Preventative maintenance is an simple way to keep things running smoothly and to identify issues before they become a problem. In partnership with Bellingham Marine, Marin Yacht Club has undergone several upgrades to assure that the marina operates effortlessly both now and in the future.
Less than an hour outside of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge rests the Marin Yacht Club. The private marina club includes 115 boat slips ranging from 30 – 80 lineal feet and sits on the banks of San Rafael Creek which feeds into the northern part of the San Francisco Bay. The Marin Yacht Club was formed in October of 1935 as a social and educational club, but its origins are as early as 1929 when the group was known as “The Yachting Annex of the Marin Golf and Country Club”. Although the club has a long history, its governance has been forward looking, and they have taken a proactive approach in their efforts to maintain the facilities. Rather than waiting for the dock’s system to extend past its useful life, the club has taken preventative maintenance precautions which have allowed the club to run efficiently by identifying issues before they negatively impact the club’s operations. The Marin Yacht Club has worked with Bellingham Marine for many years and has completed various repair and upgrade projects in the past. These projects include replacement of walers, rods and floats for both structural, safety and cosmetic reasons. The facility also benefits from a full time onsite member of staff that regularly performs maintenance.
The recent renovations at the California club were comprised of three main components: replacement of a main gangway landing area, replacing several multi-piece fingers, and upgrading to an improved waler system. The original multi-float gangway landing consisted of a group of floats attached by walers and was replaced with a match-cast float aimed to correct listing and uneven floats. The process of manufacturing a match-cast system begins with one float and then casting the secondary unit using the side of the adjacent float as a form. The method includes forming interlocking ‘shear keys’ so that modules fit together seamlessly. Rods along the top and bottom of the floats create a rigid foundation that mimics the feel of walking on a solid concrete foundation on land.
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.
The topic of replacement cost is a subject I wrote on several years ago; however, I think it’s an important topic for marina owners and one worth revisiting. Whether you’ve recently completed a total rebuild of your marina or are beginning to realize that the life of your current docks is finite, taking a good look at the future replacement cost is an exercise worth doing. It makes good business sense and will help you better plan and prepare for the future of your marina.
The question for many marina owners is “what will it cost to replace our docks in ‘x’ number of years and how will we fund it?”
Although there are a number of variables that will affect the answer to this question, the heart of the question can be answered by calculating the time value of money and the future cost of a marina rebuild.
Here is a list of the variables that you’ll need in order to make a reasonable estimate.
Although numerous alternatives have become available since the early twentieth century when timber docks dominated the market, they remain a preferred choice for some, especially along certain seaboards. For some the natural warmth and aesthetic qualities of timber along with ease of assembly and repair make timber a preferred choice.
As with all dock systems not all designs or manufacturers are equal. However, assuming all performance specifications are on par with each other, one of the key components that can greatly impact the service life of your timber dock is the decking.
Exposed to the elements and heavy foot traffic, a durable deck that holds up to daily wear and tear and occasional hard use will ensure you get the best return on your investment. Unfortunately, the problem with most wood decks, even with pressure treating, is that over time the wood cracks, splits and splinters. One of the reasons is that the sun dries out the top but not the bottom causing the board to curl like a potato chip. The hard edges take the brunt of the foot traffic and over time breakdown and splinter leaving the wood susceptible to rot.