If you have been in or out of Middle River in the Upper Bay in the last year and half, you can’t help but notice the activity going on at Bowleys Marina. On August 24, the members and board of directors at Bowleys Marina celebrated the grand opening of the $3.2M improvement of its pier facility. This project is the largest re-build effort in the marina's history (originally constructed in the 1950s).

bowleys marina
From left: John Olszewski, Baltimore County Executive; Larry Markle, president, Bowleys Marina; and Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins at the August 24 ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by PropTalk

The main construction consists of the building of the new floating F pier, which is not only providing wave attenuation and protection for the marina, but new dockage for large transient yachts traveling on the ICW. F pier also includes a new fuel pier with high volume dispensing systems and the required electrical power for large yachts. Additionally, the new construction includes new floating T head dockage at the end of D and E piers, and floating concrete wave attenuation on A pier. This project is Phase 1 of the construction. Future construction is planned for E pier and the rest of the piers in the marina as well.

Located near the mouth of Middle River, the marina is very susceptible in the spring and fall months to westerly winds that raise waves in the marina basin. To reduce the impact of those winds and boat wakes, the marina installed two wave attenuators. The wave attenuators are the first phase of a six-phase project that will replace the marina’s current piers with floating docks that are being engineered by Whitney Bailey Cox & Magnani. The wave attenuators replaced a failed, fixed timber-wave fence that had vinyl sheet pile walls. Marine Technologies Inc. of Baltimore demolished and removed the old dock before installing the new Marinetek system. 

bowleys marina
The new floating F pier provides new dockage for large transient yachts traveling on the ICW. Courtesy of Bowleys Marina

At the south-west corner of the marina, where the fetch is longer, the marina chose Marinetek to provide a floating concrete breakwater that is designed for waves up to five feet high. “The system is 14-feet wide, by six-feet tall with twin keels,” said Bob Berry, project development manager of Marinetek North America. It includes 40-foot dock sections and 50-foot dock sections that weigh approximately 43 tons. The docks are anchored with 24-inch-diameter steel pipe piles, internal to the docks with stainless steel pipe guides.

On its West side, the marina is re-configuring its entire fuel pier. “We’ve shortened a couple of piers and have installed a new 488-foot fuel dock with transient and long-term lease slips. That is more of a hybrid system with timber truss construction and concrete wave attenuation panels suspended beneath it,” said Ed Harwood, marina manager. Meeco Sullivan is building this attenuator/fuel dock.

To accommodate more boaters, Bowleys Marina is also now an authorized dealer for HydroHoist Boat Lifts. Since 1964, HydroHoist has led the market through its industry award-winning innovation and engineering to provide the latest in boat, personal watercraft, and dock protection. Bowleys offers the HarborHoist Floating Boat Lift, the most versatile boat lift in the HydroHoist family. The HarborHoist has a lifting capacity of 4400 to 25,000 pounds, and can accommodate boat lengths up to 40 feet.