Burlington Harbor Marina Transforms City Waterfront

With the May opening of the Burlington Harbor Marina, the City of Burlington, Vermont, has gained a modern, attractive marina that will help accommodate the area’s need for slips for larger boats. The marina is one of the final portions of a project that has transformed the city’s northern waterfront along Lake Champlain—an old industrial area—into an attractive destination for residents and visitors.

The marina, which will offer 160 slips for both seasonal and transient boaters, was developed by Charles DesLauriers, Jack Wallace and Trident Marine Group.

“This project has been almost six years in the making; we are ready and excited to bring further access to both the lake and the City of Burlington with our marina,” Wallace said. “It is more than just a place to moor a boat; renting a slip at Burlington Harbor Marina will offer a first-class experience. Every person who docks here will feel as though they are at home on the shores of Lake Champlain, regardless of the length of their stay.”

The marina is tucked between a city water facility and a Coast Guard station. The site previously contained a defunct picnic area and an asphalt parking lot along the water’s edge. “We moved the parking away from the water and created a park from a portion of it. We are handing that over to the city on completion, so it will be a city public park with a pet-friendly area. Moving the asphalt away from the shoreline will help improve water quality,” Wallace added.

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The marina’s landside operations are located in the previous picnic area. Its workshop and storage buildings are being made from repurposed shipping containers (painted and with windows added).

Before landside construction could begin in May 2018, the soil had to be remediated under the supervision of state and federal authorities. “Because it had been an industrialized, working waterfront there was a lot of stuff in the ground that we didn’t know about because it was never documented,” Wallace said.

In-water construction started in June 2018. “Unfortunately, we had an early winter with two feet of snow and freezing conditions in mid-November, so we got cut a little short on our construction time last year,” he added.

“On the water, we had a great team of engineers, consultants, supplier and contractors,” Wallace continued. “ATM was the primary marine engineer. SF Marina Systems provided our floating concrete wave attenuator, which surrounds the interior docks and fingers. Meeco Sullivan built the interior timber and steel frame floating docks.”

The marina’s owners decided to install the wave attenuator because of a navigational gap in Burlington Harbor’s rubble breakwater and the marina’s narrow exposure from the northwest. “The state-of-the-art wave attenuator will create a tranquil basin so that boaters can fully relax while docked,” Wallace said.

The marina’s 160 slips are spread out along four primary dock trees and the inside of the wave attenuator. “We are trying to complement the existing facilities at the city marina, which skews toward shorter boats under 30 feet. We will actually have a 30-foot minimum,” Wallace said. “Most of the boats are going to be in the 40-foot plus or minus range. We could handle boats up to 100 feet, but we anticipate that the largest we are likely to see will be a few 70- to 80-foot boats.” The slips have water and 30-amp and 50-amp electrical service; a few will offer 100-amp service.

Burlington Harbor Marina also features a fuel dock and a pumpout station that are open to the public, and slips equipped with power and water. Other amenities include individual shower and bath facilities, laundry, ship store and chandlery, gated dock access and golf carts to get boater’s gear to and from their slips.

The marina is being professionally managed by Trident Marine Group. “We’re excited to be part of this new chapter for the city’s waterfront and to be joining the boating community of Lake Champlain,” said Jeremy Parks, the company’s president.

Burlington Harbor Marina’s neighbors along the redeveloped waterfront include a large, world-class skate park and a new facility for the community sailing center.