“The deployment of the Sealite Buoys was simple and straightforward. The modular buoy design allowed us to preassemble components for a quick turnaround into the water, and the barge was all we needed to safely and easily deploy the equipment. Truly an efficient, turnkey install.”
– Tammy Castillo, First Choice Marine Supply Tampa, Florida, USA
Big Bend Channel is located within the harbor of Tampa, Florida. The Channel connects to Tampa Bay, which then empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The channel width stretches a mere 200’ feet across and approximately one mile in overall distance.
The Channel is jointly owned and managed by three diverse companies, all of whom have the responsibility to maintain safe and efficient navigation on the waterway. The three companies are Tampa Electric (TECO), the Port Tampa Bay and The Mosaic Company.
TECO operates a power plant generating almost 2,000MW of electricity to support the local population of over one million people. Port Tampa Bay is the largest port in Florida, annually routing more than 37 million tons of cargo through the port as well as serving as a major embarkation port for the world’s largest cruise ship operator. The Mosaic Company stores and ships its products to all areas of the Gulf Coast, the Corn Belt (Midwest USA) and global export markets through its Tampa Marine Terminal. All three depend upon a fully functioning waterway for their businesses in the southeastern United States.
The joint owners of the Channel decided to replace the existing navigation buoys; made of steel, the existing buoys were heavy and difficult-to-manoeuvre, requiring specialized barges to perform maintenance. The hollow design of the steel buoys resulted in them sinking when collisions with ships occurred. All Channel stakeholders agreed that AtoN (Aids to Navigation) replacement was necessary and that alternatives to steel buoys must be considered, to ensure long lasting channel navigation aids.
Assisted by First Choice Marine Supply, the Channel Managers decided to install Sealite Trident-1400 buoys. These 5’ diameter buoys provide sufficient buoyancy and focal height to mark the channel, while their foam-filled, polyethylene construction is extremely resilient and virtually unsinkable after impact.
Additional security is provided by the Trident-1400’s two-piece design. Even if one piece of the hull is punctured, the other module will provide adequate buoyancy for recovery, and the damaged section can be easily replaced by on-hand spares. The polyethylene/foam construction also results in a buoy that is 50% lighter than the previous steel buoys. This enabled deployment and maintenance from standard construction barges, resulting in cost savings for the Channel owners.
Installation was done with a barge by Orion Marine Construction; no specialized vessels were needed because of the Trident-1400’s lightweight, resulting in additional cost savings. The deployment was accomplished quickly and easily.
As one of your new distributors (Belize and Honduras, Waller Marine Belize LTD), I would like to express my congratulations to you and your people in providing reliable, dependable and inexpensive products. Formerly we were distributors for a Canadian made product but these were found to be too expensive for the market and also offered only difficult and complicated programming. Our first order of lights from you (SL15 ™S) took only four days to arrive from Aussie Land, when I opened the box they were still flashing. I tested a SL60 (white) for four days (steady on) before it required a recharge…remarkable. I will be placing another order with Dana shortly keep up the good work.
-Capt Andy Suddes
We choose to sell Sealite … this is a long story, well we treat Sealite as our own and the relationship we have developed with Jeff and Chris and their attitude and commitment towards growing Sealite to this stage is remarkable. We feel at home when talking to them and the staff of Sealite and this in turn gives us more security and strength in selling products in India.
-Aliasgar E Patrawala
I just wanted to say thank you for the light and bracket Sealite supplied to Birkenhead Marina. As the other lights (old ones) need new batteries I will be replacing them with new lights from Sealite and the same brackets that you supplied with the light we received last week … Your product is excellent and the system of setting the light is good also. Thanks again for all your trouble.