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Project Spotlight: Safe Harbor Allen Harbor Boat Haul and Launch Facility Improvements

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Safe Harbor Allen Harbor, located on the Narragansett Bay in North Kingston, RI, is a large dry dock storage facility with launch, haul, maintenance and repair services. The facility operates a busy indoor/outdoor valet service for 16’ – 40’ powerboats weighing up to 20 tons. The launch and haul area was limited and the Marina was seeking to improve its operation’s efficiency.


Safe Harbor Allen Harbor contracted RACE to engineer a lift well for a new 35,000 pound forklift. The negative forklift would be able to transport a vessel directly in and out of a well, minimizing the use of the hydraulic trailers. RACE prepared designs and the required permit applications for the waterfront improvements.


The shoreline and stone rip rap immediately adjacent to the boat ramp was converted into the negative forklift well. The existing stone rip rap was removed and an anchored steel sheet pile bulkhead installed to create the boundary of the lift well.


The shoreline material was then excavated to the required depth, reshaped and the stone rip rap reinstalled to armor the new slope.  The adjacent upland area was modified and regraded to meet the slope requirements of the negative forklift.


A reinforced concrete slab was installed between the building and lift well to disperse the heavy loads to the underlying soils. Additionally, the floating dock system was modified to fit the lift well to aid the staff hauling and launching vessels.

In operation during summer 2023, the upgraded lift well infrastructure has reduced the logistics and time a boat owner’s vessel is stored and ready for use.

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