Why replace when you can repair for a fraction of the cost?

About Dock Services of Lake Norman, Inc.

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Morgan Lane, Owner

Morgan Lane and Family

Dock Services of Lake Norman was established to specialize in dock and lift repairs, as well as maintenance. While working in marine construction for 20 years, building everything from small swim floats to million dollar marinas, I noticed that too often small repair issues become expensive problems. Repairs and maintenance are the single most important and underserved segments in the industry. Dock Services of Lake Norman was founded and built specifically to provide unprecedented service to lakefront property owners. Get the most from your waterfront investment and avoid premature replacement.


Marine Construction Background:

1994 – 1996: Carolina Boat Lift & Dock (Foreman, Production Manager)

While studying business management at UNC Charlotte I started working for Carolina Boat Lift & Dock. I needed income to continue school and only had a few classes left to graduate. I took a job as a production foreman for the small marine construction company. After a year I became the production manager for both dock and boat lift installations.

1996 – 2006: Pierworks Marine Construction (Owner)

In 1996, I started Pierworks as a small pier construction company after building my first floating pile driver. Steady sales growth and constant product improvement led to Pierworks setting the standard for high quality marine construction (Pierworks photos link here). The purchase of two more floating pile drivers and the addition of highly trained employees allowed for a gradual expansion of the business.

2006 – 2010: Rowboat Dock & Dredge (Project Manager, Operations Manager)

In 2006, Rowboat owner Bob Wilson approached me with a job offer that was a great opportunity. After 10 years of building residential docks, the chance to manage large marine construction projects was appealing. After I completed 4 months of Pierworks backlog, Rowboat purchased my equipment and website. I then became the production manager for the largest commercial marine construction company in the area. As production manager, I was responsible for the construction of large marinas on Lake Norman, Lake Wylie and the Pamlico Sound in Washington, NC. I even had the opportunity to manage the construction of over a mile of wetland boardwalk on the Lockwood Folly River in Southport, NC.

Rowboat then promoted me to Operations Manager which put me in charge of the day to day activities for the 40-50 employee company. This new role allowed me to manage projects that included bucket to barge dredging, seawall installations, marina refloats and repairs to an earthen dam. I was known for my attention to detail and bringing in the projects under budget. This position allowed me to manage and sometimes operate equipment such as barges, conventional cranes, long-reach excavators, diesel push-boats, diesel hammers and more. During my tenure, no personnel or equipment were seriously injured, while our production set new standards for efficiency and quality.

The “Great Recession” slowed down the commercial marine construction market, so I began to consider opportunities in other fields. Having been offered a job with the largest commercial roofing company in the US, I decided to submit my resignation to Rowboat.

2010 – 2012: Centimark Corporation (Service Manager, Project Manager)

A respected family friend, for whom I had managed a marine construction project, offered me a position with Centimark. They were growing despite the recession and offered good pay, benefits and opportunity for growth. I was able to gain a considerable amount of knowledge about salesmanship and the organizational structure of a top tier national company during my two years of employment.

2012 – Present: Dock Services of Lake Norman, Inc. (Owner)

Having moved back onto Lake Norman, the timing seemed right to get back into the career that best utilizes my talents. The niche for this new company would be the most underserved segment in the marine construction industry. Repairs, refurbishment & maintenance became the cornerstone of Dock Services. Throughout my career I had never heard of a company that specialized in repairs! Customers often request repairs, but are steered towards replacement. Repairs are often an afterthought, and are priced high to sell new construction. The lack of interest in repairs is evident when looking at websites for marine construction companies in the area.

The reason most marine construction companies don’t provide good repair service is because of money. Pile drivers, barges, cranes and excavators require large capital investments. Projects that are only a few thousand dollars don’t meet the profitability threshold needed to cover the overhead.

Dock Services is fundamentally different because it is designed to concentrate on repairs and refurbishment projects that don’t require capital intensive equipment. Most lakefront owners already have a dock, pier and boat lift. We all know it is fundamentally good reasoning to take care of what we have. Why replace when you can repair for a fraction of the cost?

Gallery of Work from Pierworks (1996-2006)

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