History

About Us Bellingham Marine traces its roots back more than 100 years, from its beginnings on the coal docks of Bellingham Bay, Washington, to its first incorporation as a building supply company in 1928, and finally to its transition as a marina builder in 1958. From these simple beginnings, Bellingham Marine has grown into the world leader in the design, engineering, manufacture and construction of marinas. Today, there are more than 20 million square feet of Bellingham Marine concrete floating docks in service around the world.

Bellingham Marine serves its markets in the United States and throughout the world with 9 manufacturing plants, 13 offices, and 14 divisions worldwide. Each division is an established local company with key business and community connections and regional expertise. Strong local connections combined with the resources and strength of an international firm means no project is too large or small for Bellingham Marine to tackle. Our portfolio encompasses mega yacht centers, fishing harbors, city ports and residential docks.

No other marina construction company has the scope, experience and technical expertise of Bellingham Marine. As a single source contractor, Bellingham Marine is able to engage in all phases of marina development from planning to design, engineering, manufacturing and construction. No other company in the marina industry is as vertically integrated.

Recognizing the continuing growth of boating in the United States and throughout the world, Bellingham Marine continues to innovate new products and make the marina itself an integral part of the pleasure of boating. We are proud to have made a contribution to the industry, and to have created marinas that are not only wonderful to see and enjoy, but protect and add to the diversity of marine life in the harbor environment.

Bellingham Marine remains in private hands under the stewardship of Joe Ueberroth, the Company’s Chairman. The ownership is dedicated to furthering the Company’s leadership position for quality, service, and innovation in the industry.

The Creation of Bellingham Marine Industries

Bellingham Marine has a long history starting in the Northwest region of the United States. Located on the Whatcom Creek Waterway in Bellingham, Washington, the company's origins date back to 1928 when it was incorporated under the name of Bellingham Builders Supply, Inc. In 1954, Gaasland Construction purchased Bellingham Builders Supply and a few years later, they obtained the manufacturing rights to the patented concrete Unifloat® product. Among the first Unifloat® projects, started in the 1950’s was the Port of Seattle’s Shilshole Marina. It gained immediate attention. This 1,500 slip double-berth marina became the standard by which West Coast marinas were measured.

Increased demand in the 70’s led Bellingham Marine to establish a manufacturing facility in California in 1977. The California location allowed for expanded sales and production for the entire west coast. The company now served markets from Alaska to Mexico.

In the early 1980's, the company’s name was officially changed from Bellingham Builder’s Supply to Bellingham Marine Industries to reflect the company’s focus on Unifloat® production and marina construction. In a move designed to strengthen its presence in the boating-rich southeast U.S., Bellingham Marine acquired Florida Floats, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida, in January 1985. Florida Floats had been operating as a licensee for the Unifloat® product in the Southeastern U.S.

Bellingham Marine Gains World Attention

Over the next ten years Bellingham Marine continued to grow and expand its operations. Throughout the 90’s BMI continued to broaden its scope of work, with innovative new products such as wave attenuators, freshwater systems, mega yacht centers and dry storage facilities. It was during this period that BMI brought the world’s attention to its capabilities. During this time several high profile projects were designed and built – including the world’s only floating golf green in Coeur d’Alene Idaho, the Harbour Town Marina on Hilton Head Island, SC, the Sunroad Marina in San Diego, CA, Elliot Bay Marina in Seattle, WA, the Americas Cup Basin in Auckland, New Zealand and the Olympic Marina in Sydney, Australia.

The 90’s marked a time of international expansion. In 1990, Nishida Tekko Corporation of Japan became a Bellingham Marine licensee serving customers in Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea. In 1996, the company bought back its license in Australia and in 1997 consolidated its position with the purchase of the assets of Pacific Marinas. A factory and a head office were established in Brisbane along with sales and project management offices in Sydney and Melbourne. Within two years, Bellingham Marine Australia had grown to be the dominant marina builder in Australia. In 1998, Bellingham Marine expanded its business to New Zealand through purchase of the marina construction assets of its former licensee, Fletcher Construction. A factory and a head office were established in Auckland and like their mates across the Tasman Sea, dominated New Zealand and Pacific Island markets.

In 1997, Bellingham Marine expanded its US operations. Concrete Floatation Systems, a Northeastern U.S.A. licensee was bought back; a fully staffed operating division and manufacturing facility was established in York, Pennsylvania. This new division completed Bellingham Marine's plan to provide its extensive services along the entire eastern coast of the United States plus Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.

Bellingham Marine Continues Global Expansion

Satisfied with its operations in the US, Australia, and New Zealand; Bellingham Marine entered the new millennium with its eyes set on further international expansion. In 2003, Bellingham Marine Europe was established and later that same year Bellingham Marine Southeast Asia. Both took on major projects within their first year. Bellingham Marine Europe won its first project at Port Forum in 2004 and Bellingham Marine Southeast Asia won its first in Penang, Malaysia.

In 2004, Septech Emirates, was established as a licensee and was granted the rights to produce Bellingham Marine’s products in the Middle East. Further expansion came in 2005 with the establishment of Bellingham Marine Mexico. This is a promising market as the demand for marinas in the region is still just beginning to be seen. In 2006, Bellingham Marine Spain was incorporated into the Bellingham Marine Group enabling the company to operate as a local contractor in Spain. Bellingham Marine Spain won its first major project in Valencia in 2006. In 2007, Bellingham Marine Singapore was established and the completion of its first project, Marina at Keppel Bay, followed shortly after.

In 2008, Bellingham Marine Costa Rica was established, joining the already existing Bellingham Marine Panama, to oversee projects in Central America. Early 2008, Bellingham Marine’s Central American operations won its first project in Quepos, Costa Rica. In 2009 and 2010 Bellingham continued to expand further into Asia setting up offices in China and Seoul, South Korea. Following on the heels of the company’s expansion into Korea, Bellingham Marine opened up an office and established a company in Xiamen, China in 2011. Also in 2011, the company purchased the assets of Marine Technology Management to increase its competitive edge in the timber float industry and established a division dedicated to the design and production of timber dock systems in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Int'l Operations Consolidated

In 2011 and into 2012, Bellingham began looking at the financial sustainability of a few of its international divisions. A strategic decision was made to enter into a business partnership with leading Korean marina builder, CKIPM Marine Group to serve the Korean Market. A similar partnership was established in Europe with C.M. Ferrer to serve the European markets.

This strategic move has allowed the company to offer its technological expertise and unrivaled experience to these two markets in a more effective manner.

Moving into the future, Bellingham Marine continues to work with the industry’s leading engineers, contractors, developers and marina owners.