Bellingham Marine Honored with MRA Innovation Award for Taking the Stress Out of Docking

La Jolla, CA – 5 December 2016 –  Many boaters would agree that the most stressful times in boating are when they are entering or exiting their slip. This stress has been alleviated with the advancement of the rounded concrete finger pier.

Bellingham Marine was honored to receive the 2016 Marine Recreation Association (MRA) Innovation Award for its cantilevered concrete rounded finger ends. This innovation has revolutionized the appearance of marinas across the world.

‘’We are very honored to be presented with this award,” said Bellingham Marine President and CEO, Everett Babbitt. “The rounded concrete fingers are synonymous with our company philosophy of providing what the market asks. We are very pleased with the positive feedback we receive from our clients for providing a product that enhances their business.”

Boaters prefer the soft edge of the rounded fingers, easing the tension associated with entering and exiting their slips. Operators are attracted to the reduced cost of constructing a non-piled rounded finger, and the added benefit of a more environmentally friendly marina through use of less pile.

The concept of rounded edges and curves in concrete structures is nothing new. However, the use of non-piled rounded ends in concrete floating dock design had never been attempted until Bellingham Marine designed it for the Port of Everett in Washington State in 2007. At that time, it was not uncommon to find rounded steel or aluminum pile frames on the ends of fingers, but a rounded end on a non-piled concrete finger had never been tried.

The solution appeared quite simple but created many design challenges for the company. Bellingham Marine decided to cast the finger float with the rounded end as a single piece. The design team created a groundbreaking finger design that has spread throughout the marina industry.

To bring this new idea to life engineers had to rework the typical finger pier from the ground up.

  • They developed a special form that had a rounded end with a lip
  • Modified the internal and external components of their signature Unifloat concrete dock
  • Re-engineered the finger itself so it would float level and at the desired freeboard.

Bellingham Marine has been presented with the MRA Innovation Award two years in a row with the 2016 win. The award honors advancements in the recreational marina and boatyard industry, recognizing companies, organizations, and individuals who have contributed technology and services in a way that materially affects the industry.

As the world’s leading marina design-build construction company, Bellingham Marine specializes in floating dock, floating platform, and floating wave attenuation systems for marinas worldwide. The company also produces dry storage systems for the upland storage of boats.