Marinetek rebuild ‘storm-proofs’ Skull Creek Marina in US


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Having completed a phase one rebuild of Skull Creek Marina, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Marinetek North America (NA) now has a second phase side-tie dock extension for large yachts and transients at permitting stage. But before the marina confirmed stage two, Marinetek’s expertise was required as a matter of urgency.

When Leon Moore, a seasoned buyer, manager and operator of US marinas, purchased Skull Creek Marina on 15 September 2016, it had sustained serious storm damage and was generally in a poor condition. Twenty-two days later, the marina was two docks and a fuel dock down as Hurricane Matthew hurtled through. Moore, urgently needing strong, durable replacement docks, contacted Marinetek.

When told that H and I docks, offering 32 slips, and the fuel dock had been completely destroyed, Marinetek NA General Manager, Bob Berry, responded swiftly. The Industrial Company (TIC) from Savannah, Georgia, was contracted to clear the site and install new docks and piles. Marinetek’s Heavy Duty series floating concrete pontoons were used throughout to create 2,4 m wide main H and I piers and 1,6 m wide finger piers. The fuel dock was upgraded to become a 3,8 m wide floating attenuator to help protect the marina from wave action and was fitted with stainless steel internal pile guides.

Hilton Head is a very popular vacation spot with pristine beaches and a welcoming atmosphere but when the weather turns, the seas can be rough. Marinetek realised the specifications of the original docks could be improved. “We upgraded the 14in pre-stressed piles to 18in,” Berry confirms. “We also raised the pile height by 3 feet to allow for extreme surge and wave action. Hurricane Matthew brought 9ft of surge to the region. The marina is now designed for a Category 1 hurricane with waves up to 4ft high.”

The rebuild also included new pedestals, electrical wiring, water pipes, fire suppression, fuel pipes and dispensing equipment. The transformed fuel dock now offers gasoline and high-speed diesel and, according to Moore, looks better. “A nice feature the Marinetek docks provide is that all the utilities are hidden inside the dock – nothing is exposed or hanging under the fenders,” he reports.

The project was completed in 2017 and the marina is now fully open and ready for tenants and visiting boats. Amenities include pump-out, courtesy golf carts and a courtesy car, and a community swimming pool, golf and dining privileges at the adjacent country club. The marina also hosts a 24-vessel Freedom Boat Club fleet.

“Since the marina has been rebuilt, we have been very busy,” Moore says. “The weather has been warming nicely this spring and the boaters are showing up! Hilton Head Island is a beautiful place and now boaters have a safe and modern marina from which to explore it. The Marinetek docks are absolutely beautiful and robust. I couldn’t be more pleased,” he adds.