The site where Fore Point Marina now floats along the Portland Waterfront has been a gathering point for centuries. At the mouth of Fore River, the streets of downtown and the parkland that surrounds the headland meet the natural harbour that gave the most populous city in Maine its name. For decade a Structurmarine infrastructure had been giving boaters access to the nearby archipelago from that very spot. When the former owner built a new marina with the same proven technology further upstream, the new owners integrated their intention to multiply the floating infrastructure within a major upland development plan. The resulting Portland Foreside neighborhood revitalized the Portland Co. historical buildings and the existing marina and now adds modern buildings and outdoor spaces to create a LEED NC sustainable complex with both residential and commercial prime real estate.
Structurmarine’s engineers are familiar with this part of Casco Bay, and with the challenges it involves. For users, it is ideal: a brand new deepwater floating marina minutes from downtown, at the closest point to the islands that surrounds the city. In order to build a marina at this desirable site catering to both small crafts and larger vessels, we had to take into account long fetch from NorthEasterlies, currents of the Fore River, strong tides and the poor holding of the mud bottom. Structurmarine had strategies to face these challenges and deliver a long lasting marina to Fore Street like it had before, but this time hundreds of tons of concrete had to be taken into account… The massive floating breakwater that was chosen to protect the inner marina and tie up megayachts moves with an inertia completely different from the light and flexible aluminum floating docks that hosts all the boats under 100’. Therefore, we had to design a connection capable of dampening the relative movements of the two systems in weathers similar or worst than the infamous Patriot’s day storm.
Applied Technology and Management, the South Carolina firm that catalysed the project, therefore had to synchronize cargo ship that delivered the breakwater to the site from Sweden, trucks bringing the aluminum floating docks from Canada, with the local installation team in Maine. As part of the sustainable approach of the global project, the former marina system was reused. Structurmarine inspected, redecked and slightly modified some of the components before the existing modular components were integrated in various parts of the new construction.
Experiencing challenges and the power of the elements on the water together always creates strong bonds, especially when we prevail. The Portland Fore Point marina project was neither the first nor the last opportunity for Structurmarine and ATM to work together. To this day, when they are faced with sites where tidal range, currents, ice, poor holding or potential hurricane force winds require effective design, they know our technology can hold large vessels in the roughest weather. It confirms that while boating or building, winning teams can achieve more together once their collaboration and know-how has been tested!