Work on the £1.4m project to replace two of the original QEII Marina pontoons is underway.
The project marks the beginning of a multi-million programme of investment in local leisure mooring facilities. It involves the replacement of pontoons D & E, which provide berths for 130 boats, including some of the largest vessels in the QEII Marina.
All current mooring holders have either been relocated to another berth within one of Guernsey Ports marinas, or will have their boats lifted out and stored while the old pontoons are removed and the new ones installed.
The work is expected to take around three months to complete. As well us upgrading the current facilities, it will also enable some rearrangement of existing moorings, to make better use of space within the marinas.
The area around Pontoon E, which is closest to the East Arm outer breakwater, has the deepest water in any of Guernsey Ports marinas. That makes it ideal for bigger vessels, and particularly sailing vessels with deeper drafts. The reconfiguration will therefore help to satisfy some demand for larger berths that are currently in very short supply.
The East Arm of the QEII Marina is being used to provide a temporary storage area for a number of these vessels, and to store and assemble the new pontoons. These are expected to arrive in the island later this month, and in total will measure around 500 metres when fully constructed.
Approximately 20 vessels will be craned out next week, and work to dismantle the current pontoons D & E begins today.
The supporting piles that the pontoons are moored to also need to be reinforced before the replacements can be installed. That phase of the works will also commence shortly.
The new D pontoon, closest to the entry to the QEII Marina, will be installed first. This will allow Guernsey Ports to begin moving vessels back prior to the completion of work in E pontoon.
Guernsey Ports project manager, Jenny Giles said efforts were being made to minimise any disruption.
"It has been a quite complex logistical exercise to relocate 130 boats, but the Marine Service Centre have been working with all affected mooring holders to find them suitable alternative locations.
"We are now working closely with our suppliers, contractors and Guernsey Ports operational teams to optimise the schedule for the works. That will mitigate any disruption as much as possible during these works," she said.
"We want to thank the public for their co-operation while we undertake this much-needed investment in the island's leisure marina facilities."
Much of the current infrastructure in the QEII Marina, including Pontoons D and E, date back to the when it was constructed in the 1980s and has long since reached the end of its design life. Further investment is planned, including the replacement of the current gates that impound water within the marina.