Project Description


New Bedford, Massachusetts is known for its fishing fleet and seafood industry. The city is nicknamed The Whaling City because of its history as one of the major whaling ports in the nineteenth century, before the discovery of petroleum as an alternative to whale oil. It was during this time that author Herman Melville, who wrote the novel Moby Dick, worked as a whaler in New Bedford. Despite the historical decline of fishing and whaling, New Bedford continues to be the leading fishing port in the United States in terms of the dollar value of its commercial catch.

The new Fleet Marina is a mixed-use commercial and recreational harbour, located at Popes Island in the river estuary known as New Bedford Harbour. The marina is made up of two customised floating docks: a five-metre-wide, 80-metre-long breakwater and working dock for commercial vessels, and a 36-metre-long dock with slips for 55 pleasure boats. Both docks were designed and built by SF Marina in Norfolk, Virginia. With their weight and low centre of gravity, the pontoons are not only extremely stable, making them accessible for utility vehicles, they have also been designed to withstand the area’s oftentimes extreme weather conditions with large wakes and many years of heavy use by scallop and lobster vessels. The pontoons are anchored using steel pile guides and move as one unit with the tide.

The floating docks were installed in two phases during 2019/2020.

  • 80-metre-long breakwater and working dock for commercial vessels
  • 36-metre-long dock with slips for 55 pleasure boats