TOP 10 QUESTIONS ABOUT CONCRETE FLOATING DOCKS
January 15, 2007
1. Many people who’ve experienced standing on a concrete floating dock say, “It feels like solid ground.” Why are concrete floating docks so stable?
Craig Funston, a structural engineer with the engineering and design firm Redpoint Structures, Bellingham, WA, explains the science behind the design.
The perception that one gets of standing on solid ground is “a common reaction when anyone steps on a concrete floating dock for the first time,” Funston says. “The modules float high on the water, but they are massive, and they have a wide footprint.”
“Think of a snowshoe,” he explains. “The footprint is very broad compared to the weight it supports, so the water easily resists the load. Because each module is connected to the next, it multiplies the mass and footprint by the number of modules, making the entire system extremely stable and solid.”
The power of the “snowshoe effect” is demonstrated by a common practice at Port Forum, a super yacht marina in Europe featuring Bellingham Marine’s Unifloat system. The latest craze among the super rich is carrying their Mini Coopers (see photo) on the decks of their yachts.
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MAGAZINE: Marina Dock Age
ISSUE: January/February 2007