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 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.
Canada’s newest marina, Milltown Marina, sits on the outskirts of downtown Vancouver, B.C. in a well-protected basin on the North Arm of the Frasier River.
The marina’s story is not that different from other Greenfield projects, and it’s actually the commonalities that it shares with other projects that makes it an interesting case study. Milltown started out the way many new marina projects do with a vision for the site, then a concept design and finally a layout for the docks followed by an issuance of a Request for Proposal (RFP).
Like a growing number of Greenfield marina projects, the response to the RFP is where the Milltown project deviated from its original course. The original plan was to get bids from dock builders to supply the docks that when assembled in the water by a general contractor would make up the configuration shown in the original drawing. The anchoring system would be supplied and installed by a third party and the utilities and accessory packages would be handled separately. This approach was designed to cut out any middlemen and avoid extra markups. In theory, the concept makes sense. The problem is that the modern marina is a complex web of interconnected systems that is most often best approached as a single system by a marina builder who specializes in the design/build of marina systems and who can take advantage of economies of scale. This is where the real savings happens.
If you’ve ever been involved in a laborious permitting and funding process you know all too well the feeling of victory and the heavy sigh of relief that comes once you receive your final OK to proceed. You’ll also know that without an iron will and a true passion for what you’re doing you’ll likely be eaten alive.
Anyone who’s spent much time at all with Mark Sandoval, Long Beach Marine Bureau Manager knows he’s a man of integrity and determination. After 10 years of planning and three years of delays, Sandoval received his final OK from Long Beach City Council to move forward with the first phase of his planned $90 million dollar renovation of Alamitos Bay Marina in Long Beach, CA.
Building or renovating a marina can be, and usually is, a long and complicated process. One of the major obstacles these days is the permitting procedure. In order to obtain the necessary permits to move forward a good deal of time and money is required to complete concept designs, impact studies and environmental assessments.
Permit approval brings a developer only to the starting line of a project and the next stage will usually involve a complicated mix of marina consultants, architects, engineers, contractors, sub-contractors and a whole host of “experts”. Apart from the obvious cost of all these experts, a huge amount of the developer’s time is required to define their input, coordinate their work and assess their recommendations. The result of this process is a specification or tender document, which is then sent out to various marina construction companies who spend more time and money reworking the designs to suit their particular dock systems. This can involve cutting corners and interpreting specifications to allow the very minimum possible so as to ensure a competitive bid.
This is not an ideal situation for a developer who wants a quality marina. There is no doubt that this tried and tested system works; however, it comes at a cost of both time and money.