The construction of a new marina at Safe Harbor Great Island nears completion on April 25. (KELLI PARK PHOTO)

The new marina at Safe Harbor Great Island is nearing completion in time for boating season.

“Most of the things that are built on the water in Maine have been homemade and put together over time and … nothing really matches up,” said Trevor Davis, assistant general manager at Safe Harbor Great Island. “This project was a rare opportunity to take a step back and look at what we would need to be successful going forward and make huge improvements.”

Safe Harbor Great Island has three projects in progress: the new marina, the installation of a Marine Travelift to move boats into and out of the water, and the construction of an additional building for boat maintenance and repair.

Trevor Davis, assistant general manager at Safe Harbor Great Island, stands on one of the new docks at the marina on Orr’s Cove. (KELLI PARK PHOTO)

The new marina will feature Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant docks with 50 slips, 15 fewer than before. Fewer slips will create more space to maneuver within the marina. The size of the mooring field will remain the same.

“This is a pretty rare opportunity to make this kind of investment in a site in one year,” Davis said.

Safe Harbor hopes to complete the Travelift and the boat shop by Oct. 1.

“We need a Travelift because we’re tide-dependent, which limits how well we can do our jobs and how competitive we are against other boatyards,” Davis added. “We want to make sure that we are competitive so that we can continue to employ people here.”

The Travelift will extend into Orr’s Cove on a pair of 165-foot piers.

A solitary sailboat waits for warmer days at Safe Harbor Great Island. (KELLI PARK PHOTO)

“The whole process has been approached with the idea that this is our backyard,” said Davis. When boatyard management was planning the project, they wanted to “do something that we’re proud of for 30-40 years,” he said.

Safe Harbor Great Island is the town’s largest private year-round employer, with 47 workers.

“This kind of investment ensures that we will be working waterfront for a long time to come,” said Davis. “We’re going to be competitive and we’ll be able to keep up with the industry and make sure that people still come to Maine to get their boats worked on.”

Freelance journalist Kelli Park has contributed to The Times Record, The Working Waterfront, Edible Maine and The Coastal Journal. A part-time college instructor and teacher of English to speakers of other languages, she lives in Cundy’s Harbor with her son, Kieran.