Conscious design choices can enhance ease of accessibility within your marina. Learn 5 things that will promote universal access and guarantee a positive experience for all your customers.
A happy, satisfied customer can be a business’s best marketing tool. Their word of mouth marketing has the power to quickly build you up or tear you down.
Give your customers something to talk about. Like how much they appreciate the ease with which they are able to navigate your docks. And how comfortable it is to be tied up at your marina.
The idea of accessibility or Barrier Free Access is nothing new. These terms are often used to describe the extent to which an environment is accessible by people with physical limitations or disabilities.
In the United States, the Access Board, a federal agency committed to accessible design gives guidelines for boating facilities, to ensure compliance with mandated accessibility and barrier free access laws and codes. Many other countries have a similar governing body which oversees legal accessibility requirements.
Walers are structural beams mounted flush to the deck of the Unifloat concrete floating dock from Bellingham Marine. They attach to the float by long rods threaded at the ends. Called “through rods,” they span the width of the float and are held in place with washers and nuts.
Walers can be made of a variety of structural materials depending on the engineering requirements of the marina. These include structural timbers, composite materials, steel and other materials. The vast majority of Unifloat systems employ structural timbers although Bellingham Marine has built marinas with walers of other materials as appropriate to the project.
Concrete floating dock marinas are manufactured and assembled in modules. Modular construction allows bending at the float connections to provide flexibility appropriate to a structure on water subject to wave action. In addition, the manufacture and installation of the docks is more manageable when floats are cast and transported in modules. A further benefit is that modules can be removed and replaced; in the unlikely event that this is necessary, individual modules can be disassembled and modified as needed.
Bellingham Marine’s company strategy is fairly simple; provide each client with a solution that provides the best value for their specific project and criteria. In order to find a balance between price and performance, each project must be looked at through its own unique lens.
The company relies heavily upon the expertise of its employees, its experience in the industry, and its network of outside professionals to provide each client with a best value option.
Innovation is embraced as a means to achieve “best value” rather than a goal in and of itself. It is this focus on value and ability to provide innovative solutions that allows Bellingham Marine to excel in its niche market and to be comfortable and successful in taking on unique, one-off projects.
In 2013, Bellingham Marine was approached by a major supplier of high quality construction aggregates. The company was looking for an innovative solution for mooring its Panamax bulk carriers at its new import terminal at the Port of Long Beach in California. The existing berth structures at the site were designed for barges and would not work for what the company needed. They needed a solution that would allow them to moor mid-sized bulk carries and support an efficient off-loading operation.
With a reputation for leading the marina industry in design excellence, Bellingham Marine looks toward the future with its eyes firmly fixed on innovation and user experience.
The company’s unwavering commitment to customer service, engineering excellence, and its R&D program are key elements of Bellingham’s success in the marina industry and some of the key motivations behind buying a Bellingham Marine dock system.
“Our R&D efforts have long focused on improving user experience,” remarked Bellingham Marine President and CEO, Everett Babbitt. “Higher freeboards for greater user comfort; increased load capacities to support large crowds and vehicles on the docks; improved aesthetics and design details to set high-end facilities apart; and continued product refinement to promote greater longevity have been at the core of many of the company’s product advancements over the past ten years.”
“Now, new technologies and major breakthroughs in engineering are allowing us to elevate our product offerings and improve user experience on a whole new level,” added Babbitt.
Typically on our blog I like to write technical or educational pieces that have an overall focus on marina design best practice, innovation and industry trends.
I make a conscious effort to stay away from brand specific pieces as I do not want to compromise the credibility of our blog by including sales pitches.
This article strays a bit from my traditional focus but I thought it still worthwhile to share as many of our readers are familiar with the Unifloat concrete dock system and may have the same question one of our recent clients had – What is the difference between the Unifloat system you produce today vs. the one you manufactured thirty to forty years ago?
For all intents and purposes, to the untrained eye, today’s Unifloat dock system looks very similar to the ones manufactured by the company in the mid to late 1900’s – after all, today’s Unifloat is characterized by the same overall design concept as the original. The modules are still made from concrete, most commonly connected by treated timber walers, which are held in place by through-rods.