How to (Re)Build Your Marina on a Budget
November 13, 2018
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.
2. ASSESS INFRASTRUCTURE FOR REUSE, REFIT AND REPLACEMENT.
Is there anything in your existing marina you can reuse?
Common reuse components:
- Concrete dock modules
New piling is a big expense. Can you reuse any of your piling? You may have to compromise on layout but reusing existing piling can be a huge savings.
Can you reuse any of your dock modules? You can repurpose and refit concrete dock modules and give them new life.
- Refit with new weldments and walers
- Resurface or re-deck
- Increase freeboard with supplementary flotation
- (re)move fingers to create wider berths
- Correct twisting and listing issues
- Relocate modules for use in new areas
Get creative and learn from others. The stories of marinas who have reused parts to get the marina they want are endless.
Santa Barbara Harbor rebuilds 500 slips without imposing large rate increases.
3. CHECK YOUR PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS AT THE DOOR.
Nothing will squelch your team’s ability to explore your full range of options more than your preconceived notions.
As human beings, we like to think we are rational creatures. The truth is we are anything but. There are 100’s of biases that shape our perceptions and decisions.
Be on guard for these possibly damaging biases:
- Status Quo – The tendency to like things to stay the same.
- Focusing Effect – The tendency to place too much emphasis on a single aspect.
- Not Invented Here – Aversion to use of products, research, standards or knowledge developed outside the group.
- Confirmation Bias – A tendency to search for, interpret and focus on information that confirms one’s preconceptions.
- Anchoring – The tendency to rely too heavily on a single piece of information when making decisions. This is usually the first piece of information acquired.
The goal is to take your marina from tired and worn-out to modern and new on a shoestring budget. To get there you must be bold, creative and open-minded.
LEARN FROM SANTA BARBARA
Take a tip from Santa Barbara. Enlist your marina builder before you have a project on the immediate horizon. Your marina builder will have the greatest influence over the success or failure of your project.
Bellingham Marine is an advocate for marina owners around the world. Start a conversation with the folks at Bellingham today.
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