To become a functioning oceanographic research and education center at our new headquarters in Gloucester we need a dock. In this case we hope to put in a non-permanent floating dock supported by pilings. This dock will have multiple purposes–we will be able to bring our own research vessels in and we hope to encourage other research vessels, as well as sail-training vessels and schooners, to tie up in front of the Paint Factory.
One thing we are particularly excited about is giving kids access to the water, whether it be working on a robotics program with Olin College, science projects with Maritime Gloucester and local schools, or just messing around in boats.
As with any project at the Paint Factory this is a long, complicated and expensive process. You need at least 15 feet of mud to put in a piling that can support a floating dock. If you don’t have that depth of mud you need to put in what are called rock sockets. Depending on the depth of the rock socket, this can cost from $8000 to $14,000 per piling. In our case we expect to have 10 pilings, which would mean $140K just for the pilings.
This Tuesday Prock Marine of Rockland, ME agreed to stop by the Paint Factory and drop in a few test pilings to see what depth of mud we had. Iain spoke with one gentleman who said–you never can tell, right next to a ledge you can have 30 ft of mud, or the ledge can extend out and you can have only 3 ft of mud.
We have good news to report for this first stage–they found an average depth of 15-19 feet of mud along the front of our facility. This means the mud in front of the Paint Factory is deep enough to support the pilings we will need to put in a floating dock. The next step now is to draw up plans and start the permitting process.