There are many hazards that threaten our natural resources and careful management of human activities is essential. However, sustainable management carries with it a responsibility to segregate real from perceived threats and to focus our energy on the real hazards. – Dr. Kenneth M Brooks
Wood is an ideal marine construction material for floating dock structures. Its resilience to wind and wave exposure makes it a perfect building material for this application. Wood can’t rust, won’t corrode and is surprisingly fire resistant. Most importantly, it can bend or “deflect” an infinite number of times when loaded without weakening or yielding its strength. In addition to wood’s inherent natural properties, its environmental benefits over other common construction materials have been documented in numerous studies and papers. According to the USDA, “wood has a vital role to play in meeting the growing demand for green building materials.”
However, for wood to meet its true potential as a sustainable building material in the marina industry, it is critical that it be properly fabricated and treated for use in aquatic environments. Without proper protection wood is vulnerable to rot, decay and destruction from marine organisms. Use of wood preservatives is important for the longevity of structures within our marinas and the sustainability of our forests. Long lasting treated wood products mean that docks and other over water structures will not need to be replaced or repaired as often; thus avoiding unnecessary disturbance that occurs to the environment during construction and requiring use of fewer trees.
If you have an aging marina, and a complete replacement is not feasible there are a number of things you can do to update and beautify your property without taking on a comprehensive rebuild.
Lido Yacht Anchorage, located in Newport Beach, Calif. had originally planned to replace the marina’s aging timber docks with a modern concrete floating dock system and upgrade their utilities. However, a comprehensive renovation would require dredge work and replacement of the marina’s seawall as well as an upgrade in the marina’s shore power. After further evaluation, this option was determined not practical for the marina at the time.
So, rather than take on a comprehensive renovation project, the owners decided to focus on repairing and beautifying the marina they had. This decision not only increased the service life of the marina’s docks but gave the tenants and property owners a facility they were proud to show off.