Learn the secrets to replace your docks on a tight budget without sacrificing quality or style.
For Santa Barbara Harbor rebuilding 500 of their slips without imposing large rate increases seemed impossible. Set to find a way, the Harbor enlisted the help of top marina builder, Bellingham Marine. Together the two set out to achieve the impossible.
With an open mind and a willingness to invest time in the process, you too can rebuild your tired marina without breaking your budget.
Follow these 3 marina renovation tips and discover how.
1. DON’T HOLD BACK ON THE PLANNING PHASE
The tighter the budget the more valuable the planning phase. Get a good understanding of the big picture. Then, sit down with your marina builder and begin to construct a plan that will take you from point A to point B.
Planning Phase Focus
The planning phase should include more than design and material choice. Identify and define these key items:
- Business goals
- Market demand
- Site conditions (including limitations)
- Sticking points (what are you not willing to compromise on)
- Budgetary constraints
- Funding sources
This important step will give you the lens you need to make critical decisions going forward. Everything should point back to your business goals and market demand.
Your site’s conditions – water depth, wave environment, boundaries, entrance channels and your sticking points will guide you toward what’s possible.
Armed with the above information and your ideas on dock type and amenities, your marina builder will be able to identify your options.
Your options package should include:
- A range of approaches including phased construction options
- Permitting requirements and possible workarounds
- Possible system trade-offs
- Optional features and amenities (upgrades and downgrades)
- Future add-ons
A marina builder worth their weight in gold will know what trade-offs can occur within your project. The goal? A solution that is a best fit for your business, your budget and your customers.
Whether you are an investor, developer, owner, operator or just someone interested in the industry, this is one marina development FAQ you won’t want to miss. The pros at Bellingham Marine (and a few of the company’s trusted engineers) tackle owners’ top 12 challenging site questions.
- Extending existing docks
- Mitigating wave from boat traffic
- Building for high density
- Building and operating in freezing temperatures
- Building in tropical, high-salinity environments
- Rebuilding on a tight budget
- Placement and design, launch docks for human-powered craft
- Options for meeting grating requirements and bans on treated wood
- Building for mixed-use
- Dock that will ground out at low tide
- Dealing with debris on rivers
- Extending pile height
If you don’t find the answers to your question, contact us. Every site is unique and comes with its own questions. We love to talk about marina design and would love the opportunity to talk with you about any questions you have.
Whether you are considering a renovation or you are building a new marina from scratch, there is one thing we can all agree on: You can’t afford to not do it right the first time! That’s why we’ve made it our goal to equip owners with the tools they need to make the best decisions for their business and the operation of their marina.
Building on Water: The Ultimate Resource Guide is a fantastic and easy-to-use planning tool. The book will guide you through everything from the dock systems that are available to the best construction methods for getting your job done on time and on budget.
Here are 3 tips that every successful marina developer swears by…
Tip #1 – Know What Dock Fits Your Needs
Choosing a proper dock system for your site is one of the most crucial factors to a successful marina.
- Are you on a lake or the coast?
- What is your wave environment?
- What types of boaters would you like to welcome into your facility?
These are all important questions to answer, and Building on Water will help you learn which kind of dock will work best for your situation.
For small facilities where the logistic of bringing electricity to the dock isn’t feasible there is good news, your options for solar powered lights are improving. But don’t get your hopes up for running an entire marina’s lighting needs on solar lights, it is not in the cards quite yet.
A marina’s lights serve two main functions. The first and most important function is safety. There are codes and regulations that govern lighting requirements for marinas and boat yards to ensure the docks and upland areas are well lit. The second function is that of aesthetics and user comfort. Many marinas add supplementary lighting to improve the user experience and to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for their tenants.
As we discussed in our previous blog post about alternative energy sources, different facilities have different incentives in mind when researching alternative power source options. The same is true for solar lighting.
Whether a facility is considering solar lighting for economic, environmental or power accessibility reasons there are five things to keep in mind.
The desire to pursue alternative energy sources is driven by several key motivators including economic savings, self-reliance and sustainability. If you have a marina located in a sunny region with upland property and are looking for ways to cut your operating costs, marina solar power just might be worth looking into.
In December of 2016, Marine Group Boat Works (MGBW), located in San Diego, California became one of the first American boatyards to install a large scale, rooftop solar system. According to an article in the Solar Tribune, the new 483kW solar system is located on the boatbuilder’s 35,000-square-foot facility in National City.
The Solar Tribune article also states MGBW anticipates an estimated 81% reduction in annual electricity consumption, generating a savings in energy cost of approximately $155,000 in the first year and over $3 million in net savings over the 25-year warranted life of the solar modules.