Steeped in maritime history, Bristol, Rhode Island on Narragansett Bay is a popular New England boating destination. Culminating a five-year planning process, the town recently completed a largescale expansion of its harbor with an SF Marina floating concrete breakwater and dock system as the project’s centerpiece.
After removing Bristol Harbor’s aging fixed-wave fence, Newport, Rhode Island-based Reagan Marine Construction installed twelve SF Marina SF500 Series floating breakwater pontoons. Engineered to withstand hurricane-force wind and wave action, they have a coupling system that absorbs and distributes the stress loads to the concrete structure and anchoring system. Virtually unsinkable, the 17-foot “W” sections have a unique geometry and heavy mass that makes them exceptionally stable.
“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.”
The SF Marina pontoons are anchored with 48 Seaflex® 16-strand mooring hawsers. Designed to mitigate serious storm-caused wave action, they can withstand a drag force greater than 1.12 tons within 80-percent elongation, retracting back to their normal length when tension is eased.
The environmentally-friendly anchoring solution provides significant stability to the structure by progressively dampening forces, even during the most severe of storm conditions.
The 786-foot structure includes an interior dock array for a total of 34 tapered fingers. Bristol Harbor has 22 transient slips for boats up to 40 feet in length, and an additional 500 feet of dock space with a 12-foot draft that can accommodate vessels up to 200 feet long. The marina provides electrical and potable water service and public wi-fi. For more information on the breakwater and dock system, visit www.sfmarinausa.com.
Republished from Marine Construction Magazine Issue IV, 2022