BELLINGHAM MARINE DESIGNS FLOAT SYSTEM FOR ST. PAUL’S EXTREME SITE
December 17, 2010
In the far reaches of the Central Bering Sea off the west coast of Alaska, in a region know for rough waters and brutal winters, fishermen at St. Paul Harbor eagerly await the start of next year’s fishing season and the installation of their new mooring facility. Bellingham Marine worked with General Contractor Dutra Dredging and the Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association to provide a small boat harbor for the local fishing fleet.
The turn-key, design/build project included final design specifications, fabrication and installation of a prestressed/precast concrete boat launch ramp, launch float, precast abutments, gangways, anchor systems and marina floats.
The remote location and harsh environment made for a number of unique challenges. All materials had to be pre-fabricated, sized and sent by barge to the site since there were no local sources for materials. In addition, the entire system, including piling, had to be designed to allow for easy removal. Each winter the marina will be disassembled and stored upland.
“This is truly a unique project with a number of components designed specifically for the site at St. Paul,” said Jesse Ellenz, General Manager for Bellingham Marine’s NW division. “The floats and prestressed concrete elements are stout and built to withstand heavy commercial use and harsh environmental conditions.”
The float system features heavy duty float modules fabricated from galvanized I-beams and tube steel truss frames with massive glu-lam walers supported by polyethylene encased tubs designed for this specific application. An 8” diameter steel bull rail was added for boats to tie off to and steel grating was utilized for the deck to provide a non slick surface. Additional design components include 30” freeboard, so the only components of the float system actually in the water are the tubs; wide stable walkways to accommodate motorized gator carts and a gravity anchor system, which provides the flexibility needed to remove the floats each winter.
Bellingham and Dutra worked under a tight schedule to get the floats to the site and installed for a trial installation before winter arrived at St. Paul this year. Once installed, the system was pulled from the water and stored upland till the spring when it will be reinstalled and used by the local fishing fleet.
Highlighted in the Discovery Channel’s popular show “Deadliest Catch, St. Paul Harbor is located on a small remote island just 40 square miles. The Bering Sea location results in cool weather year round with an annual average temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit and heavy fog during summer months.
As the world’s leading marina design-build construction company, Bellingham Marine produces Unifloat® concrete floating dock systems, Unideck® metal frame floating dock systems and Unistack® dry stack systems for marinas worldwide.
Contact: Bellingham Marine, P.O. Box 8, Bellingham, WA 98227; www.bellingham-marine.com.
Unifloat, Unideck and Unistack are registered trademarks of Bellingham Marine.