U.S. Coast Guard Corona del Mar Dock Replacement
March 28, 2022
Located along the eastern shore of the Newport Harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard Station Corona del Mar is home to the 87-foot USCGC Narwahl Marine Protector Class coastal patrol cutter. The dock that previously moored the USCGC Narwahl was originally built in 1997, and had reached the end of its useful life, so in 2020 the U.S. Coast Guard solicited bids for the replacement of the 10’ x 120’ floating dock.
The Coast Guard was looking for a dock with a longer lifespan, higher freeboard, and the ability to withstand a higher waveload. Bellingham Marine designed, supplied, and installed the new matchast floating dock system, specifically to meet the Coast Guard’s requirements. Bellingham Marine’s post-tensioned, matchcast structure eliminates gaps between floats, allowing the 120-foot dock made up of ten 10-foot sections to act as one solid unit, providing added stability and durability, effectively doubling the useful life of the dock.
Bellingham Marine removed and disposed of the existing three-piece concrete floatation system, and reused the existing pilings at the site. In order to address waterline corrosion and extend the life of the piles, BMI coated the existing steel piles with epoxy paint, then installed new custom-made heavy duty pile guides. The existing gangway was carefully removed and reinstalled following the installation of the new dock, with the addition of a new tread plate for a smooth transition from the gangway to the dock surface.
As part of the project, BMI installed new water and electrical utilities, and installed a new transformer on the dock to power the vessel. The communication system was in working order, so it was removed and reinstalled. The new dock boasts custom-fabricated extra large bollards for mooring and six commercial-duty foam-filled fenders to protect the dock and the vessel. On the landside of the dock, standard cleats are available for mooring smaller vessels.
This was a particularly challenging installation because it was an extremely tight space without a clear path for the crane to offload the float to the project site. In order to offload, the floats had to be lifted over the top of an existing building to be placed in the water. Thanks to the knowledge and flexibility of the BMI crew, and the experience acquired from many different installations, BMI was able to complete the job in the space available.
The entire project was coordinated with the Coast Guard in conjunction with the timing of the vessel’s scheduled routine repair and maintenance, resulting in virtually no disruption to the USCGC Narwahl.