Frequently Asked Questions

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About Merco Marine

How do I contact Merco Marine?

Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-396-3726
Direct Line: 1-304-737-3006
Fax: 1-304-737-3008

Where is Merco Marine located?

60 Merco Rd – Wellsburg, WV 26070. The northern tip of WV on the Ohio river. Click here for driving directions. We’re about 50 minutes west of Pittsburgh. Flying in? The nearest airport is the Wheeling Ohio County airport which is 15 minutes driving time south of our plant. The nearest commercial airport is Pittsburgh International which is 45 minutes northeast of our plant.

Is Merco Marine the Manufacturer?

We ARE actually the manufacturer of all of our galvanized steel wood dock components, truss frames, pile guides, etc. Everything is made right here in our plant in Wellsburg, WV using only US steel and US employees!

Account Management

Do you take credit applications?

We do take credit applications. To download our credit application click here. Fill it out and fax it to us at 304-737-3008. Upon receipt of your application we will review your information and get back to you as soon as possible with our decision.

Payment Options and Checkout

We accept most major credit cards. American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. When ordering online or over the phone you will need to provide us with your desired payment method. We also accept checks or money orders via the US postal service or dropped off in person. We require payment prior to most shipments. When ordering online you need to add all of your items to your shopping cart then proceed to the checkout menu.

Can I return an item?

Please refer to our Returns Policy: You can return new, unopened items from a cancelled order within 2 weeks after they have been delivered to you. Items should be re-packed in an undamaged box prior to shipping. There is a 15 PERCENT restocking fee on ALL returned items.

Dock Systems and Design

How much do sections weigh?

Finished dock section weights. Please note, weights shown below are approximate. Weights vary per use. 

Truss Frames: (using PT SYP 2x6 decking, bumpboard, PT SYP 2x4 sleepers, frames, rubrail, and float drums) 1-1/2" style = 10lbs per sq ft 2" style = 12lbs per sq ft 

Wood dock: (using STANDARD "H" hardware (not lightweight "HL" or heavy duty "HD", PT SYP 2x8 frame members, PT SYP 2x6 decking, rubrail, and float drums) 11lbs per sq ft 

Parralam dock: (using 3x12 gluelam beams for side stringers, our galvanized steel internal frame members, 2x6 PT SYP decking, rubrail, and float drums) 25lbs per sq ft.

How do I attach rubrail to my dock?

 Click image to enlarge.Rubrail Instructions

What style of rubrail should I use?

 Our two most commonly used rubrail types are RR-5001 and RR-5002.

How many piling or pipe holders do I need on my dock?

On most layouts on the main dock we recommend at least 1 piling every 40'. We also recommend to use piling on fingers over 20' in length. However, it's not always a simple question of how many you need. You also need to take into account water flow direction (if applicable) and whether or not you plan on moving sections around at any time or adding more dock in the future.

How do you build a Merco Marine wood dock?

First we we have our wood dock plan kit if you're looking for general dock configurations or how our wood dock hardware is utilized. 

Secondly we have the How To Guide which is a step by step guide on how to assemble a Merco Marine wood dock at your location.  

What type of dock should I buy?

We offer several types of dock construction to fit your needs. If you are on a small pond or stream you should use a small wood frame dock, either floating or stationary made with lightweight Homeowners dock hardware or stationary dock hardware. If you are on a river or large lake you should use floating truss frames or a floating heavy duty wood frame with heavy duty wood dock hardware. If extra strength is needed use our 2” truss frames and if you have fingers sticking out use our finger stabilizers. If you are on a very large lake or on a coastal harbor use our floating heavy duty 2” truss frame system or our paralam aka truss and wood construction.  

What hardware type do I need to buy? Light, Standard, or Heavy?

Light/Homeowners- We manufacture homeowners wood dock hardware which uses 1 ½” thick lumber and should be used with small boats (16’ to 18’) and areas that are protected. It is made with 3/16” x 5” steel. This hardware uses 3/8” carriage bolts.

Standard/Regular- Our regular hardware is made with ¼” x 5” steel and wood as thick as 3” can be used. Wood docks that are in moderately rough areas and have medium size boats should use this hardware. This hardware uses ½” carriage bolts are used in this hardware.

Heavy- Our Heavy Duty hardware is made from 3/8” x 8” steel and support wood as thick as 3”. Use our heavy duty hardware if you have any doubt that our regular size hardware may be insufficient for your application. The lightweight and regular hardware uses the same ½” x 3” connecting tabs and ¾” bolts or pins to fasten the dock together end to end or attach fingers. The heavy duty hardware uses a slightly larger ½” x 5” tab and uses a larger 1” bolt for connection. All of this hardware like the rest of our hardware is hot dipped to ASTM standards.

What size hoop or pipe holders do I need to buy?

If you are in a fairly protected area, 2” pipe will work fine, (generally if you have to take dock in and out). If you have a pile driver on your body of water, it some times pays to have piling driven permanently. If you drive piling we offer special hoop pile holders for 6” – 16” diameter piling that can be unbolted easily if a dock needs to be moved. Generally, the more piles you have in a dock the better off you’ll be when high wind hits. For large marinas we recommend at least 12" OD piling placed every 40' on main sections and at the end of every finger 20' or longer. You should have 1”-2” play between the piling and the hoop pile holder. Keep in mind, all of our pipe and pile holders measure nominal. For example a hoop HP-H14 actually measures 14” inside. So if you try to use a 14" pile holder for 14" pile it wont work correctly. You would need to use a 16" pile holder.

Do I have to take my dock out in the winter?

Many floating docks are left in the winter even if the lake freezes. If the lake freezes and the ice moves around it is better to take your dock out. If you leave the dock in freezing conditions, it is wise to take small pipes out. Tie the dock in a cove if possible or tie so it can float freely. If the ice moves at all, and the pipes move, they can tear up the dock quickly.

What size lumber should I use to build my dock?

We would normally recommend 2” x 8” for side stringers as a minimum. Our hardware is 5” tall. If you are building a wood dock, it is best to build as long and wide of sections as you can. Generally if you look, you can find 20’ long 2” X 8” or 2” X 10” for side stringers. The wider you build the dock the more stable it will be. The real drawback to this is that these docks weigh 10# per square foot or more. An 8’ X 20’ equals 160 square foot X 10# per square foot is 1600 #. Concerning wood size, if you look around your area you can see what people have used in the past and use that as a guide. Some areas we sell to have really rough conditions have used double 2” X 12”s for side stringers. Decking generally is still 2” X 6” – some people use pressure treated 2” X 8” but they will cup if not fastened down tight.

Flotation Systems

What types of floats do you offer and do they have to be foam filled?

We stock Permafloat floats. They carry a 15-year warranty. ALL of our floats meet the Corps of Engineers Reg. #36 CFR Part 327. The wall thickness is a minimum of .150 and they are made from 100% virgin grade polyethylene. You probably can buy a cheaper float, but you will hate it when the floats fail and you have to buy new. Many of these floats claim what they will support. Our floats are tested to the exact amount of weight it takes to submerge a float.

How do you figure how much flotation to buy?

There are a number of factors to ask before you figure flotation requirements. If it is a homeowner’s dock with a couple of people, we use about 30# per square foot to calculate flotation. A marina with more people needs about 35# per square foot. It isn’t easy to get this exact number but you can come close. The lower the dock is to the water, the more stable it will be. The more footprint in the water (the amount of surface water covered by floats) the more stable it will be.

Next, you should figure the height of the float. We have 12”, 16”, 20” and 24” high floats in most models. The lower the float, generally the more stable the dock will be. The example is a homeowners dock 6’ wide and 20’ long. The amount of square feet of dock is first determined by multiplying 6’ x 20’ = 120 square feet. We then use 30 pounds per square feet and multiplying 30 x 120 = 3600 pounds of flotation needed. Next figure out what size float you would like to use.

We will show two examples:

1. A large float (FC-4612) 4’ x 6’ x 12” floats 1390# each. Divide 3600# by 1390# = 2.58 floats – 3 would be needed.

2. A small float (FC-2412) 2’ x 4’ x 12” would be a good choice it floats 450# each. Divide 3600# by 450# = 8 floats. For a commercial application, do the same calculation except use 35# per square foot. Keep in mind, that these are rough calculations. The dock weight, material, decking, and etc. will affect the actual amount of flotation you need.  

Shipping Details

Can I pick up at the plant?

Sometimes it saves to pick up yourself. You should have the necessary straps and equipment to do this. We do not have rope or straps available for this purpose. You need to get your load back home safely. You will also need to remember that if you pick up at the plant you will pay sales tax.