Work is well under way on a new environmentally friendly floating dock at Kaibo Restaurant, Beach Bar and Marina, and should be completed in a few weeks.
The design and construction of the dock is meant to be environmentally friendly.
According to Kaibo restaurant owner Daniel Petts, the old dock was solid and blocked light below, but now little holes punched in the new walkway let sunlight through to the water below so that marine life can flourish.
Where the old dock had a post drilled in the seabed at each of the slip fingers, Mr. Petts said the new one will only have anchors going down the middle. Because of this new design, it will have much less of a negative impact on the seafloor.
Mr. Petts noted the cost is a “massive expense” and one of the reasons the dock is taking so long to complete. However, despite the financial outlays, he says he feels confident that the work being carried out by Poralu Marine, which operates out of Canada and France, will be satisfactory because the company is one of the best and biggest dock builders in the world.
A dock is a key feature of the popular boating and day-trip destination. The Kaibo community developed around the first dock on the site, which was built in the 1980s for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II, who was brought by boat to officially open the Queen’s Highway along Grand Cayman’s northern coast.
The new dock, with some boat slips as long as 40 feet, will have a walkway connecting it to the shore. Built from aluminum and sturdy floating rectangles, the dock will accommodate 26 boats.
Mr. Petts decided early last year to redo the dock because the old wooden one, in place since 1999, had been through a number of hurricanes and was used extensively over the years, getting the worse for wear.
Some parts of the dock were still usable and those were given to other water sports operations, he said.
“We contacted the Cayman Islands Yacht Club because they had just put in their new docking system … before getting the new dock built,” said Mr. Petts.
Mr. Petts expects the new 250-foot dock at Kaibo to get lots of use because the facility will feature online booking, similar to how people book a hotel room.
“When you decide to bring your yacht up for the weekend, all you need to do is … log into our website, enter your arrival and stay-over dates and size of boat, and the booking system will provide you with a price for the boat slip. When you arrive, all you do is plug in – our system recognizes the reservation and electricity, water, WiFi and all the other amenities start flowing,” said Mr. Petts, noting that yachts up to 65 feet in length can be accommodated.
The walkway will have a gate with combination lock. People who make reservations for more than a day will be provided with a code so they can come and go as they please. Boaters using the restaurant or beach just for the day only need to tell their server they arrived on a boat and they will be given the code.