TPA Pontoons provide custom mooring solution for the launch of a new marina

13 Jul
TPA’s VersaDock system helps to weather the storm for the Bailey Bridge Marina.

Modular pontoons from specialist access solutions provider TPA have helped a ground-breaking marina enjoy the peaks, and troughs, of its first month in business.

Will Eveleigh, owner of the Bailey Bridge Marina on the River Stour in Christchurch, Dorset, required a custom mooring solution to provide waiting berths for the 40 boats stored at the new marina site. TPA specified 300m2 of their modular, lightweight VersaDock pontoons with custom I-beam brackets to cater for the six-foot tidal range.

The pontoons used for eight all-year-round moorings have been hired for a year, the rest were purchased outright to be used as holding berths for the 40-boat dry stack, which is operated through an online app – the first of its kind in the UK.

Clients use the app to book a time slot to have their boat launched on the water by a JCB  516-40 telehandler with a Roodberg five-tonne hydraulic trailer, and then when they are finished, the app organises for the boat to be recovered by the same method and stored back safely in its dry stack.

The concept has proved so popular (Christchurch had a 50-boat waiting list for moorings) that the £200,000 marina was fully booked before it opened at the beginning of April, helping a jubilant Will to realise his three-year-plan within a month.

That was the peak. The trough was the 63mph winds experienced during a ferocious storm over the early May Bank Holiday weekend. However, through it all, the TPA modular pontoon floats, fixed in place via the I-beam mooring brackets, have remained constant.

The installation was carried out by the client and his team and took a week and four truckloads of pontoon equipment including handrails and integrated cleats and fenders.

“It all went very smoothly. The instructions were very self-explanatory and TPA were on the end of the phone if I had issues. The pontoons even held together extremely well during the storm,“ said Will Eveleigh .

“TPA were first in line for me. I was familiar with the company and brand, it was good value for money, and we were keen to use the Versadock system.”

Bailey Bridge Marina was built on a former MoD site that until the 1950s was used for special operations including unique military watercraft testing. It is also the site of a prototype bailey bridge, hence the name.

The site of the marina, which caters for 50 motorboats up to eight metres in length, had been derelict for more than 30 years when Will bought it. He runs it in conjunction with his marine engineering business, Rivershack Boats, based in the centre of Christchurch, and is currently working with TPA to potentially increase the pontoon mooring area to accommodate more vessels.

TPA Pontoons is a market-leading hire provider of modular floating pontoons, water diversion equipment and safety boats for a wide range of applications across an array of industry sectors throughout the UK and Europe including construction, marine, events and military.