A very important component of the maritime design process becomes one of properly assessing a perspective site, and advising your client as to the pros and cons associated with site suitability; and in fact must be the first step in planning any maritime facility. This continuing education program is intended to provide the design engineer with the basic essentials for performing several levels of site assessment as appropriate for the structures discussed within this text. These range from simple recreational piers to light commercial facilities. These basics are:
1. Fetch & Wave Climate Forecasting
a. Determining Baseline Information
b. Determination of Site Water Level Ranges c. Determination of Wind Stress
d. Determination of Wave Climate
2. Assessment of Site Soil Conditions
a. Simple & Preliminary Investigation Procedures b. More Advanced Investigation Methods
Each of these subjects will take the reader through the step by step process of performing that phase of the pre-design site analysis and will discuss the suitability of each for the respective level of service of the respective docking facilities. The procedures laid out herein are suitable for very simple recreational docks to more sophisticated procedures required for light commercial docking facilities. This course is a prerequisite for the other maritime courses prepared by this author, which include the other design phases of boating similar facility designs. Use of this course material for design purposes is strictly subject to the limitations and disclaimers set forth which are as follows:
This course is intended only as a study guide of design considerations and is limited to maritime facilities of the size and exposure discussed within this specific course. It is not intended nor is it possible within the confines of such a course to cover all aspects of maritime design. It is not intended that the materials included herein be used for design of facilities that exceed the size or exposure limitations as demonstrated by the examples. Nor is it intended that an engineer that is inexperienced in maritime design should study this course and immediately undertake design of marine structures without some oversight or guidance from someone more experienced in this field. This is especially important for design of facilities that are exposed to hurricane, high river stages, storm surge or tornado level storms. Rather it is intended to build the engineer’s understanding of maritime design so that he or she can work with other engineers who are more experienced in this area and to allow the student contribute meaningfully to a project. The author has no control or review authority over the subsequent use of this course material, and thus the author accepts no liability for secondary damages that may result from its inappropriate use. In addition this document does not discuss environmental or regulatory permitting, which is a key component of maritime design projects – these matters are best taken up with professionals who routinely perform these functions as regulatory issues can dramatically affect design.
Portions of this document refer to the US Army Corps of Engineers Shore Protection Manual and Coastal Engineering Manual; we wish to formally thank the COE and acknowledge the contributions and research done by the US Army Waterways Experimental Station, & Coastal Engineering Research Center, Vicksburg, Mississippi for there work in producing these manuals.