Marinas & Boat Harbors

Haven for Great Design

Marinas are prime gateways to adventures on the water and serve a vital role in our economy and society. Reid Middleton works with owners around the Pacific Rim to create safe and functional marina facilities that are enjoyed by the boating public. We work on all things marina, from master planning and marina development to permitting facilities to additions and repairs of piers and floats. There are a lot of things to consider with marina design, from environmental considerations to design elements that will attract boaters to choose a marina for moorage of their boat. Designing marinas for over 7 decades, Reid Middleton works closely with owners and users to understand and design for what matters most to them while meeting important environmental and safety factors. Below are some of the marina and boat harbor elements we design:

  • Dredging and Basin Development
  • Fixed and Floating Breakwaters
  • Piers
  • Fishing Piers & Cleaning Stations
  • Piling Systems
  • Gangways & Access Structures
  • Floats
  • Boat Launches
  • Bulkheads & Shore Protection
  • Shoreline Restoration
  • Upland & In-water Utility Systems
  • Parking Lots
  • Public Plazas & Promenades

03000000 SF of marina floats

071+ years of marina design

0110000 marina slips designed

Thea Foss Marina

Tacoma, WALearn More

Shilshole Bay Marina

Seattle, WALearn More

Fishermen's Terminal Docks 5-10 Reconfiguration

Seattle, WALearn More

Harboring for Moor Information?


Whether it’s a commercial fishing harbor, recreational marina, or combination of the two, a successful boating facility must balance a wide range of inputs and demands to provide safe, secure, and functional moorage for its customers. Below is a deeper look at some of the elements that go into designing successful moorage facilities for our clients.

Planning: Reid Middleton has developed a reputation among clients for its harbor master planning expertise. Whether it is a brand-new moorage facility or renovation of a hundred-year-old facility, we help our clients design and renovate harbor facilities with revised slip mixes and layouts to best meet the current and expected future market demands. Our harbor master plans are based on market data but also careful consideration of design requirements such as safe channel and fairway widths and modern slip and dock width requirements. Our plans are not just pretty pictures but plans that meet functionality and operational requirements with identification of realistic costs and phasing opportunities to assist the client in implementation of the plans.

Permitting: Reid Middleton has led over one hundred in-water permitting process for marine facilities including programmatic permits for repair and maintenance. This includes permitting for small repairs to permitting for renovations of large marina facilities. We understand the federal, state, and local process for obtaining permits. Our team frequently works with the Corps, and other state and local agencies as well as Tribal interests to obtain permits for harbor and marina projects.

We work closely with our environmental consultants to avoid or minimize environmental impacts from the projects. We integrate these considerations from the very beginning of the project in the conceptual layout stage and continue to incorporate them throughout the process. We understand and typically integrate these measures such as the Corps of Engineer’s Best Management Practices for the removal of treated timber piling, pile installation controls, use of grating and other materials to minimize shading from overwater structures, optimizing the number and size of piling, and incorporating cost-effective mitigation for unavoidable impacts into the project designs and permit application materials.

Plans, Specifications, & Estimates: After the groundwork of feasibility studies and geometry have been done, the plans, specifications, and estimates are prepared and finalized with the client.

Stakeholder Involvement: A harbor or marina facility’s primary purpose is to serve the boating customers that permanently moor and those that are visiting the facility. Boaters often have choices on where they can keep their vessel. We have proven experience in integrated stakeholder needs and desires into marina projects through effective project communications such as conducting operation and maintenance staff, customer, public marina advisory committees, and other stakeholder meetings and presentations. Our experience helps facilitate successful projects while also maintaining and building strong, long-term relationships between a marina owner and its customers. From input on adequate parking and loading zones, to sufficient dock widths and clearances, stakeholder involvement in marina and harbor design is critical.

Design & Construction Documents: Reid Middleton has prepared designs and construction documents for over 8,000 marina slips. These include basin systems such as dredging, breakwaters, and bulkheads, as well as inner harbor structures of piers and floats and piling, and upland amenities including parking, utilities, restrooms, gatehouses, and harbormaster facilities. These have ranged from brand new marina facilities to full renovations of large harbors, to minor renovations of dock sections. In all cases the designs must consider and balance the environmental conditions of the site, operational and maintenance needs, aesthetics, and elements with the available funding and physical constraints of each site. We work closely with the owners to provide a safe, well-functioning, permittable, durable, and aesthetically pleasing moorage facility that will serve both the moorage patrons and owner well for decades to come.

Construction Administration Services: We provide construction phase services for harbor projects ranging from review of technical submittals to observation of pile installation and float manufacturing to so that a quality manufacturing and installation process is followed that meets the contract document requirements. This is critical for a long life and durable facility in the often corrosive and extreme marina environment.