protect your vessel from corrosive electrical currents.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=CAzN9mYo-Kk&feature=emb_logo

 

 

 

Annapolis Boat Show 2019 – FAB Dock proves why an Inflatable dry dock will be the best investment you ever make!

We all know that FAB Docks will keep your boat clean and dry and eliminate the need to apply toxic, poisonous antifoul, but a FAB Dock will also protect your boat in other important ways. All of our customers have found how easy a FAB Dock makes berthing their boat because of the 300mm (12 inch) tubes that they have to bounce their boats into. Well, those big bouncy bumpers also protect your boat should a storm whip up in your local area.

Case in point: we recently exhibited at the Annapolis Boat Show (for the second time as we love both the show and the town) and we teamed up with a Annapolis Boat Sales to showcase one of their Key West boats in a FAB Dock. We were positioned on the outside dock at the show which was deemed the Demo Dock so that people could take these boats for test rides all day. Being the outside dock, it was also the most exposed should a north-westerly storm blow up. Which, being our luck at boat shows, it was always going to do. So on cue, a rather large storm blew in on Saturday night.

All the local people knew to remove their boats from the dock and go and hide them somewhere safer for the night, including a couple of big RIBS and other large boats and catamarans. Those out-of-towners who were already enjoying the local hospitality and had left their brand new vessels to the forces of mother nature were left to rue their decisions the next morning. It was not only a hangover that they were nursing, but thousands of dollars worth of damage. Which would have been much worse had the show organisers not managed to find our coil of rope on our stand with which to at least try and hold the remaining boats in place. Even the marina walkways did not escape unscathed with a pedestrian detour in place until one section was repaired and reattached.

The only boat that remained all night and was unscathed in the morning was the little Key West that was safely tucked away in its FAB Dock all night. We arrived the next morning (not nursing too bad a hangover) to find it and the FAB Dock safe and sound and still dry. We just wish we had a video camera running all night to film the surrounding carnage and the performance of our FAB Dock.

Why an inflatable dock makes sense for your boat

Anyone who’s owned a boat will know just how hard and costly they can be to maintain. Not only are you faced with the constant battle of keeping the hull clean and barnacle-free, but the wear and tear that comes with berthing your beloved vessel means expensive repairs are a constant risk. 

Fortunately, you’ll find a time and money-saving solution in the form of FAB Dock, a revolutionary inflatable dry dock system that’s proving a must-have for marine craft owners.

The Best Dry Docking Solution For Your Boat

FAB Dock is a dry docking method by which boats are protected from the harsh, saltwater environment when not in use. Operated using only the 12-volt on-board battery (or even solar power), it inflates quickly and safely upon the vessel being manoeuvred into position.

The ‘ramp rage’ and docking dramas that have plagued traditional berthing methods can be a thing of the past, as the soft, forgiving target provided by FAB Dock allows even novice navigators to bump their craft into its floating home with ease. You can avoid the damage associated with hazardous berthing, which aside from detracting from the aesthetic appeal of your boat, can negatively impact the resale value.

Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Antifoul 

Perhaps the biggest draw for the FAB Dock, however, lies in its ability to do away with the need for a yearly recoat of antifouling solution. As sea growth formation is naturally inhibited by dry docking, owners avoid altogether this ecologically harmful, messy, and time-consuming practice of painting with antifoul.

You’ll save more than cost when you don’t have to haul your boat out of the water, paint the hull, replace anodes, and clean the submerged components. The cost savings can roughly equate to paying off your individual dry dock in as little as three years, all while keeping your pride and joy in a condition that’s sure to maximise fuel efficiency and performance. 

Offering a level of convenience, ease of use, and affordability scarcely seen in the maritime industry, FAB Dock makes sense for boatowners everywhere. 

To preserve your vessel with an inflatable dock system of your own, give the friendly team at FAB Dock a call on 1800 254 088. 

Is Antifoul that bad for the environment?

The scourge of seafarers everywhere, barnacles can seriously affect the performance, resale value and appearance of your marine vessel. Faced with this prospect, boatowners have consistently turned to antifouling solutions as a method for keeping pesky sea growth at bay but this, too, comes with its own host of issues. So is this common coating really that bad and, if so, what are the antifoul alternatives available to those heading out on the high seas?

Read More

5 reasons why you need to ditch the antifoul or bottom paint

Antifouling Environmental Damage

It’s time to ditch the antifouling and discover the non-toxic, low maintenance FAB Dock Docking Solution.

Read More

360′ Coverage

FAB Dock = 180' Coverage

FAB Dock = 180′ Coverage

FAB Dock + Boat Cover = 360' Coverage

FAB Dock + Boat Cover = 360′ Coverage

Owning a boat like the beautiful Cabriolet Royale you want to make sure that your boat is fully covered.

That you are not only protecting the hull but also protecting the gorgeous trimmings and finishes of the boat.

Read More

Clean as a whistle

After recently visiting the gorgeous shores of Port Coogee,  we wanted to share a story on how a FAB Dock protected a beautiful Cobalt R5 boat.  The owner of this boat had only been able to take his stunning Cobalt out twice in the last 16 months but thank fully due to being protected by our world class FAB Dock the hull came out looking like new.  The photo shows what the hull looks like after 16 months of being in a FAB Dock with minimal use.  No matter how often you use your boat the FAB Dock will protect your prized possession all year round.

FAB Dock - All year round protection

FAB Dock – All year round protection

We have to take this opportunity to say we had a fantastic time in Western Australia, we got to see many of our valued FAB Dock clients and had the chance to meet new faces at the Hillaries Boat Show.   We will be back soon!