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Marina developments can range from simple infrastructures to slipways, pontoons, and large waterside complexes, and here at The Rothen Group we are proud to work with many public and private clients. Whatever the scale of your marina project we can provide our specialist services at every stage of the process from the design and planning through to the construction itself.

In its simplest form, a marina is a dock used for boats, sailboats, and yachts. Unlike harbours which are used for the docking of larger vessels, marinas tend to be used by smaller boats, with both leisure and business users alike benefitting from the access a marina provides. The design of the marina often dictates its use, such as being a ferry crossing point for passengers, a quick way to transport goods, or to facilitate tourism with complexes that offer a waterside view.

The Rothen Group Marina Construction
The Rothen Group Canal Moorings

Marina facility design

Marinas provide an excellent space for boaters and other marine leisure users to enjoy the water with convenient access, protection from the elements, mooring and facilities such as cafes, bathrooms, and shops. However, they can be harmful to the environment if their impact on the surrounding area is not controlled through excellent design.


There are many factors to consider during the design process of a marina, including the topography of the land, water quality, the ecosystem, potential capacity, access, services, and any protective structures which may be required. With so many aspects to consider, it is important to utilise the services of experienced marina contractors, and through our skills, knowledge, and specialist equipment, our team will ensure your project is a success. The following are some of the key factors our team consider when designing a marina:


  • The area available – Unlike ocean and sea based marinas which often have vast amounts of space available, in land river and lakeside marinas are often more limited in size. Our team will advise on the space and layout needed to accommodate the vessels that are most likely to visit and use the marina.


  • The budget – The cost of building a marina can vary widely, however through our vast experience we are able to accurately quote for the works and will closely follow an agreed budget. Our team are able to advise on long-term cost saving design solutions, such as dock materials which are low maintenance and long-lasting.



  • The size and type of boats – The target customers will greatly impact potential design options as the boats will need sufficient space to dock. If you are planning on attracting larger vessels, you will need to consider adding infrastructure such as lifts and side-tie spaces. In comparison, inland marinas will often attract smaller boats, so you are likely to need a high number of small slips.


  • The environment – Maintaining water quality and protecting the surrounding environment is very important, so the design should always maintain or aim to improve water and habitat quality. For example, the marina can replace natural habitats for feeding and spawning by incorporating shallow, quiet and sheltered areas into the design. The design should also avoid the need for excess dredging to create areas of deep water, as this can slow the water flow and reduce oxygen levels within the marina basin.


  • Material choices – We always aim to use materials which are environmentally neutral and durable, with structures and pilings often designed to use reinforced concrete, coated style, plastic and vinyl sheet piling. Where shorelines need to be protected from erosion, soft approaches are used wherever possible which use vegetation to stabilise the area and enhance the natural habitats.


  • User expectations - Who will use the marina and what will they expect to find? Does the marina need to offer basic services, or will it be a luxury destination with shops, restaurants, and cafes? Ultimately, the marina should offer the capacity, services and access which is in demand in the area, so that the project delivers and excellent return on investment.

What stages are involved in marina design?

Our team work closely with key professionals from the initial concept discussions through to the opening of an operating marina, with our team of engineers and contractors able to accurately design and build successful and efficient marinas throughout the UK. The following are key stages within every marina project, and our team are on hand to provide the knowledge and practical services needed throughout:


  • Feasibility studies

  • Market research  

  • Site appraisals

  • Environmental investigations

  • Completion of the design

  • Obtaining planning permission

  • Marina construction

The Rothen Group – UK Marina Design & Construction

Throughout the UK we have built an excellent reputation with boating clubs, marinas, waterside complexes, mooring facilities and waterway trusts, and we are regularly involved in many maintenance and construction projects. From the construction of new marinas to the expansion and installation of new moorings, our team have the experience, equipment and knowledge needed to design and construct the best solution. To find out more about our marina construction services, contact our team today and we will be more than happy to discuss your requirements.

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