Guernsey Ports is commencing a multi-million programme of investment in the QEII Marina, starting with new and improved mooring pontoons for around 130 vessels.
Most of the current infrastructure in the QEII dates back to when the marina was constructed in the 1980s. Significant elements need replacing in the next few years and more than £10 million of essential investment has been identified.
This includes the replacement of the marina gates, which impound water within the marina so that the boats stay afloat when the tide is low, improvements to mooring pontoons, and other upgrades to facilities for boat owners.
In total, more than £20 million of investment has been identified across the marinas within the next 10 years to help address ageing infrastructure.
The first element will be the replacement of the two pontoons adjacent to the QEII Marina entrance, D & E. These pontoons are the most exposed to wave conditions and provide berths to some of the larger vessels and have therefore been subject to the most wear and tear.
They are at the end of their operational life and will be replaced in the coming months with modern, heavy-duty pontoons and significantly strengthened supporting piles.
This work has a total project budget of £1.4 million and will provide improved moorings for around 130 vessels.
Guernsey Ports Civil Engineer Jenny Giles said: “While the D&E pontoons have been well maintained, they date back to the construction of the marina in the 1980s and were designed for smaller boats than are currently moored there. They have long since reached the end of their design life and need replacing.
“These new, industry standard pontoons will significantly upgrade the current berths and allow us to optimise the configuration of moorings for some of the largest vessels in the QEII.”
Kieran Higgs, Assistant Harbour Master (Leisure) said: “This will create better and more secure berthing for the vessels on D&E pontoons. It will also reduce our ongoing maintenance costs on pontoons that are no longer fit for purpose.”
Guernsey Ports has written to boat owners with berths on the affected pontoons to explain the upcoming works and proposals for relocating vessels.
Construction work is scheduled across Q1 and early Q2 2024, when many boats will typically spend time out of the water for winter maintenance.
Ports maintenance teams will be cleaning, repainting and strengthening the piles that support D&E pontoons prior to installing the new ones, which have heavy-duty, galvanised steel frames supported by fibre-reinforced concrete floats.
“There will be some initial disruption over the coming months while we clean and strengthen the piles and then install the new pontoons,” said Mrs Giles.
“We are working closely with our supplier, contractors and operational teams to phase these works to mitigate disruption as much as possible.”
Mr Higgs added: “We want to thank these boat owners for their co-operation while we undertake a programme of much-needed investment in facilities for our mooring holders.
“We hope to be able to share details of some further improvements in the coming months.”
In total, around £64 million of capital investment and maintenance has been identified for St Peter Port Harbour over the next 10 years to help address ageing facilities and infrastructure.
Guernsey Ports has proposed above RPI increases to current fees and charges for 2024, including passengers, freight, landing fees, hydrocarbon imports and mooring fees.
This will help fund additional investment in the Ports’ ageing infrastructure.