Concrete and timber docks merge seamlessly

Wrightsville Beach Marina and Yacht Club recently celebrated the opening of their recently renovated marina. Bellingham Marine overhauled the docks using a combination of concrete and Ipe hardwood timber for a stunning high-end look.

When Wrightsville Beach Marina and Yacht Club in North Carolina decided it was time to renovate their 100-slip marina they turned to Bellingham Marine, world renowned marina builder, for help.

The ownership group knew they wanted a modern facility that would be a source of pride. They also knew their site had several unique demands that needed to be addressed to ensure the long-term success of the marina.

Located on a bustling Intracoastal Waterway, Wrightsville Beach Marina needed wave protection. The marina also wanted to be able to welcome large yachts.

The owners were attracted to the visual appeal of traditional timber docks, but were concerned about the timber dock’s ability to knock down the waves generated by the waterway’s heavy boat traffic. There was also a concern about water depth along the seawall. In an extreme low tide event, timber would have the advantage.

Bellingham Marine’s timber docks have a shallow 6-inch draft compared to the deeper draft of their concrete counterparts. The shallow draft would mitigate any possible concern of the dock grounding out during extreme tidal shifts.

After reviewing the site’s constraints and the owners’ desired features and amenities, the solution became apparent. Wrightsville Beach Marina needed a hybrid dock system.

Bellingham Marine built timber docks for all finger piers. Concrete was used for the exterior dock and interior main walks, with the exception of the walkway along the seawall, which was built in timber. Timber docks have less draft than concrete, making them ideal in that location.

The concrete dock on the exterior achieved the requirement for wave protection as well as mooring for larger vessels. The interior concrete walkways provided strength and enhanced the overall user experience on the docks.

The marina chose the same Ipe hardwood timber used on the docks to build a walkway along the shoreline, ultimately tying the land and waterside together. They also asked Bellingham to design a custom handrail with inlaid lighting to add another layer of visual appeal.

Mark Johnson, General Manager of Bellingham Marine’s timber division said: “A hybrid approach to the construction of the docks offered the best solution for the marina’s needs. The mix of materials created a high-end look that is stunning; everyone is really pleased with how well it turned out.”

The marina, which celebrated its grand reopening in May, features 100 slips, serving boats 32 to 80 feet in length. The outer transient dock can accommodate vessels 100 feet and longer. What are the priorities for your marina?

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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