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2018 July August Marina World

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  • Marine
  • Marinas
  • Decking
  • Pontoons
  • Docks
  • Pontoon
  • Poralu
  • Berths
  • Products
  • Concrete
The magazine for the marina industry


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PONTOON/DOCK SYSTEMS & DECKING Bubblers around marina docks at The Wharf in Washington, DC, keep the water from freezing. Advice from ‘old hands’ Bellingham Marine built its first concrete floating dock marina in 1958 at Shilshole Bay in Seattle, Washington, USA. This year marks six decades since that historic project and offers a good opportunity to ask team members, and engineers and consultants who work with the company, for some words of wisdom. John Spragg, general manager Bellingham Marine Australia, speaks on extending your docks: Docks are easy to extend if you plan ahead, especially if the modules are connected by timber walers. Think of them as Lego blocks. New piles can be added, and moving piles is not as bad as you might think. Utilities are easily extended from junction boxes in existing floats and carried through existing utility runs. Be sure the raceways in new pontoons are large enough to accommodate additional wire for future dock extensions. Cleats on timber walers are easy to move. All in all, it is not a daunting job to extend docks with a bit of planning and foresight. Jack Cox, coastal engineer SmithGroupJJR, discusses mitigating waves from boat traffic: If you have a problem with constant boat traffic disturbing your marina, here are some options roughly in order of increasing complexity and cost: (A) Request that a no wake zone be enforced in front of your marina or seek to get the navigation channel shifted further away. (B) Add a floating wave attenuator for protection. If you already have one consider making some upgrades. (C) Realign an existing breakwater to intercept the waves more efficiently. (D) It may be possible to relocate the marina entrance. (E) Reorient all the dockage, so the boats are pointed into the direction of the incoming wave. Everett Babbitt, president Bellingham Marine, with thoughts on building for high density: Taking advantage of unique basin shapes and other features to maximise density is often simply a matter of experience. Rules of thumb include double berths over single berths, minimising fairway widths and locating boats of certain sizes in certain areas. The issue is not just density. Choose slips in the correct sizes and numbers that best meet demand. You are better positioned to maximise revenue and succeed in your market if the project has a proper market study and your designer selects the right slip mix. Ed Heaton, general manager Bellingham Marine, on building and operating in freezing temperatures: Bubblers placed around docks and pile can keep the water from freezing in both saltwater and freshwater locations. It helps to manufacture the floats with concrete specifically designed to last in cold climates. Thick-walled concrete docks add toughness. Moving ice generates enough force to damage the strongest docks and may require a debris deflector. In locations where water can freeze solid or with moving ice, consider a removable timber or metal frame system. These are designed to be easy to remove in winter, store, and reinstall in spring. Alaskan marina operators know how to remove snow and ice without damaging the dock surface with snow blowers and sweepers. They use sand or pea gravel for traction. Avoid rock salt and other de-icing agents that can cause long-term damage. Bruce Birtwistle, general manager Bellingham Marine, on building in tropical, highsalinity environments: Tropical and high-salinity environments accelerate the rate of corrosion. Concrete, timber and FRP composite materials are corrosion resistant and good options. Bellingham Marine is moving toward a completely ferrous-free concrete pontoon and has introduced several new materials for extra-long-life in aggressive environments. FRP through-rods are currently standard. Corrosion-free brackets, basalt mesh and glass fibre reinforcing are next to come. Bryce Fisher, manager of project development Bellingham Marine, discusses what to do when your marina has reached the end of its useful life and cost is an issue: There are a number of ways to rebuild and save money. Hybrids of dock types are becoming more common. Heavy-duty docks can be placed in exposed areas; lighter-weight systems in the interior and for fingers. You can phase the rebuild over several years in sequence with financing. If you keep the same footprint, existing piles can be reused; electrical equipment as well in some cases. There is a misconception that concrete docks are more expensive than framed systems but look at the whole picture. Framed docks often - July/August 2018 41

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