Docking Solutions which, following its acquisition last year, is now a brand of Walcon Marine, has supplied six of its distinctive, heavy-duty, tubular steel pontoons to the Town Dock in Torquay Harbour. They have replaced conventional yacht pontoons on the seaward side of the outer harbour that had reached the end of their life. This part of the harbour is exposed to swells coming in through the harbour entrance and so the Tor Bay Harbour Authority chose the Docking Solutions product to replace the previous infrastructure, based on their durability and requirement for a more robust solution.
Positioned at the northern end of Tor Bay in South Devon, Torquay Harbour is a popular home and destination for yachts and motor cruisers. However, like all the harbours in Torbay it is particularly susceptible to easterly winds. The pontoons just inside the entrance of the harbour are already Docking Solutions’ products and are configured as a wave screen. The harbour authority’s positive experience with those over the past twelve years prompted it to order the additional units. They have also been a tough and effective docking solution for larger vessels, such as the wind farm support vessels, that use the harbour.
“The six pontoons are three metres wide to match the existing Docking Solutions wave screen,” says Walcon’s Colin Bower. “The four at the seaward end are each 24 metres long, providing an exceptionally stable and robust structure, and the two at the shoreward end are approximately nine metres long. The first one in the line has a variable freeboard so that the inner end matches the existing marina pontoons at 500mm and then the gradient increases gradually along its length to 700mm to match the wave screen freeboard. We designed this arrangement so as to avoid the need for a steep ramp.”
“It’s great to have them in and providing the wave protection that we need,” adds Nick Burns, Deputy Harbour Master at the Tor Bay Harbour Authority. “They are much sturdier than the product we had before. Our existing Docking Solutions pontoons have been in place for 13 years and are in good shape, so we are very happy with this continuation.”
Docking Solutions pontoons use twin tubular steel floats braced by welded cross tubes for exceptional strength and durability, mounted in a catamaran configuration. They can be fabricated to almost any length and size, and in high-freeboard configurations. Customers include harbour and port authorities, search and rescue services and the MoD, as well as marinas serving leisure users.