Embattled by rising maintenance costs, Alamitos Bay Marina initiated a program in 2005 to rebuild all 1,962 slips in seven different basins.
By Robert Wilkes
The timber docks dated from the 1960’s and were 20 years past their projected life span. No one at the City of Long Beach, California, imagined it would take the next 13 years to complete the project.
The marina is south of Los Angeles and enjoys a uniquely loyal customer base. There are tenants who have been there for decades whose children and grandchildren are also renting slips. Over time, neighboring tenants have formed tight communities.
The City’s marinas are operated by the Marine Bureau, part of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine. Three City-owned marinas total 3,337 slips: Alamitos Bay Marina, Long Beach Shoreline Marina and Rainbow Marina. Alamitos Bay is the largest marina in the U.S. The rebuild project started in 2005 and has been undertaken in phases. The final phase will be completed in mid-2018.
Reasons for the length of the project are size, environmental compliance and the timing of funding. Elvira Hallinan is the Marine Bureau Manager. “Most operators have a marina the size of one of our basins,” said Hallinan. “We had seven basins to rebuild. It wasn’t a project, it was a journey.” Delays caused by the Environmental Impact Review (EIR) were unanticipated. Contractors were ready to begin when the requirement for a full EIR delayed the start of construction. Continue Reading…
For versatility, it’s hard to beat concrete floating platforms.
By Robert Wilkes
Floating platforms provide foundations for stores, offices, yacht clubs, rowing club facilities, boat rental concessions, charter and cruise companies, customs offices, harbormaster offices, restaurants, bars, restrooms and houses. They serve as ferry and water taxi landings and create a platform for event space, rowing docks, swimming pools, helicopter landing pads, even floating golf greens, such as the 14th green at The Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho.
The performance and endurance of concrete floating platforms is outstanding. They can be built with almost any freeboard and can be square, round, curved, sloped, stepped, notched and decked in any way the owner specifies. They support building of every style and building material. Floating platforms are limited only by the imagination.
Many public and some private marinas invite the public to experience the waterfront. In a social-equality world, marina projects win public support by incorporating community activities and park areas and opening promenades and beaches to all. Alamitos Bay in Los Angeles, California, has done away with fences and security gates altogether.
Floating platforms help make marinas more accessible. Marina and park complexes, such as Marina Park at Newport Beach or The Yards in Washington, D.C., provide romantic event venues, schools and classrooms, and places for family gatherings. Continue Reading…
The 2017 has been an exciting year for new materials in dock construction.
By Robert Wilkes
Two new Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) applications have emerged from years of R&D development and are on the market. In the fast-growing market of wood and aluminum docks, a handsome and rugged hybrid dock that combines the best of both materials was introduced.
The durable, stable, reliable concrete floating dock is the world standard heavy-duty dock and that is not changing. Two design challenges remain: corrosion in metal parts and the eternal quest for the zero maintenance dock.
Stainless steel thru-rods, washers and nuts make up a significant portion of the metal in a concrete dock system. Thru-rods attach the walers to the side of the dock and, because the walers are layered and lapped, they make the connection between modules. The timbers flex with the movement of the dock and physical “hinges” are not needed.
During the first six months following installation, it is common for the wood waler to shrink. This can cause the tension between the nuts at the end of the thru-rods and the waler to become loose. It’s a simple task to restore the tension and can be done with a set of hand tools. Manufacturers recommend annual inspection of the steel rods to ensure the nuts are tight. Continue Reading…
Learn how to attract Millennials to your marina. Think functional luxury. There are some simple features you can incorporate into the design of your marina that will appeal to the Millennial generation.
By Roxie Comstock
High-spending Baby Boomers, floating concrete docks and affordable fiberglass boats built the boating and marina industries we know today. That was then. Today we are facing a serious challenge: as Boomers pass the keys and floating key fobs to the next generation of boaters, who are they passing them to? What do these new boaters want in a marina?
Millennials are the up and coming generation and will make up the bulk of our boating population. They are attracted to a different set of facilities and services than those that once satisfied the Boomers.
The definitions of Millennial vary, but they are generally described as those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. At about 80 million souls, they are the largest demographic cohort in U.S. history. Understand their approach to life and you have a window into the future.
Marinas around the world have stepped-up to the call to be good environmental stewards. Responsible waterfront development can benefit the environment. Did you know a marina could actually enhance biological diversity and improve water quality? Concrete docks especially are beneficial to marine life.
By Robert Wilkes
Here is one view of marinas as stewards of the environment:
‘Marinas are businesses and are all about making money like other businesses. They will cut corners and look the other way where the environment is concerned rather than spend the energy, time and money to proactively protect it. Marina operators don’t have the training or just don’t care enough to put in the hard work of environmental stewardship. Marinas and the boats in them are loaded with noxious chemicals that leach into the water, pollute the environment and kill marine life. Boat owners are ‘one-percenters’ with big gas tanks and large carbon footprints who chuck garbage over the side and are a threat to clean water and sensitive marine life.’
Now that I’ve got your attention and the hair standing up on the back of your neck, we can at least agree these attitudes and beliefs exist. But this dismal picture is not true, not even close. When it comes to sustainability, clean water, habitat development and every other aspect of marine ecology, marinas and boat owners are doing a great job. They are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and competent stewards of the environment.
We have a deep and persistent perception problem. These false impressions can and do influence decisions by coastal planning boards and regulatory and permitting authorities, especially when they are under pressure from watchdog environmental groups.