SF Marina completes unusual ferry dock in Rhode Island

The new Jamestown Newport Ferry dock at Conanicut Marine Services in Jamestown, Rhode Island, USA needed to meet two important criteria: be creatively shaped to fit into an existing configuration and offer ADA-accessibility to its passengers. Owner Bill Munger turned to SF Marina, the leader in floating concrete dock systems, for a solution.

SF Marina designed and manufactured two custom SF 1800 solid cast concrete pontoons. Trapezoidal, they form an L-shape with a 70° angle. The 9m side hosts the larger ferries that land stern first, while the 12m section is for smaller boats and water taxis.

The 5m wide SF 1800 dock has a 1m freeboard. This height makes it easy for customers with wheelchairs to board. Plus, due to the sheer mass of the pontoons, they’re exceptionally stable and don’t shift under excessive weight nor from forces such as a large wake.

At Conanicut Marine Services, the SF 1800 pontoons are held in place with three pile guides along the side and one internally. Energy-absorbing cushion block technology and internal tensioning ensure the dock pontoons move smoothly as one unit with the 1.4m tide.

”The dock just came online a month ago,” Munger said, ”and it’s working particularly well. The dock floats higher than standard, allowing ADA accessibility without an endless ramp system.”

Munger had worked with SF Marina on two prior projects. Six years ago he installed a 5m W x 60m L wave attenuator at Conanicut Marine Services and three years ago, he added one 3m W x 55m L. ”The area is exposed and can see some serious weather action,” he noted. ”They’ve held together without any headaches; they simply won’t come apart.”

SF Marina builds its docks to withstand weather extremes and severe daily use. Virtually unsinkable, they’re built of steel-reinforced, thick-walled concrete with Styrofoam cores for buoyancy. Maintenance-free, they can be built with integrated conduits for electric and water service. The new ferry dock at Conanicut Marine Services is fitted with a non-marking D fender.

For 46 years, family-run Conanicut Marine Services has served the Newport, Rhode Island area with power and sailboat repair and maintenance, hauling and storage, chandlery and ferry service. The 10-acre facility has moorings and slips for 250 boats. Its website is www.conanicutmarina.com.

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