Bristol, Rhode Island Harbor Expansion

After five years of planning, the town of Bristol, Rhode Island, has completed a large-scale expansion of its harbor. The project funding of $6.5 million was made possible through the concerted efforts of multiple agencies, according to the town’s website. While the bulk of the sum came from two bonds issued by the town, United States Senator Jack Reed and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) awarded the Town of Bristol a grant of $623,729. The grant came through the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration – Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (Tier 2).

Rhode Island-based Reagan Marine Construction performed the removal of the existing fixed wave fence and installed 12 SF Marina SF500 Series floating breakwater pontoons. The SF Marina pontoons which comprise the 786-foot breakwater, are anchored with 48 Seaflex® 16-strand mooring hawsers.

According to SF Marina, the pontoons can withstand a drag force greater than 1.12 tons within 80% elongation, retracting back to their normal length when tension is eased. The breakwater includes an array of 34 tapered fingers. Twenty-two of the 78 new slips are allotted to transient boaters up to 40’ long, as well as an additional 500’ of dock space with a 12’ draft able to accommodate yachts up to 200’ in length. “The breakwater works great,” said Gregg Marsili, Bristol harbormaster. “Not only does it protect the marina, but also the shoreline, our other marina at Rockwell Park, the fuel pier on State Street, and the Prudence Island ferry dock.”

Voted a “Boater’s Choice” Marina from 2018-2021, the Harbor also features a Maritime Welcome Center complete with washer and dryer, restrooms, showers, WIFI, coffee, ice, and vending machines. The marina is within walking distance from a variety of restaurants and cafés as well as local attractions such as the America’s Cup Hall of Fame and the Herreshoff Marine Museum.

Sign up for the Marina Dock Age newsletter.Our newsletter delivers the latest news straight to your inbox including breaking news, our exclusive content covering the marina and boatyard industry, new products, and much more.

Expansion of the harbor in Bristol, Rhode Island, is complete. The harbor now includes 78 new slips and a 786-foot breakwater installed by SF Marina