When it comes to the marine environment there are many factors to be considered from the saltwater aspects to operations and functions of the day to day comings and goings that will no doubt be happening.  The design and layout are vitally important whether it is a busy shipping container port or a marina albeit a big or small version of either.

Types of Designs

Small marinas for the most part house yachts and other motor cruisers type vessels right the way down to small fishing boats so these are designed for the smaller end of the sector in general.  Port shipping on the other hand is another story with the traffic bringing in cargoes of all kinds from containers to grains, all of the needs of their need have to be met so big commercial operations can be operated safely and quickly.

Legislations and Regulations

The above being the case in this short article we’re going to take a look at some of these aspects from a design point of view to begin with.  Safety considerations are a paramount part in the designs as are the other factors mentioned but there are also many stringent standards to be met by both national and international laws including maritime industry standards and (IMO) International Maritime Organisation regulations which all have to be adhered to in both design and function.  There are also codes of practice to be met as well so it is no small feat to look at all of the aspects first as well as the general functional layout.

Layouts and Design

The landscape quality and setting out a new marina, port or mooring facility is a big part of the project and there are more than a few aspects to consider here as well as it will be   consideration during the planning application of course.  Schemes have to be designed to suit both their landscape, waterside setting and visual impact  all have to be considered as part of the central design and planning process. You will have to place significant importance on this issue and it will also have to be put into setting the quality of the design during the planning application.

Advice on the landscape and other related design issues should be taken into account in order to help project in the right direction.  And it is very important to bring in outside consultants to advise and listen to professional advisors for at least second opinions before key decisions are made.  Topography, existing trees, vegetation, and adjacent land its uses and boundaries should all be considered at an early stage so that they can both inform and help to guide site planning and overall design plan, including access and security arrangements are important aspects also.

Landscape quality and setting of anty new marina, port or mooring facility will contribute to its success and is an important consideration during the planning application.  Schemes should be designed to suit their landscape and waterside setting and visual impact, functionality should be considered as a key part of the design and planning process.

Landscape and related design issues which should be taken into account in order to help steer the project in the right direction.  Topography, existing trees and vegetation, and adjacent land uses and boundaries should all be considered at an early stage so that they can inform and guide site planning and design, including access and security arrangements.

Any  Additional – ‘boat parks’  –  Floating pontoons – Shopping centers – Accommodation – Offices – Information centers – Power and gas supplies and other such information need to be built in from the planning in the first place.  Planning is everything in a project like this.

Mooring and Facility Layout

Moorings layouts and associated facilities inevitably vary from site to site if the project is a marina an as a rough rule of thumb, minimum approximate provision is around 94 boats per hectare of water, with approximately a similar area for parking, landscaping, access works and, potentially, disposal of on-site excavations. The shape and depth of the basin and the need to control access by non-boaters, as well as any such security requirements, will help determine whether individual pontoons, materials or a system of walkways with finger jetties to find which is the most appropriate.

It is beneficial to separate different mooring types and to locate boaters’ facilities where they can be accessed by both the main mooring customers and by passing boats on the waterway without this group needing to enter the mooring areas.  It is also advisable to grade mooring lengths with smaller boats generally at the furthest point from the entrance, and larger and visiting boats nearer to the entrance.

Proposals for moorings and marinas also need to take account of a range of associated factors, such as spacing between boats, length of pontoons, turning circles, prevailing wind, sea walls and barriers location of mooring points, pedestrian access, safety and security, emergency protocols on site with 24 hr support berthing and access to all of these facilities.  In some cases there may be a requirement for washing and medical factors to be implemented.  Facilities should also include water supply, refuse disposal, electrical points, fuel supplies and car parking/hard standings. All need to be considered as an integral part of the scheme from the off, and a high quality and well-designed marina should help develop both custom and income of course.

Importance of Lighting

For years lots of different kinds of lighting systems have been employed to light ports and marinas but of course there are many aspects to the lighting issue so some of these need to  be looked at in detail.

Experts from www.myledlightingguide.com The High Mast Light specialist say’s – “We are capable of replacing up to 1500 watts Metal Halide, while dramatically reducing your energy usage, allowing you to save month after month with reduced utility bills and get the best lighting output for your projects.  High mast lighting is the best option for both marina and port applications. “

The choices of these differing kinds of systems vary from colour strength of the lights is also needed to be factored in before any choices are made.  There are (sodium being yellow to metal  haloid being blue) so in this section we’re going to look (in brief) at some of these, their pluses and minuses to what kind of lighting is more effective and energy efficient for lighting seaports, marinas and open areas like this.  In military terms “fit for purpose”  means what is the best kind of technology that best fits this purpose.

Old Lighting Systems Traditionally Used

We started out with Sodiums for this but metal haloid came in to do the job which were good enough to a point with 5000 watt spotlights trained out on the areas but what we can use today surpasses these with the implementation of the new LED spotlight mast systems.

The historical development  shows we then moved over to the low and high pressure sodium range were mainly used for traditional ports and marinas “floodlighting” applications and there are even regulations for these.  Further on from this (obviously there were other kinds of systems but) metal halide lighting, and mercury vapour systems were developed.  Halogen versions then came along making each new progression better (to a degree) than the last.  Halogen was the key to floodlighting in many ways from the motorcar to the stadium at one point but they are now mostly used in headlights today for the most part.

Modern LED Floodlighting

Getting back onto topic now we have covered some of the kinds of lights used and the applications let’s movie onto the modern day system at the cutting edge of the sword so to speak.  This is the point where one of the most efficient forms of lighting comes into view which is Light Emitting Diode system kick in.  LED’s as they are more commonly known are the top most effective and energy efficient kind of lighting we see in the marketplace today and their uses are endless.


At the end of the day modern technology has proven the best systems today especially in the areas of floodlighting have easily proven to be the LED variety.  From cost effectiveness to luminal output they are now the best system to employ in an amazing array of applications.  If we look at some of the statistics regarding this fact there is no doubt floodlighting with this system is the best choice to implement  in 99% of the time as well as the variable applications it can be employed in.  A high mast  that is found at a sea port they are typically mounted 100+ ft in the air and provide excellent security lighting for the lowest cost in energy per output.  At the end of the day LED’s are the latest and best form of illumination we have at our disposal especially for businesses who wish to get the best result for the lowest cost.