A Better Breakwater

Maine Yacht Center
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Reading Paul Lazarus’s feature about the Maine Yacht Center and Brian Harris (“Some Assembly Required” in Professional BoatBuilder No. 155) reminded me of an interesting story Brian told me when I ran into him at an IBEX in Miami Beach in the late ’00s:

The marina for Maine Yacht Center had been built in 2003. Because of the marina’s exposure to the northeast, they had installed a wooden wave-attenuating system.

Brian was hired as general manager of the Maine Yacht Center in 2005. In May of that year, a nor’easter wiped out the floating breakwater and, if I remember correctly, a good portion of the marina as well.

Brian and his team investigated several solutions to this problem, and settled on one of SF Marina’s concrete floating breakwater systems—in this instance, the company’s smallest model, the SFBW 300. It was installed in 2006. And what a system!Maine Yacht Center’s floating breakwater is 990′ (302m) LOA x 14′ (4.3) beam x 4′ (1.2m) draft x 650 tons displacement. It’s anchored by heavy chains and 600-lb (272-kg) ship anchors.

So far, says Brian, 30 knots of wind over a 24-hour period are no problem. When I called him recently to see how it was holding up, he said in retrospect he wishes they’d purchased one of SF Marina’s larger systems.

Maine Yacht Center's floating concrete breakwater protects against northeast storms that destroyed a previous structure.
 

Maine Yacht Center's floating concrete breakwater protects against northeast storms that destroyed a previous structure.

 

Rendering of a similar system, the larger SFMB 1000.