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concrete floating docks

Marina development is always a significant undertaking, requiring detail-oriented planning, a sound marketing plan, and precise engineering. If you’re in the exploratory phase of marina construction, there are several key points you need to be sure to consider.

Make sure you have the rights to build on the spot where your marina is planned. Water is public and available for use by everyone, which may make this factor seem obvious. But in the nuance of law, the floor of the body of water is privately owned. You need to have it owned or leased before you begin building. ProFloat has been through this process—our floating dock systems are a part of Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor area. This includes the Rash Field marina, the gateway to Fort McHenry, and more.

Before you build, think through the nitty-gritty of your monetization strategy. It’s not enough to say you plan to attract boats—what size vessels are you aiming to bring in? What will be their upland amenity needs? Are they transient? These decisions have to be made up front because they go into proper marina design and planning and getting it right up front means more efficiency—and a better bottom line—down the road.

Determining water level will be an essential part of engineering. One of the basic elements is establishing the mean high and the mean low for the tide. Those are the heights your boat will sit. One advantage of ProFloat’s floating dock system is that they always keep the boat parallel with the dock, no matter the height of the tide.

When you approach the matter of financing the marina construction, don’t rule out the possibility of getting federal money. The Clean Vessel Act of 1992 makes federal dollars available to marina developers who build a sewage pumpout system. Make sure you explore all options for getting a grant.

The obstacles and challenges of marina development are real, but the rewards make it worth the effort. Most safe harbors have already been developed, so the economic laws of supply and demand are heavily tilted towards the marina owner. ProFloat has been part of a number of development projects in both the public and private sector. Most notably, we were honored to be chosen to design the custom docks that were part of the restoration of the Sagamore Pendry hotels in Baltimore earlier this year.

We can help you too. Contact ProFloat today and let’s discuss your marina construction plans.