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Post Info TOPIC: Building concrete docks as a business


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Building concrete docks as a business

Building docks, boat slips keep Kehoe Marine Construction afloat


Work hasn’t been hard to find for Sarah and Ken Kehoe. The couple behind Kehoe Marine Construction have been busy in their office and workshop on the St. Lawrence River trying to keep up with demand for their stationary and floating docks and boatlifts.

While the couple first got into the business by building boat slips for residential homes, their firm has started to focus more on large projects at privately- and publicly-run marinas in eastern Ontario.

Demand for commercial work has steadily increased in the last five years as the firm has made a name for itself locally.

“It started residential, but as we got bigger ... we got into more commercial work,” says Ken Kehoe.

In the last year, Kehoe Marine won about 90 per cent of the work it bid on and constructed new docks at almost every private and municipally-run marina between Rockport in the east and Kingston to the west. The company has also done work at marinas along the Rideau Canal.

Demand in the region for Kehoe Marine’s services have been so high this year that it was backlogged with orders in September, Kehoe Marine’s traditional busy season. And while other companies cut back on advertising as the economy sank, Kehoe Marine doubled their budget, designed a new website and created mailers in the hopes of landing clients farther west along Lake Ontario.

“(The business) has been consistently growing,” says Ken Kehoe, who oversees projects and is rarely in the office.

The Kehoes first got into the dock construction business more than five years ago. At the time, both had full-time jobs that ate up the work week. On nights and weekends, Ken Kehoe moved from welding repairs to building residential boating docks.

The first floating dock Ken Kehoe built was a 60-foot dock at a residential home on the water in eastern Ontario.

A neighbour noticed the work and asked the Kehoes to build a similar dock for their property. Things steamrolled from there and suddenly the couple was inundated with calls.

The work became too much and the two quit their jobs and threw themselves into Kehoe Marine. “Best decision we ever made,” says Sarah Kehoe. who runs the office.

Over the years, the couple has expanded their business to 10 workers from four, built an all-weather workshop on the water in January 2008 with overhead welders that cover the entire workspace and built their fleet to three tug boats and five barges that haul equipment, workers and materials to marinas and homes.

Currently, the company is building 70 new floating docks to add to the complement of about 30 slips in the eastern section of the marina at Ivy Lea, just to the east of Gananoque.

The work builds on the 80 stationary slips Kehoe Marine installed in the western portion of the marina in 2007.

The Ivy Lea marina expansion has been two years in the making and will also see Kehoe Marine build a floating, concrete-topped breakwater in the harbour to handle waves of up to six feet in height and eliminate the bottom interference caused by traditional breakwaters made up of large mounds of rocks.

Kehoe Marine will be removing the stone breakwater at the Ivy Lea marina to complete the expansion.

Kehoe Marine builds most of its docks at its workshop on the Thousand Islands Parkway outside Gananoque.

Hauling equipment and materials on the water by barge can triple the amount of time it takes to do a job, Ken Kehoe says.

The company doesn’t make the spiral-welded steel tubes that are central to floating docks and instead buys them pre-fabricated for a job, usually storing them on-site until the work needs to be done.

Commercial work has mainly been focused on installing floating docks, which rise and fall with the water levels, but are not as firm as stationary structures.

The company has specialized in building stationary docks with a process that doesn’t usually require underwater welding, but if underwater welding is required, the company will contract out the work.

Kehoe Marine workers place a casing on the underwater floor of the harbour and drill into the bedrock.

The hole in the bedrock is smaller than the diameter of the steel pipe that supports the dock to create resistance to hold the pipe in place.

Once the pipe is hammered into position, the casing is removed.

The floating docks are made with 3/16” spiral-welded steel tubing that lie underneath cedar or pressure-treated staving and decks and may have a steel frame holding up a corrugated-steel roof to cover the boat.

-- Edited by admin on Sunday 29th of January 2012 04:34:45 PM



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Posts: 11012

Reading List:

Basic Concrete Engineering for Builders with CDROM / Design of Concrete Structures / Strength Design for Reinforced - Concrete Hydraulic Structures Engineering Manual on CD / Design of Offshore Concrete Structures / Construction of Marine and Offshore Structures, Second Edition (Civil Engineering - Advisors) / The Dock Manual: Designing/Building/Maintaining / Theory and Design of Concrete Shells / Thin Shell Concrete Structures / design procedures of reinforced concrete shell structures (JGJT 22-98) / Understanding Structures / Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World's Most Common Man-made Material / Concrete Construction Manual (Construction Manuals (englisch)) / Large Wind Turbines: Design and Economics / Dynamics of Offshore Structures / Offshore Technology in Civil Engineering / Design of Offshore Concrete Structures / Concrete in the Marine Environment (Modern Concrete Technology) /

Ship-Shaped Offshore Installations: Design, Building, and Operation / Developments in Offshore Engineering: Wave Phenomena and Offshore Topics / Wave Forces on Offshore Structures / Subsea Engineering Handbook / Nonlinear Waves and Offshore Structures (Advanced Series on Ocean Engineering) (Advanced Series on Ocean Engineering) / The Maritime Engineering Reference Book: A Guide to Ship Design, Construction and Operation / Marine Hydrodynamics / Random Seas and Design of Maritime Structures (Ocean Engineering) (Advanced Series on Ocean Engineering) /

-- Edited by admin on Saturday 17th of March 2012 06:36:43 PM

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