Phased Renovations for Mixed-Use Massachusetts Marina

Fleet Marina, located on Popes Island in New Bedford, Massachusetts, has recently completed the first phase of its planned renovation. The property, a mixed commercial and recreational marina, was previously known as Capt. Leroy’s Marina. Lars Vinjerud II, owner and president of Fleet Fisheries, an 18-vessel scallop and lobster fishing and distribution operation, purchased the marina in 2019 and renamed it. He then launched a renovation and modernization project.

The first phase of the Fleet Marina project was replacement of an existing, 60-year-old pile-supported pier with an extra-wide breakwater that doubles as a dock. The new breakwater provides space for Fleet Fisheries and other commercial vessels. AGM Marine Contractors designed and installed the floating concrete breakwater, which was built in four 65×15-foot modules by SF Marina at its Norfolk, Virginia location.

“The marina has an exposure to the south and southeast, and when the wind blows in that direction it makes it pretty rough. So they wanted a breakwater before anything else,” explained Johan Mikutowicz, AGM Marine Contractors project manager.

The individual floating concrete pontoons are engineered to withstand hurricane-level storms and connected with an advanced energy-absorbing coupling system. The floating docks, moored by 80×36-foot pilings, are robust enough for the fishing fleet’s heavy usage; they can accommodate vessels that range up to 100 feet long and 200 gross weight tonnage.

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Vinjerud chose the widest dock option from SF Marina, five meters (16.4 feet). “The owner wanted to provide sufficient width so that he could drive a small utility vehicle down onto the float and run material back and forth to the commercial vessels,” Mikutowicz explained. The docks also have integrated utility conduits, which carry 100 amp, three-phase electrical service and fresh water.

The design work for the first phase started in September 2019 and construction was completed in October 2020. The second phase of the project will include the reconfiguration of the marina to make it more accessible and better suited to a combination of commercial and recreational vessels. Because of seasonal pile driving restrictions, that work is tentatively scheduled to begin in the fall of 2021.