Walcon Marine is now in the final stages of a major project to remove and replace Premier Marina’s Noss on Dart Marina in the west of England. The project began in the winter of 2020/21 and today an all-new, 232-berth facility is all but complete. The regeneration of Noss on Dart Marina has been an exceptional project for Walcon and forms the centrepiece of what will be a sustainable and vibrant community that will sensitively work alongside the natural beauty of the River Dart estuary.
The project began with the removal of all the original infrastructure so that it could be transported off site by a contractor for disposal, after which Walcon moved on to inserting the new piles. Due to the density of the shillet rock that lies under the river, the Walcon Wizard piling barge had to use a vibratory piling technique to insert 102 new mooring piles, a task that took eight months. The site had other challenges for the installation team, not least strong currents and deep waters in some places.
With the piles installed, the walkways and finger pontoons began to be added. The majority of these are of the high specification System 21 type, with special features that include premium fendering and extra wide central ducting along the back walkway for heavy duty cabling. The layout follows the line of the river, with finger pontoons replacing the previous alongside (two deep!) format.
Walcon’s heavy-duty Waliflote pontoons with reinforced guides and frames have been used at the upper end of the marina to protect it from debris coming downstream, while the outer pier at the downstream end of the marina is comprised of five, 20m by 3m concrete pontoons, each weighing 32 tonnes. In addition to the marina itself, Walcon has also built and installed two access bridges, one for the main part of the marina and the other for the alongside berths adjacent to the shoreside facilities. Additional pontoons have also been installed to serve the new boat hoist built by TMS (Teignmouth Maritime Services) of Dawlish.
Over the winter of 2021/22, Walcon will complete the marina with the addition of the remaining pontoons and the supply and installation of a new bridgehead and a fuel pontoon.
The Noss on Dart Marina is just one part of a £75 million regeneration programme being undertaken by Premier Marinas following consultations with berth holders, tenants and the local community. The objective is to regenerate the redundant shipyard on the site with the aim of bringing visitors, employment and investment opportunities to what is a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty. When complete, the site will host not just the marina along with its office and shoreside facilities but also a hotel, a boatyard with a drystack, commercial buildings and a number of residential units.
Walcon has long experience of undertaking projects in sensitive locations, including a number of National Parks as well as AOBs. In particular, our fleet of barges allows us to bring and remove materials and equipment by water, thereby keeping heavy vehicles off the surrounding roads and minimising noise and inconvenience for local residents. Walcon also uses sustainable materials wherever possible and encourages refurbishment rather than replacement of its pontoons to maximise their 25+ years’ life expectancy.