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Floating Breakwater

Floating Breakwater

Floating Breakwater

Reference to previous thread: thread321-241023: Floating Breakwater

My firm has been asked to provide a quote to design a floating breakwater for a marina on the Atlantic coast. Does anyone have any resources they have found particularly helpful in such design? What I would really want would be a ASCE or US ACE design guide...

I am currently pursuing the following resources:
Floating breakwater field experience, West Coast / by Eugene P. Richey ; prepared for U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Coastal Engineering Research Center.
McCartney, B. (1985). ”Floating Breakwater Design.” J. Waterway, Port, Coastal, Ocean Eng., 111(2), 304–318; http://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-...)
And, to the rather limited extent of its use in my design: Coastalwiki's section of floating breakwaters; http://www.coastalwiki.org/wiki/Floating_breakwate...

RE: Floating Breakwater

What is the design criteria? Wave heights, acceptable attenuation, etc? Who is specifying this structure?

RE: Floating Breakwater

BUGGAR, The marina owner is going to be setting the requirements, and we will probably end up going through the criteria with him so as to create adequate specifications. I already have storm data from the FIRM and local FIRMettes. He wants to use reinforced concrete box-style floats, and seems to be fairly flippant about longevity. He currently has a set of barges doing the job, and seems to want to mirror their effectiveness.

RE: Floating Breakwater

Here's a write-up of a concrete dock and breakwater built in San Diego Bay. It fell apart at the connections within a year of construction completion. This was designed by the precaster. Note the first sentence. They were off in their flotation calculations also.

“The most important key to success for an effective concrete dock system is to provide strong and fatigue-resistant connections,” according to Moffat and Nichol, the Long Beach, Calif., firm which performed the engineering evaluation of the system used at the Ferry Landing. The manufacturer estimates the dock’s lifespan will be 25 years. In that time, the greatest wear and tear will be on the bolt connections. Simply replacing them will extend the system’s life at a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire system. For those used to designing and building projects on terra firma, construction on or in water requires its own set of skills.

A 10-person crew from Marathon Construction Corp. of San Diego assembled the dock using a 40-ton-capacity crane on the shore and a 235-ton-capacity crane aboard a floating barge. “We did the bulk of the work with that (barge) crane,” says Dave Cunningham, Marathon’s project engineer.

“The large crane suspended the dock in a partially submerged state. All of the wave attenuation panels – six to eight per section – were installed this way,” he continues. “Before the large crane released the dock section after all of the panels were mounted, we tested the dock section by lowering it to see if it floated level or listed to one side.” Most of the sections initially had some list, says Cunningham, but the crew corrected that by repositioning the added flotation blocks. This could only be done by lifting the dock section back out of the water to the point where the foam blocks could be pushed around. This was repeated until each section floated level. “It was a fairly intricate little dance.”

Because of the rough conditions at the Ferry Landing, the crew first created a calm-water site nearby to begin assembly. “We utilized one of the quay walls at another Port terminal across the bay. All of the dock components were delivered to the water’s edge there,” Cunningham says. “We created the calm water by positioning our floating crane and barge such that a 15-to-20-foot work area existed between the barge and the quay wall.” A second barge was placed against the quay wall to the bay side of the crane barge to block the wave action from the bay. The fourth side of the newly created rectangular work area faced shore and was left open so that workers could move the assembled components in or out as needed.

Once the dock was assembled, the crew towed it to its permanent site to be installed. “The long outer edge was installed first,” Cunningham says. “Our barge then moved around between the shore and this section. Each finger was then installed one at a time.” The sequencing was such that the finger at the far end, which had wave-attenuation panels, was installed first. This was essentially a rough-water installation.

“Next we moved the barge back to install the next section,” Cunningham continues. A calm water area was created in front of the barge because the installed long outer section and the first finger both had wave-attenuation panels, which calmed the water. The barge itself calmed the water from the other direction and again the only open side was toward the shore. The second finger installed was designed to accommodate the gangway. The gangway was installed once the second finger was in place. “All work prior to this only had access via water. The gangway provided shore access,” he says. When the Ferry Landing dock opened, it was touted as the first in San Diego Bay with barrier-free access for people using wheelchairs.

“When we built this, there were no adopted guidelines,” Jim Trefren says. So the designers followed guidelines proposed under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The proposed guidelines called for 60-foot gangways with fixed ramps on both sides, and slopes of 1 inch per 12 inches or less, at least 92 percent of the time, Trefren says. The specifications ultimately adopted were looser than what the designers used at the Ferry Landing, which would have made the gangway “less accessible a greater amount of the time,” he adds. “What you’ve got is a very stable floating dock. It’s not bobbing up and down like a cork. That’s important if it’s a wheelchair-accessible dock.”

The Ferry Landing dock will not be the last precast concrete system built in San Diego Bay. Five additional docks already have been built and another three are under construction, Trefren says. Most are public boarding or dinghy docks. The Harbor Police and the Customs Service use one; another offers access to a deck used by the San Diego Maritime Museum. When mariners decades from now step out of their boats and onto one of these docks, they’re likely to notice the stability of the landing and few signs of age. At the Ferry Landing, the scene on shore may be completely different, but the dock itself, with its five fingers and 50 wave-attenuation panels, will still be doing its job.

Project Profile

Project: Floating Dock at Ferry Landing Marketplace, Coronado, Calif.

Owner: Port of San Diego, Port Coronado Associates

Contractor: Marathon Construction Corp., San Diego

Precast Company: Oldcastle Precast Inc., Fontana, Calif.

RE: Floating Breakwater

That is exactly the sort of thing provided in greater detail in the USACE report in the initial post. Interesting and vaguely helpful, but what I really need is a reasonable & established methodology for estimating forces so that I can go through the options with the client. I'm tempted to tell this owner to either give up and use a tire flotilla, or use substantially separated caisson elements with mounted, separate, friable gangway systems. Even using the caissons, I think that the owner is out of his depth both financially and in terms of accepting liability in the event of failure.

RE: Floating Breakwater

There are books on wave forces and buoyancy forces. No magic there. Are you securing the floats with guide piles or submerged anchors? Sometimes these limit the forces that can be imposed on the float system. If there is any secret, it is that the forces are more constant and relentless than taxes.

Beyond this, contact Moffatt & Nichole.

RE: Floating Breakwater

I am considering a mooring array with substantially separated elements and no positive connection (bumper, et c). The connections seem like a PIA to design and a difficulty/cost in execution. If cost is an issue, I think that giving a simple solution will be the fastest route to making that apparent. Wave force and buoyancy I can work with..; I'm used to CHH design. If I have to blaze the a trail for myself over a simple approach to a simple problem, I'm both surprised (there has to be SOMETHING out there) and am going to charge much much more -_-

Thanks for the help BUGGAR.

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