Bookie Binkley and Michele Langford of Calabash, North Carolina, were searching for a low-maintenance, high performance pier to augment their waterfront home. Partnering with Pearson Pilings and their team, they created an all-composite dock spanning 325’ majestically towards the high-traffic Intracoastal Waterway. The nearly year-long process, from research to final touches, resulted in a stalwart showpiece and a lot of learning.
After recently completing construction on their dream home, Bookie and Michele aspired to a dock that would extend their contemporary living space. “Right away from the beginning,” recalls Nick Pearson, the Pearson Pilings Sales representative that managed the project, “Bookie said, ‘We want to be a little different. We want to build something unique that will fit with the rest of our property. We want to build something that will last longer than most.’ Together we made it happen.”
“We built the house a little over two years ago, and we knew that at one point we would want a dock,” explains Bookie. “We wanted to build something fairly contemporary looking.” But aesthetics weren’t the avid boater’s only concern. “All of our neighbors have wooden piers and they just don’t last that long here,” says Bookie. Due to the warm water, the salinity and the marine wood borers, “a lot of people have to replace wooden pilings every few years.”
“We loved the idea of something that would be resistant to all that,” he explains. “We knew nothing about how to build a dock. We wanted something with longevity we didn’t have to repair every few years.” After local builders suggested Pearson Pilings, Bookie did some research and met in person with Mark and Nick Pearson. Once they showed Bookie the materials and options available, he knew “right away, that’s the way to go.”
Since the engineer and contractor were initially unfamiliar with the pilings, the construction process proved to be “an educational experience for everyone,” laughs Bookie. Luckily he knew he was in good hands. “Nick knew how this thing would go together,” recalls the homeowner. “He talked to our contractor, Randy Mosley from Allied Marine Contractors, LLC, and explained how to work with the material.”
According to Pearson Pilings President Mark Pearson, the right tools can make all the difference. Since composites have different physical properties than wood, “building with composites requires the contractor to use a couple of different tools: carbide-tipped drill bits, diamond-tipped hole saws, diamond blades on the circular saw.” Since all the composite material was shipped to the job cut to length and predrilled, “after driving the pilings and cutting to height, the contractor basically assembled the materials, like an erector set.”
According to Bookie the process was well worth the time and effort. “It took awhile but we got through it and now we love what we’ve got!” he enthuses. The whole team “did a fantastic job,” and the effects are not going unnoticed.
“We get lots of traffic here,” says Bookie of the Intracoastal Waterway where the dock is located. “People stop all the time and ask, ‘What is it made out of?’” With a striking design and unique materials, the dock continues to turn heads. “I highly recommend anyone thinking of doing this to use Pearson,” concludes Bookie. “ They were outstanding.”
Contact Pearson to find a contractor familiar with composites.
“We knew nothing about how to build a dock. We wanted something with longevity that we didn’t have to repair every few years." “I highly recommend anyone thinking of doing this to use Pearson. They were outstanding.”—Bookie Binkley, Homeowner