1950’s Innovation recognized by Marina Recreation Association

Bellingham Marine’s Unifloat concrete floating dock system, which was first patented in the 50’s, has been recognized by the Marina Recreation Association as a historical innovation that has had a substantial impact on the modern marina industry. 

The Marina Recreation Association, an association of marina owners and operators throughout the US, Mexico and Australia, awarded the Innovation Award to Bellingham at the Association’s annual MRA conference last week in Santa Barbara, California.
 
Few in the marina industry can imagine the industry without the innovation of the waler connected concrete dock system developed in the mid 1900’s by Ernest M. Usab of Long Beach, CA.  Today, Ernie’s waler connected floating dock system is known worldwide as Bellingham Marine’s Unifloat dock system. Over 23 million square feet of Unifloat docks have been manufactured by Bellingham Marine and installed in marinas around the world since the company first started manufacturing the Unifloat system in 1958.
 
Bellingham Marine president Everett Babbitt shared, “In the early years, we learned a lot about Ernie’s original design, its strengths and its weakness, and began to improve upon his system immediately.”
 
Cardboard boxes sealed with masking tape and shellac originally used to fill the core of the concrete box were replaced with non-absorbing closed cell expanded polystyrene. Steel inserts used to attach the wood walers to the sides of the float modules were replaced with a thru-rod system and eventually the lightweight, moderate strength concrete mix was upgraded to project specific, high strength mixes.

“These early improvements along with several others marked the beginning of the evolution of the Unifloat system that continues to this day,” added Babbitt.
 
The MRA’s Innovation Award honors companies and individuals who have advanced technology in a way that materially affects the industry.  “As one for the most popular dock systems in the world for coastal applications, Bellingham’s Unifloat concrete dock system, clearly reflects the intent of the award,” said Kevin Ketchum, President of the MRA.
 
As the world's leading marina design-build construction company, Bellingham Marine specializes in floating dock, floating platform and floating wave attenuation systems for marinas worldwide. The company also produces dry storage systems for the upland storage of boats.