Spotlight on Best Marina Rebuilds
July 11, 2019
To spark the imagination of those contemplating similar projects in their marinas, Robert Wilkes highlights ten of the best Bellingham Marine marina rebuilds.
Best Superyacht Marina:
Rybovich, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
You won’t find a marina and shipyard more tailored to serving the needs of superyacht owners and crews than Rybovich, the world’s pre-eminent superyacht facility. The marina can accommodate yachts of 120m (400ft) with high freeboard, heavy duty docks; in-slip refueling; abundant power and the ability to service yachts right from the docks. Specializing in 10-star concierge service, crews enjoy hotel-like amenities and an on-site bistro social life. The shipyard can haul out most yachts and also has a 2,500- ton floating dry dock. A new 14 acre (5.6ha) work-site was recently added nearby and a channel was dredged to integrate the two sites. Read more about developer’s plans for Rybovich, best superyacht, destination marina.
Best Iconic Boat Show Venue:
Bahia Mar Yacht Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Bahia Mar Yacht Center is one the earliest and longest serving venues of the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show – the largest boat show in the world – and the 2002 rebuild ensures that it will continue in that tradition. Masterfully designed, the marina functions as a world class superyacht center 11 months out of the year. The magic begins in October when the marina expands from 242 large yacht slips and side ties into a 1,000-boat gunwale-to-gunwale moorage for the iconic Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The rebuild transitioned the marina from fixed to floating docks and incorporated a one of- a-kind electrical system with custom-built distribution panels for the show. The system ensures adequate power for all the yachts on display. Learn more about the award winning marina at Bahia Mar Yachting Center.
Best Elegant Styling:
Rose Bay and Piper Point, Sydney, Australia
Rose Bay and Piper Point answer the question, “What would a marina look like if it were 100% custom designed by world-class architects and industrial designers?” Owners Denis and Ned O’Neil hired Peter Ireland of the Sydney-based firm Allen Jack & Cottier to do just that. The result is a work of art on water. The pontoons, pilings and pedestals are custom designed and color coordinated. All-black power pedestals evoke Italian racing cars and stunning teak and chrome rails on the gently arched bridges are like no other marina in the world. Read more about the transformation of Rose Bay and Point Piper.
Alamitos Bay Marina, Long Beach, CA, USA
With 1,962 slips in seven basins, Alamitos Bay Marina is the largest rebuild in the USA, replacing a 1960’s era timber marina. Everything about this project is on a grand scale. It was a challenge to find places to put the massive amounts of dredge material. The financing needs were so great that Elvira Hallinan, marine bureau manager, had to go on a road show to sell her marina to bond investors – not in the job description of most marina operators. The 12-year rebuild was completed in 2018 and included tearing out and replacing plumbing and wiring, seawall repairs, new gangways, and upland work including car parks and sanitary facilities. Bellingham Marine worked closely with the Long Beach Marine Bureau to manage the complex stop-start scheduling caused by incremental funding. Read more about the epic rebuild of Alamitos Bay.
Best Inner-City Rebuild:
The Wharf DC, Washington DC, USA
The waterfront languished after an interstate cut it off from the rest of the city. The $2.3 billion public-private partnership brought this forgotten part of the District back to life. The Wharf has everything and is for everybody. The Wharf’s master plan is water-centric and intended to attract the community to the waterfront. There is a recreation pier, concert venues, excursion concessions, a fish market, upscale hotels and a massive promenade made for exploring the many shops and restaurants. Bellingham Marine built all the floating dock and gangway structures, including a floating-platform ferry dock and three new marinas. The Wharf’s upland buildings include residences and office spaces, and a water taxi system offers transportation to other points on the Potomac. Read more about the beautiful redevelopment of D.C’s waterfront – The Wharf DC
Motuoapa Marina, Lake Taupo, New Zealand
Lake Taupo is the crater of an ancient volcano. Like much of New Zealand, it is beautiful, raw and remote. The original marina was home-built by vacationers and locals on weekends 50 to 60 years ago. Simple fixed wood-docks rimmed the perimeter. The old marina was much loved but was dilapidated and lacked basic services: no water, no electricity, no lighting and no security. The brackish, semi-enclosed basin was obstructed by a large island that took up much of the potential berthing space. The remarkable transformation removed the island and installed a modern, 162- berth marina with 1,500m² (16,146ft²) of dockage. The marina opened in 2017 and includes an aeration and circulation system that keeps the lake pristine. Motuoapa’s rebuild story is like few others, learn more about this unique project.
Best environmentally-focused rebuild:
Sun Harbor Marina, San Diego, CA, USA
Sun Harbor Marina embodies ecology in harmony with nature and is the first LEED Certified marina in the world. Upland buildings incorporate sustainable materials such as fast-growing bamboo for flooring and ground recycled vehicle tires for insulation. The owner believed timber docks would be best for the ecology, but once she learned floating concrete docks act as artificial reef habitats for marine life she was happy to install them. Bellingham Marine created custom decking to her specifications with an undulating wave pattern. The pattern is echoed in the curved buildings and pathways on land. Energy-efficient buildings maximize natural light and distribute cooling breezes to save energy. Learn more about the eco-focused redevelopment that took place at Sun Harbor.
Best Trendsetting Rebuild:
Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Middle Brighton, VIC, Australia
Royal Brighton took a bold step forward, replacing its time-honored fixed-pier docks with floating pontoons and a floating wave attenuator at a time when it was still considered an unproven concept in Australia. The 2003-2005 rebuild by Bellingham Marine Australia forever demonstrated the many benefits of floating pontoons and the durability and effectiveness of floating concrete wave attenuators. After Royal Brighton, the floating pontoon/ attenuator combination was the paradigm for the rest of Australia and New Zealand.
Ocean Reef Club Marina, Key Largo, FL, USA
The rebuild began with the demolition of the fixed concrete docks (right) at Ocean Reef Club. We all know the story. The marina signs a contract for a six-month rebuild with completion scheduled on a certain date. Then environmental and building permits are stalled and everything on the schedule moves to the right. This story, however, has a different ending. The unexpected delays at Ocean Reef Club Marina left only a 90-day construction window. Although the rebuild included demolishing and removing a fixed concrete dock system and the installation of new pilings, new utilities and new docks, it was all delivered on time, on budget and in time for the start of Ocean Reef’s high boating season. Considering the scope and complexity of the work, this project is Bellingham’s fastest rebuild.
Lauderdale Marine Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Forget the typical industrial image of a shipyard, Lauderdale Marine Center (LMC) is something new and different. The marina and the rest of the campus is aesthetically styled with premium accents and first-quality materials and seems more like a resort. The facility has the ambiance of a five-star marina. LMC upgraded the dock system from an average slip size of 45ft (14m) to 90ft (27m), added 480V electrical power and installed a large multi-use floating platform. The artfully styled platform has a checkerboard deck and is a social gathering spot that brings tenants, craftsmen and boat crews together at the end of the day. Marine services are so comprehensive LMC is considered a one-stop shop.