Bellingham gives Elizabeth Bay new lease of life

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100-year-old Sydney marina reopens with improved access for small craft.

The century-old Elizabeth Bay Marina recently reopened in Sydney following a nine month redevelopment project which including replacing badly deteriorated timber work, improving public access and adding a new launching pontoon for kayaks and paddleboards.

While the number of berths has been increased from 9 to 13, local residents' fears that the redevelopment would pave the way for a new superyacht marina proved to be unfounded. Past proposals had sought to increase the marina size to over 40 berths for boats up to 30 metres long.

When the project was first raised, there was much concern expressed by local people,” said one homeowner. “The finished result is a credit to those involved and we now have a new facility that the local community can be proud of.”

Marina construction company Bellingham Marine Australia was involved in the refurbishment of the site, working with the local authorities to develop a layout that would satisfy everyone involved. As a result, the new facility has increased to only 13 berths ranging from 12 to 15 metres. There are also 47 swing moorings surrounding the marina as well as a 4 metre-wide skirted wave attenuator to protect the site.

We wanted to make sure that the final design would have public approval, as this is a community marina,” said John Spragg, president of Australasia for Bellingham Marine. “It was important that the new design not significantly alter the waterfront or the lifestyle of the surrounding community.”

In an effort to reduce the environmental impact and encourage growth of seagrass, the kayak launching pontoon includes an area decked in a grated material that allows light to penetrate into the water.

There is also a new cafe on site, called The Lookout, which has furniture custom-made from wood salvaged during the demolition of the old marina.

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