Three men on shore overseeing workers building a new dock.

Boat Dock Works owner Brad Wiegand, right, jokes with GM Randy Fuller as workers finish up docks at LLOP. City of Gainesville Division Manager James Watson (white cap) is also pictured.

The installation of the boat docks on both sides of Lake Lanier Olympic Park is the crowning touch for the newly revamped and renovated rowing and canoe/kayaking site that hosted the 1996 Summer Games almost 20 years ago.

The brand-new Boathouse at Lake Lanier Olympic Park opened in early May and the docks installation was completed in late May.

Built and installed by Boat Dock Works, the new steel-frame and Ipe docks on the Boathouse side of the venue cut an impressive sight from the water and the shoreline. It replaced the updated docks that were built for the 1996 Olympic Games.

“This was a chance to provide the latest in design and technology for the venue, which is still in continuous use by rowing and canoe/kayak teams who come here to train from around the globe,” said Robyn Lynch, Director of Tourism for the city of Gainesville. “Over the years, many of the visiting coaches have told us that our venue on Lake Lanier is very popular with their teams because of the facility and the placement of the course on a long straight-away in a relatively calm part of the lake.

“And now that the Boathouse is complete and they’re seeing the new facility for themselves, interest has significantly increased,” she said. “We expect even more teams to come to Gainesville to train because of the physical attributes of the Boathouse and the milder weather.”

Boat Dock Works’ owner Brad Wiegand worked with the city to develop the design of the docks, engineering the low profile required for rowing and canoe/kayak participants.

“The intent was to create something modern and environmentally sound, and by the design and the materials used, it is intended to last a long time,” said Weigand, who founded Boat Dock Works in Gainesville in 1999.

Weigand had his first taste of dock-building when he was asked by a neighbor on Lake Lanier to help build a new dock. He was hooked.

“I was still in college working on my bachelor’s degree in business (which he achieved) then decided to go to North Georgia Tech and become a certified welder in the late 1990s,” he said. “From there I learned more about design and engineering and started my business.”

Boat Dock Works handles residential and commercial dock building, as well as marine construction. The company also handles erosion control, rip-rap, shoreline steps, pathways and new commercial marina construction. It works throughout the Southeast.

Recent projects include the new docks at Margaritaville, the wave break at Chattahoochee Country Club, the new Dock Y at Aqualand and new docks for Suntex marinas on Allatoona Lake.

“By using heavy-duty materials and components in all our projects, we’re creating a more durable product that can withstand a large amount of boat traffic,” he said. “Ipe for the decking and hot-dipped galvanized steel, along with PVC composite decking assure a strong and sturdy product. We manufacture all components in our Gainesville shop.”

The company also builds dock accessories: boat lifts, jet ski ports and swim platforms.

“I grew up in Gainesville and Lake Lanier and this is my home,” he said. “I’m very proud that our office is located in the oldest home in the city, part of the Longstreet District Hotel. To me, it’s important to be connected to that history.”

Boat Dock Works has 35 employees who are busy year-round.

“My first employee, Frank Randall, still works with me,” Wiegand said. “And business is good. Our residential projects keep us busy during the warmer months, and when it’s cooler we’re busy with commercial projects. When the lake is down we do shoreline work and when it’s up, we’re building docks.”

For more info, visit or call 770 532-3421.

Photos: by Alan Hope