Convertible Floating Dock

Period of Performance: 03/20/2000 - 10/31/2000


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

ART Anderson Assoc.
202 Pacific Avenue NW
Bremerton, WA 98337
Principal Investigator


There are problems that both the Military Sealift Command (MSC) and commercial ferry systems have, which this dual-use design addresses. Sealift problems realized during past military conflicts have spawned ongoing studies with respect to commercially viable additional vessels and faster vessels. One of the logistical problems encountered by these vessel concepts is the "hurry up and wait" syndrome. The cargo handling surge that occurs during wartime in U.S. and foreign ports or the non-existence of ports in the theater or war, creates a sealift bottle neck. The Mobile Offshore Bases (MOBS) concept was devised to address this issue on a grand scale but has not proven to be financially feasible. More recently, the military has embarked on the Joint Modular Lighter System (JMLS) program to develop modular docks, both motorized and non-motorized, for supporting sealift Joint Logistics Over The Shore (JLOTS) operations . Floatable Docks which could be mass produced for both military and commercial applications, and are therefore highly affordable, can be moored with the Ready Reserve Fleet in strategic locations around the world and towed into the most logistically desirable locations when and where a military conflict arises. Because of the exploding market demand for ferries, and consequently more ferry docks, as well as the potential military market, the time is right for a Convertible Floating Dock to be developed, to meet the demand. The combined factors of market demand and the Convertible Floating Dock features, indicate that there exists a maritime industry opportunity for a product design breakthrough, which provides a highly flexible and economical system for commercial and military (dual-use) markets. Developing such a design, which could leapfrog the U.S. as a global competitor in dock system production, is commensurate with the MARITECH ASE Advanced Product Designs and Materials Sub-Initiative, under the Product Design and Material Technologies Major Initiative.