[UPDATE (January 2017): Thanks to the generosity of our Beacon family, this project is fully funded! See you on our brand new docks next summer!]
Well, we learned a lot about how things work when it comes time to take docks out of the Beacon lake.
A few weekends ago, some generous support from Muskoka Lumber came in the form of a boom truck that helped us remove our swim and boat docks from the lake so that we could spend some needed time repairing them over the winter. Based on the condition of the dock sections that we could see above the water, we were optimistic that this would be a minor refurbishing job, so that we could easily replace some worn boards, tighten screws and get ready to put the docks back in the lake in the spring. It turns out that wasn't the case.
From the moment that we started taking the dock sections out one by one (check out a sweet photo from Dave Charters below!), we could tell that there was going to be some more work needed. The boards that have been under the water for the last 15+ years, have rotted away far more than expected. The foam floats that help keep the dock above water with all those Senior Boys on it have worn away as well from years of wave action. This left us with docks that just don't feel safe to use and presentable to the Beacon community. After doing research and homework, we think we've settled on the long-term solution: we need to replace the docks.
With all this in mind, we priced out a product that we think will give Beacon a quality dock that will last for generations to come. That product is a pontoon dock, which carries a lifetime guarantee and will allow us to over-winter the docks in the lake without fear of rotting wood or damaged docks. It also gives us the ability to repair the top section of the dock in the future without fear of damaging other parts of the dock.
The price tag for this change is significant. Our estimate is that it will take about $15,000 to get just our swim dock ready for 2017, which is for materials only. We're fortunate to have a very handy Facilities Manager (Mark Vandervecht) who can handle the construction phase of the project, which saves us quite a lot of money.
The Beacon Board of Trustees has approved this capital project, and we're doing to be directing any funds from the PWYC (pay-what-you-can) portion of our Christmas Gift Catalogue to completing the swim dock in time for next summer. The good news? We've already had a $1,000 donation towards completing the project, which means we're well on our way.
Please pray that God would provide the funds in a timely fashion, and even that we would find favour with those who are selling us materials (discounts are sometimes available for charitable organizations). Please also consider sharing this with your Beacon friends, so that the project isn't a burden on other plans we're starting to make for Beacon's future.