Bellingham Marine representatives travel to the U.S. to see what leading marina developers and designers are building. The goal – spread good ideas and foster innovative thinking across Australasia.
Brisbane, QLD, Australia – 17 May 2018 – Local marina expert, Bellingham Marine, is fueling competitiveness and innovation with a recent tour of prominent U.S. marinas. Management from the company’s Australia, China and New Zealand divisions travelled to the U.S. to tour some of the States’ top marina properties. During their time in the U.S., the team also met with a group of 30 senior industry leaders from around the world.
Bellingham CEO and President, Everett Babbitt, says, “The future of the industry depends on nurturing international collaboration. We want to ensure customers worldwide have access to the latest and greatest in marina design.”
“Collaboration has the power to spark innovation. Everyone brings unique knowledge and skills to the table,” shared John Spragg, Bellingham Marine President of Australasia and the Middle East. “Connecting our international teams ensures cross-pollination of the latest trends and developments.”
The opening of the new marina marks a significant milestone for the region, which moved mountains (or an island rather) to make it happen.
Lake Taupo, New Zealand – 6 March 2018 – Situated on the caldera of a supervolcano, you will find the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand. A trout fishing mecca, Lake Taupo quickly became a popular holiday spot. Tourists come from near and far to enjoy the warm, clear waters and natural volcanic hot springs.
Motuoapa Marina was constructed over 50 years ago on the south shore of Lake Taupo. The village of Motuoapa was just a small settlement at the time. Catering to small fishing vessels, engineers designed the marina with a circular basin. Featuring a large island in the middle, short finger piers rimmed the edge. When the marina was given the go ahead for redevelopment in 2016, designers knew the island had to go.
How exactly does one remove an entire island? The first step was to bring in 1-tonne bags of gravel to build a dam at the marina’s entrance. Once the access was blocked, contractors began pumping water out of the basin.
The water level was taken down to ½ meter deep. At that time, crews brought in dredging equipment and began to dismantle the island. The soil from the island was then used to reclaim land at the northern end of the marina. This created several acres to be used as picnic, recreation and parking areas for guests.
“It’s an exciting time for our community,” remarked Deputy Harbourmaster Toni Maulder. “The project was complex but the new marina was well worth the wait. It allows boats to be berthed safely in deeper, cleaner water with modern compliant facilities for berth holders and the general public to enjoy.”
The new floating fuel dock, ship store and adjoining docks at Marathon Marina had only been open for two months when Irma hit. To the amazement of the marina’s owner, the new docks survived undamaged.
Marathon, FL, USA – 30 January 2018 – The new Marathon Marina fuel dock had just reopened to the public when Hurricane Irma rampaged through the Florida Keys. Ranked as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, Irma left a trail of destruction across the region.
“We saw what Irma had done to the islands before ours and were mentally preparing ourselves. You have to plan for the worst,” shared Robert (Bob) Leef, owner and operator of Marathon Marina.
“We had poured everything we had into our new docks – time, energy and financial resources. The project consumed us for over a year and a half. We were just beginning to feel the liberation of being on the other side of the project when Irma hit.”
“The possibility that all our toil could all be swept away in a single day, was more than we could bear,” Bob stated.
General Manager, Susan Prichard, and key marina staff returned to the marina on September 13th, four days after Irma had passed over Marathon Key. “I can’t describe the feeling of relief we felt when we saw the new building and docks were still standing. Unmarked among horrific destruction” Susan recalled.
When Hurricane Irma destroyed the docks at a favorite tailgate marina, three organizations came together to save the day and the party.
Jacksonville, FL, USA – 31 October 2017 – On Saturday more than 150,000 college football fanatics converged on Jacksonville for the annual Florida vs. Georgia game lovingly known as The World’s Largest Cocktail Party. Eager fans traditionally start docking their boats at the City’s nearby Metropolitan Park Marina on Friday, spending the weekend celebrating with in-water tailgating. This year Irma had other plans.
The Metro Park fixed docks were completely wiped out by Hurricane Irma’s storm surge. According to the National Weather Service, storm waters reached up to 6 ft. above normal high tides, an event never seen before, as Irma passed Jacksonville. Many normally dry places were left underwater.
Norton will work to increase emphasis and enforcement of electrical safety in marinas.
Jacksonville, FL, USA – 11 October 2017 – Cliff Norton, General Manager of Bellingham Marine’s Utilities Division, has been appointed to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Code Panel #7. The panel will be working on the upcoming 2020 version of the National Electric Code (NEC). Norton represents the marine industry and helps to provide input for new code language concerning floating buildings, marinas and boatyards.
The purpose of the NEC is to safeguard persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity. Norton previously served as a panel member on an NFPA project that developed measures for preventing Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) around marinas. Norton is a respected voice in the marine industry. He publishes articles and conducts training sessions on the topic of proper marina electrical design and maintenance.