marina, fire prevention, pump-out, water

marina, fire prevention, pump-out, waterEXPERTISE

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Marina Utilities has expert capabilities in the unique requirements for the design and installation of marina utilities, including modern electrical systems, code-defined marina standpipe systems, and in the design and installation of sewer systems and in-slip pump-outs meeting the needs of medium to large scale, 300 slip or larger marina projects.

Components and systems include reliable and durable diaphragm pump-out systems, peristaltic pumps and vacuum pumps, with the flexibility and built-in growth potential for serving the current and future needs of marinas. Pump-out systems and technology include Keco™ and SaniSailor™ brands.



For over 35 years, leaders in the marine and marina development industry have relied on the Marina Utilities firm that began in Naples, FL as Dave Lincoln Contracting. Earning its reputation for excellence in technological capabilities, design and installation of superior marina utilities systems, Marina Utilities continues its tradition of innovation.

Design of utilities by Marina Utilities is not locked to or limited by a particular type of docking system (floating, fixed; concrete, wood, metal). Piping used is High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), capable of being fused without leaks. Flexible in use, this system is therefore less likely to be damaged by storms or surges. Marina Utilities practices on the-job-performance and safety and employs Clean Marina™ techniques.

With a complete in-house fabrication shop, Marina Utilities offers unique custom design and fabrication of support systems, hanger straps, fasteners and flexible connections and fire stands, using HDPE piping and connections of the highest grade stainless steel.



What are the governing regulatory agencies when working abroad?
An example might be Caribbean marina projects.

Every country in the Caribbean basin has its own unique requirements. Marina Utilities has many years of experience in providing quality marina utility systems- water, sewer, electric and standpipe systems for international marinas, including those in the in Caribbean. We can offer a wealth of information for contractors and developers wishing to develop or retrofit marinas in this arena.

For example, Marina Utilities has worked on projects in the Turks and Caicos, and in the Bahamas where we have identified and worked with required local partners and cooperated with local agencies. We have the ability to enlist skilled (and often required) local labor, develop partnerships and alliances and supply our own experienced designers and technicians.

It is important to note that the countries weigh the specific and long term benefit to the country in deciding whether to allow a project to proceed. Marina Utilities can assist developers and contractors in understanding and negotiating the maze of international requirements for any marina project.

What research or special knowledge do you have regarding the codes and requirements for international marinas?

We have researched and adapted guidelines based upon our knowledge of the International Building Code. It is essential to know which code to adapt for which specific country; for example, the Bahamas may use the Canadian Electrical code, and one would need to know that in the design and cost estimating stage.

How are the permitting procedures different?

Permitting procedures vary widely country by country. Requirements for marina utilities submissions will typically include submission to the general contractor under the general building permit and possibly under the plumbing section of the general building permit. Marina Utilities provides required “proof of competency” and licensing to assist in the process.

Does your international work with marina utilities extend the required project time?

Not typically. Because the scope of our work with the design and supply of marina utilities is smaller than the types of work that dictate the project schedule, our work falls comfortably within the project schedule guidelines.

How does working abroad affect the job cost?

The biggest factors impacting job cost abroad are mobilization and transportation, because virtually everything has to be shipped from here to there. Marina Utilities has become very efficient and good at itemizing exactly what will be needed – we fabricate in our custom shop and we ship to the marina project site. Inspections at the Port typically add 1 week to the process, plus obtaining trucks and drivers to locations that are at times, remote, and if not remote, busy.

How are materials and fabrications sent to the site(s)?

Everything is designed and fabricated here and those components, plus spare parts are transported in shipping containers. Marina Utilities has a careful system for doing this, because it is not as though you can run out to the local store for more parts and materials.

Can you explain how you get crews to remote locations – how you staff?

Crews typically need to be onsite for a period of three to six months, and their needs include housing, food, electric, telephone and internet. It is important to factor in costs such as water, which can run 10 times higher than normal. In remote locations, such as Chub Cay (Bahamas), the owner must build and supply crew quarters meeting these needs. In populated areas, such as Grenada, we will work with a real estate agent to provide housing and related needs.

How do you determine the marina customer expectations? Do you receive a program or brief when you are designing the project?

In-slip requirements, such as electrical service requirements, and other factors are provided in a set of generic plans and specifications. We may know that yachts will be in the range of 80 feet and will require water and sewer systems to meet the continuous needs of American and European systems, with in-slip water to wash the boats and electrical service for navigation, communications, entertainment, AC, and food refrigeration. We then design a specific custom system for the marina and craft a Design Build contract to secure service delivery.

Does the fact that you have designed and provided marina utilities for Clean Marina ™ and ecomarina projects, positively affect your outlook or that of potential clients?

It certainly could, and in the future we are hoping that building clean, green and sustainable ecomarinas will be the norm, and therefore our experience with such projects will become ever more valuable. Regionally, we see people putting more emphasis and value on green design and installation, and as it affects marina utilities, we assist developers in obtaining Federal Grant money for such projects.

What is an example of modern day international criteria that reflects the highest standards of development?

Leeward –Turks and Caicos eco marina project is a prime example. Marina Utilities was responsible for marina utilities, including the state of the art in- slip bilge pump out systems.

How involved are you, or aware are you of spearhead projects in international boating and super yacht facilities? Are there conferences that you attend or will attend that will update and augment your knowledge of the developing trends?

We, at Marina Utilities, are very involved with staying at the forefront of information and idea exchange about cutting edge trends in the marina industry. We attend such important shows as The International Boat Show, The Marine Equipment Trade Show (Amsterdam METS), Miami International Boat Show, Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, the International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC), the International Marina Institute Conference (IMI) and the Miami Boat Show, attended by leading developers and suppliers to marinas in the US, the Islands and Central America.



Robert MacDonald, COO, owner, Marina Utilities, answers questions regarding significant trends contributing to the worldwide retrofitting of marinas. One important trend affecting marinas is the increase in vessel size. According to industry sources, the number of megayachts worldwide has more than doubled over the last decade. Mega yachts are those from 80 to 180 feet or more in length, with 116 -130 ft. being the average size built in the US.

Yachts have become wider and longer, up to mega yacht size. How does this affect the need for marinas to retrofit existing slips to accommodate the larger size?

There are two big issues that are driving the trend for retrofitting marinas. There are not enough slips to accommodate the big yachts, and the environmental movement has made it much harder to develop new marinas – it is much easier to permit for a retrofit than to develop an entirely new marina.

Do you see smaller boats up to 30 – 40 feet being relocated to dry stack to make way for slip reconfiguration?

Yes. That is exactly what is happening.

What are some compelling reasons for marinas to upgrade?

In addition to the larger yacht size, marinas are upgrading to provide more convenience for the boater, more options for gathering and staying in a location and more reasons for the marina to appeal as a destination.

Can you speak to electrical requirements and need for in-slip pump out?

The electrical requirements for modern boats are much greater than the needs were 20 year ago. Boats are larger and have more sophisticated electronics needs, so the electrical service requirements must adjust to fit the needs. The convenience for the boater also factors into the need for marina upgrade retrofits. In-slip pump outs eliminate the need to move the vessel to a fuel dock for pump-out; this benefits the live-aboard, whether crew, the owners, seasonal or weekend visitors. Even when the owner is not using a large boat or megayacht, the vessel may be chartered for use, and therefore slip needs are continuous.

Have docking systems (wider, different materials) affected the type of connections or cost of what you do?

Not the cost of what we do, because Marina Utilities supplies superior quality marina utilities systems regardless of the size or type of dock, but as the boats get larger, so do the docks, and this factors into the need for marinas to retrofit.

Can you describe the power pedestals that you provide?

We use high-quality weatherproof electrical equipment specifically designed for demanding, harsh climate marina use. The power pedestals will be custom selected to provide convenience, safety and utility.

Is there a tipping point at which marinas will have no choice but to upgrade and retrofit?

There are several factors affecting the timing of the retrofit. Hurricane/storm protection and the aftermath damage to docking and the piping and connection systems are an important reason why marinas must retrofit and upgrade. Marina lifespan is another. No project will typically last beyond a 20 - 30 year period, even if services are still functional, needs change and systems become more efficient and adaptable to meet needs – so it becomes an issue of competitiveness. Marinas without in-slip service will not be able to compete with the marina down the street that has in-slip services.

Marina Utilities has an annual fire inspection service offered to marinas. Inspecting the fire protection system can be an important indicator of the need for marinas to retrofit to provide adequate protection.

Do energy efficiencies extend to marina upgrades? Equipment, service, lighting, power?

While retrofits are not typically driven by energy efficiency, LED lighting can provide significant energy savings and can positively impact “Green” marina development and retrofitting for Clean Marina and ecomarina programs.

Does Marina Utilities provide utilities for common spaces in the marina, or only the slips?

Dockside utilities is our primary market, however Marina Utilities will provide landside utilities that connect to the marina, such as sewer and water connections ½ to 1 mile away.

In general, destination cruising is becoming more popular, with large size vessels and megayachts becoming the floating home away from home. With these floating homes, there are all the dockside requirements for continuous water, in-slip pumpout, internet, phone and electrical service. Convenience becomes necessity when owners, guests, crew and charter use means that vessels are in continuous service.



Marina Utilities has made a commitment to custom design, quality fabrication, assembly and installation of modern, high-tech marina utilities. This commitment to quality includes the use of a higher grade 316 stainless steel parts and connectors, and HDPE piping as opposed to commonly used PVC piping. The result is a marina that benefits from lasting and quality construction, with a marina utilities design system that will last 25-30 years vs. a lower cost system that will last 5 years.

It is important to Marina Utilities that their customers benefit from the higher quality product design and installation and that developers and contractors feel confident that they have made the right choice for their clients’ safety and convenience. Therefore, a focus for the Marina Utilities management, engineers and technicians is on education regarding Life Cycle Costing.

Life cycle costs of equipment and systems incorporate the installed cost of the equipment, including its commissioning, combined with the sum of its annual maintenance and costs over its lifetime. Quality 316 stainless steel components and monolithic HDPE piping can save money by providing leak proof, non corroding use in the harsh marina environment. Less expensive PVC piping and non-stainless parts and connections may have a lower initial cost, but will not fare well as they degrade over time.

Life cycle cost is the total cost of ownership, including the cost of acquisition, operation, and maintenance and/or decommission. Therefore, with regard to marina utilities, an analysis of true cost (life cycle cost) is done over annual time increments during the project life and projected life span. The benefit to the client is to have the highest quality offering while achieving the lowest long-term cost of ownership.

Usually the cost of operation, maintenance, and disposal costs exceed all other first costs many times over (supporting costs are often 2-20 times greater than the initial procurement costs).

Marina Utilities offers seminars and one-on-one consultation for owners, developers and contractors on low bid price vs. Life Cycle Costing of superior systems.

Marina Utilities’ seminar will describe what is meant by Life Cycle Costing with regards to a marina and how it is computed.

  • The seminar will assist the client by graphically conveying Life Cycle Costing.
  • Statistical and other Life Cycle costing information is also conveyed graphically using accurate data and project information costs.
  • The Life Cycle Costing seminar will name, illustrate and demonstrate the factors that go into quality fabrication, assembly and installation.
  • The Life Cycle Costing seminar will explain some of the reasons why companies typically choose low cost bid, and how this can be avoided:
  • Initial Procurement costs are widely used as the primary criteria for equipment or system selection based on a simple payback period.
  • Life Cycle Cost analysis can be a useful tool to determine and demonstrate that operational savings are sufficient to justify the initial investment costs.
  • For the lowest long term cost of ownership, reliability and ease of maintenance should be factored into the total cost analysis, as well as considering potential adverse outcomes of leaks affecting water quality and Clean Marin™ programs, as well as lack of convenience to guest and possible downtime because of maintenance and repair of lesser quality materials and systems.

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