Seawalls: Repair or Replace?

seawallFor waterfront properties, a seawall is a vital layer of protection that preserves your view while also future-proofing against floods. Over time, however, even the best-constructed barriers erode and suffer damage. If your seawall isn’t looking its best, it’s important to get help right away. But there’s a question you’ll need to answer: should you pay to repair the damage, or outright replace the construction? We perform both of these marine services in Palm Beach County, and our experience gives us a little insight that can help you make a smart choice.

Understand the Issue — Different types of damage require different responses. Cap breakdowns, for example, might call for a much different project than a joint separation. Rely on your contractor to advise you on the root of the problem and the best possible solution.

Explore Options — In many cases, a simple repair is perfectly capable of solving the problem. However, it’s important to get a full picture of the options available to you. Discuss the lifespan of a potential fix with your contractor to decide if it’s worth the investment.

Act Early — Like most marine services, seawall repairs are easier when they’re handled early. As soon as you see an issue, contact professionals for help. This has the added advantage of avoiding catastrophic breakdowns and property destruction.

satellite image of a hurricane

Preparing Your Dock For A Storm

Summer weather can be unpredictable. After you’ve partnered with marine services in Palm Beach County and invested heavily in building your dream boat dock, the last thing you need is to spend extra money on repairs or a complete replacement due to bad weather, storms, or hurricanes.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can prepare for a storm and keep your boat and boat dock from being damaged. Marine services companies are the best places for tips and tricks, so you don’t have to do extra clean-up or repairs to your boat dock, boat, or boat lift, after this summer season of storms.


The most impactful thing you can do to prepare for a storm or hurricane is to buy and install a boat dock made of strong, durable material. Some marine services companies specialize in anodized aluminum and recommend aluminum boat docks for many reasons. Aluminum is very strong, and anodized aluminum dock sections are also easy to clean and maintain.

If your area is expecting a storm or hurricane, make sure to take some photos of your dock before the storm arrives, and again afterward, in the event, you need to file an insurance claim.


If you have enough warning and time, try to get your boat to a facility for storage. If you can’t arrange this, marine services experts advise you to raise your dock lift as high as you can to keep your boat above the storm surge, as large waves can damage your boat. Don’t forget to secure your boat to the lift. In addition, remove any plugs from your boat so water can drain out.

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boats on the dock

What a Dock Inspection Covers

A dock, by its very nature, is exposed to all of the harshest elements. It can be battered by waves, lashed by high winds, pelted by driving rain, and targeted by unceasing corrosion. It has to be tough to withstand all of this punishment and provide the same safe anchorage and access to the water that it does.

Due to all of the punishment, wear, and use that a dock withstands, it’s a good idea to not leave it unchecked for extended periods of time and hope for the best. Little things can spring up unnoticed and quickly develop into major issues that compromise the safety of the structure and its suitability for use. At Vogell Marine, Inc., we are skilled and experienced in Florida marine construction, and we’re going to tell you what we look for during a dock inspection.

We do an overall inspection that checks out all the important components to ensure they are safe and sound and work well together for complete dock integrity.

Our examination includes each piling and all the toe guards on the dock, as well as each deck board. We check out the water seal and the bumpers as well. If the dock is wired and supplied with electricity, we assess all the outlets and connections. Finally, we tighten all of the dock bolts and nuts.

If you have any more questions about dock inspections or other Florida marine construction services, we’ll be happy to answer them.

boat at a dock

Marine Services in Palm Beach County Will Make Your Dock Last Much Longer

If you live on the waterfront, the perfect addition to your property is a safe and durable dock. If you already have a dock or if you are planning on having one built, one of the most important aspects to consider is protecting the foundation of your new or existing structure. As a company providing marine services in Palm Beach County, we can tell you that a new dock is only as good as its pilings. The pilings are the foundation of the structure, and because they are exposed to the water and the organisms that live in the water, it is paramount that they are protected. The best way to accomplish that is to include pile wraps on the pilings before they are sunk into the ground. Even if your dock has been built without this valuable component, adding these wraps will significantly add to the longevity of your structure.

Protect Your Dock’s Pilings from Erosion
Pile sleeves or wraps can increase the lifespan of your dock’s foundation by at least ten times. Poorly protected pilings will begin to make your dock lean and develop soft spots that can be dangerous for those trying to walk on it.  A pile wrap is just what it sounds like: a material that can be wrapped around the piling to provide protection from erosion and wood-destroying organisms. As a reputable provider of marine services in Palm Beach County, our team at Vogell Marine, Inc. can help you choose the right piling wraps and make sure your dock is in good condition for many years to come.

couple standing on the bow of a boat

How to Choose a Boat Lift

You’ve invested a lot of money into purchasing the perfect boat. Now, you want to be able to get full use from your investment by making sure it’s easily accessible and stored safely. The perfect way to do this is by making another investment – in a boat lift. However, there are many different types of marine boat lifts on the market. How do you know which one is right for your boat? Here are some helpful tips on choosing the proper boat lift:

Know Your Boat’s Overall Weight

To determine the correct lift capacity for your boat lift, you’ll need to measure the overall weight of your watercraft. In order to accurately weigh your boat, you need to account for the dry weight of the unit, as well as factors such as gear, fuel, and any additions to the boat.

Find Your Boat’s Beam

You’ll need to know the inside width required to park your boat on the lift. This can be determined by measuring the beam (or the widest portion of your boat). It is recommended to provide 10” to 12” of cushion beyond the beam width.

Know the Water Depth

It is important to know the depth of the water where the lift will be installed. In general, freestanding marine boat lifts work best in depths that range from 2 feet to 9 feet of water.

mooring a boat to a wooden dock

Maintenance Tips for Wooden Docks

Wooden decks and docks are a necessity for individuals living on the water in West Palm Beach. Although these structures make life on the water much more convenient and enjoyable, they do require maintenance from time to time. We provide some helpful tips on maintaining your wooden dock or deck.

Protect the Surface

Apply a sealant on the surface of your dock or deck to make it water-resistant. Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) sealants are ideal because they do not contain oils or petrochemicals that can pollute natural water sources. That way, you can protect your structure without having to worry about harming the ecosystem.

Clean Your Dock/Deck

There are some great ways to clean your deck or dock that are environmentally safe as well. For example, a 3-to-1 blend of olive oil and white vinegar will effectively clean stains and mineral salts that appear on your wood boat dock. To clean steel and aluminum attachments on your boat dock, including ladders, try using baking soda.

Inspect the Structure

At the beginning and end of every season, it’s important to inspect the structure of decks and docks in West Palm Beach. If the wood slats are splintered, rotted, or cracked, they will need to be replaced. You’ll also want to replace any rusted and corroded metal fasteners. If the job is a bit much for you to handle, you’ll want to leave it to an experienced contractor such as Vogell Marine Inc.

covered boats in boat lifts

Get a New Boat Lift for Summer

Summer is right around the corner, and you can’t wait to get out on your boat and start enjoying the amazing weather while cruising on the open water. You’ll be basking in the sun with a fishing rod in one hand and a cold drink in the other. There’s only one problem, however – your boat lift doesn’t function properly, making it an ordeal every time you want to take your vessel out for a ride. Fortunately, there are boat lift manufacturers in Florida, such as Golden Boat Lifts, that produce durable lifts made to the highest quality standards.

Vogell Marine Inc. highly recommends Golden Boat Lifts because they put design, craftsmanship, quality, safety, and service first. In fact, we have been installing their boat lifts for over a decade now. These lifts are constructed of 6061-T6 marine-grade aluminum, and they’re also made with high-quality 300 series stainless steel hardware and cables. They use aluminum bearings with grease fittings and have experienced no issues for over 25 years. That’s the reason Golden Boat Lifts have an industry-best 15-year warranty on their structures.

When you’re researching boat lift manufacturers in Florida, check out Golden Boat Lifts’ products and company reputation and compare them to the competition. And don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Vogell Marine Inc. if you have any other questions about boat lifts.


The Benefits of Having a Built-In Fish-Cleaning Table

When you own beautiful waterfront property, it’s hard not to take advantage of your own private fishing spot. When we build new decks and docks in West Palm Beach, our team can help you customize your new marine construction project for your needs. If you’re an avid fisher, you’ll be happy to know that you can have a fish-cleaning table built right into your new dock.


If you frequently catch fish off your dock, having a fish-cleaning table handy is convenient. You can catch a fish for dinner, clean it, and place it in your cooler. Then, when you’re done fishing, all you have to do is cook it! The last thing you want to do after a long, relaxing day of fishing is to drag all your fish back and spend hours preparing it.

Keep the Mess Out of Your Home

Let’s face it, preparing a fish for cooking is a messy process – and it stinks. You don’t want the lingering smell of fish hanging around in your kitchen or the hassle of cleaning scales off your countertops. With a fish-cleaning table on your dock, you can keep the bad smells outside and easily wash down your table with a hose for a quick cleanup.

beach house

Tips for Maintaining Your Beachfront Property

Many people dream of owning beachfront property, but they may not realize the unique challenges that come with it. Beachfront property comes with rain, strong winds, sand, humidity, salt, and endless sun – all things that can damage your property. Here are some tips you can use to ensure your beach house remains in top shape.

Weather-Resistant Materials

Most marine contractors in Florida will tell you that proper beach house maintenance begins with using the right materials in the first place. Installing fiberglass windows and using stainless steel for exterior fixtures can help keep your property in good condition. You should also ensure that your seawall, docks, and any other marine structures are built properly.

Stay On Top of Cleaning

Sand and humidity can destroy your home if you let them. Be sure to regularly clean your property of sand and debris, especially the exterior.

Manage the Humidity Levels in Your Home

Florida is a humid place, and moisture damage is a real concern for beach house owners. Make sure your home is properly ventilated, and install a dehumidifier. Doing this will prevent mold and other types of moisture damage from affecting your things.

Get Proper Maintenance

Marine contractors can help you maintain the structures on your property, including your seawall, dock, and boat lift. Getting regular inspections done can go a long way towards protecting your oceanfront property from damage.

florida marine construction

Get Proper Permits for Your Florida Marine Construction

When you are looking to complete any construction projects on your waterfront property, you need to ensure you have the proper permits. Florida marine construction includes not only new construction, but also repairs, bulkheads, and seawall expansion. Make sure you are working with a reputable construction company like Vogell Marine Inc. when you are planning to make any changes to your property.

Which Permits Do You Need?

In Florida, there is a checklist that needs to be followed to ensure that your project can commence as planned. The first thing you need to do is apply for a building permit application. On that application, you must include the following:

  • Notice of Commencement for Constructions Valued over $2,500
  • Construction Plans
  • Army Corps of Engineers Permit or Exemption
  • Florida Department of Regulation Permit or Exemption
  • Subcontractor Summary and Agreement
  • Recorded Warranty Deed
  • Owner Builder Affidavit
  • Vegetation Removal Permit

This list seems long and complicated, but marine construction in Florida doesn’t have to be a headache. When you work with a Florida marine construction company, they can ensure that all the proper permits are in place before they begin work on your property. Reputable marine contractors are knowledgeable on the permitting process and can move through the steps more efficiently than you can on your own.