Specific to our client’s needs, ATM has strategically assembled a full-service marina team with comprehensive experience and expertise in all phases of waterfront and marina design, engineering and consulting. This provides our clients with a strong, in-house team fully versed in all aspects of marina and waterfront development.

For more than three decades, our staff has been involved in over 800 marina and waterfront design and engineering projects worldwide.

ATM’s team of marina experts provides solutions to waterfront development challenges, constraints and concerns. We do this by truly studying the opportunity – focusing on engineering solutions, operational efficacy and sustainable economics.

Our professional team has many years of experience working together on unique and challenging waterfront projects and supports private and public entities, both domestically and internationally. ATM has developed a thorough understanding of what makes marinas successful; market proven, designed for the site-specific conditions and financially sound. Our areas of specialization include municipal waterfront revitalization, public and private marina development and redevelopment, and resort development.

Marina Market Analysis

ATM applies a formal approach to marina market assessments, adapted to every marina based on the needs and constraints of each individual project. Our extensive experience with marina projects worldwide gives us the insight to develop valuable positioning analyses and justified demand projections. In addition to standard business yardsticks, ATM has developed tools specifically designed for the evaluation of marinas. These tools facilitate the assessment of market demand, existing facility value and potential future performance.

These results are readily available to define key parameters for marina planning, such as facility size, characteristics and amenities needed to attract boaters. We also use our results as input for financial and economic analysis of the marina. Market position will be used to develop recommendations for rate structures and initial capital investment, while boater trends, cruising circuits and seasonality will drive occupancy and slip absorption.

Marina Due Diligence

ATM has performed countless due diligence and marina facility inspections to determine life cycle and replacement values for key marine components, evaluated whether proper construction and design procedures were followed, and conducted damage assessments. ATM also provides marina business audits, operation audits, marina market analysis or assessment of environmental liabilities, to offer a holistic assessment of a facility.

Our professional staff is experienced with the inspection and evaluation of existing marina structures (boat ramps, piers, docks, utilities, etc.) as well as breakwaters and shoreline stabilization structures such as bulkheads and revetments. Our engineering due diligence also includes technical evaluation of factors that may affect marine structures such as storm surge, current induced scour, or wave forces. ATM is keenly aware of ADA access guidelines and compliance issues that affect public facilities.

Our specialized marina due diligence and business audit services have been used as part of comprehensive evaluations for investment, acquisition, lending, or optimization of the marina business. ATM has diverse marina experience in supporting both public and private owners with due diligence investigations. Representative clients include:

  • Atlantic Marina Holdings, LLC
  • Sun Resorts International
  • The Ginn Company
  • North Carolina State Ports Authority
  • G.E. Capital Real Estate
  • Island Global Yachting
  • E.D. Holdings, LLC
  • Debis Financial
  • Maricopa Water District
  • Realty Financial Partners
Marina Auditing

With more than 33 years’ experience in marina and waterfront design, engineering and consulting, ATM can provide a third party/independent review of key physical and operational elements to assist marina owners and management with preparing their facility for the forthcoming boating season or to fine tune their operation for optimized performance.

These services build upon ATM’s vast experience with marinas throughout the world, and identify ways to improve the facility’s revenue generation potential, reduce unnecessary expenses, and identify cost-effective improvements that may be warranted at the facility to maximize its attractiveness to potential patrons.

Furthermore, ATM’s Comprehensive Marina Audit typically include a detailed assessment of historical financial statements, operational procedures, marina market and competitive environments, marina marketing strategies, and facility conditions. ATM can also develop financial projections for anticipated future scenarios.

Some marina auditing services include:

  • Facility Operations Review
  • Marina Market & Competitive Positioning Assessment
  • Financial Statements Analysis
  • Marketing Strategy Assessment
  • Alternative Scenario Financial Projections (Pro Forma)
  • Physical Condition Evaluations & Recommendations
  • Regulatory Permitting Support
  • Security Assessments & Planning
Marina Feasibility Studies

ATM’s integrated marina planning process includes a combination of upland development, marina market evaluations, environmental considerations, marina operations, engineering assessments, and financial planning tools. We have experience developing marina concept plans for a variety of clients, and have worked side-by-side with the most renowned international resort planners, as well as municipal planners in consensus-building charrettes.

Marina physical planning is a key step in our proven methodology, which also includes environmental impact studies, investment documents and engineering design. The outcome is a market-sensitive design that maximizes return on investment while enhancing access to the waterfront in public facilities and promoting sustainability. By addressing these and other issues, ATM’s experience-driven marina layouts are economically sound, operationally effective, environmentally acceptable, and well-integrated with other project components.


ATM has a long and proven record of accomplilshment conducting environmental permitting and impact studies, including early consideration of environmental data in coastal resort development planning and marina design. Since our inception, we have worked with our clients to improve waterfront improvement designs by merging engineering and environmental studies, which is now identified as best practice for sustainability.

We are now implementing proactive inclusion of environmental features to enhance the value of waterfront development projects and proposing innovative solutions to owners seeking improved public water access, wider community benefits, as well as social inclusion in tourism marinas.  ATM studies sea level rise and coastal surge and runup predictions during the early planning stages to inform a sustainable and resilient project.  We engage a site’s natural resources to enhance the project design.  We design living shorelines to provide a more natural buffer and long-term erosion control solutions.

Through our institutional activities, our staff are leading the efforts to shape PIANC’s Working with Nature philosophy to marinas and recreational navigation infrastructure. Also, our staff support ULI’s resilience program and the “returns on resilience” initiatives. Our innovative approaches to coastal risk mitigation and sea level rise adaptation follow the general guidelines recommended by ULI.

With our international projects, ATM has three decades of experience conducting responsible engineering and environmental impact studies, including early consideration of environmental issues in marina design. Proactive consideration of coastal hazard quantitative studies, innovative stormwater management solutions, and environmental design features enhance the value, and reduce the risks, of real estate projects.  ATM’s approach is based on optimizing the design, exceeding minimum regulatory requirements to achieve higher project returns.

Marina Financial Analysis & Pro Forma Projection Modeling

One of the more valuable tools in marina planning is ATM’s marina-specific pro forma analysis that predicts income and expenses over time (usually 10 years). Our staff has also developed a simplified “snapshot” tool for economic evaluations and quantitative comparisons.

Multiple “what if” scenarios and sensitivity analysis can be quickly evaluated by combining the estimated construction costs, rate structure, occupancy projections, income opportunities and the costs of doing business into a single numerical tool. This also allows for the formal quantitative analysis of alternatives, as a planning tool for layout and phasing optimization.

ATM’s financial analysis, along with market studies and comprehensive feasibility reports, have been used by lenders, bond issuers, investors, potential buyers, and joint venture partners in their decision-making for marina projects worldwide.

Marina Engineering Studies & Design

ATM’s engineers are experienced in addressing the challenges of marina structures through planning and design. Our extensive working knowledge of coastal environments and practical experience gives us a unique understanding of the site-specific needs of coastal structures and their effect on natural systems. ATM uses the most advanced analytical and numerical engineering tools for engineering design that conforms to the highest standards.

Our in-house numerical modeling capabilities of coastal processes, hydraulics and water quality allow us to optimize the design process. In addition, our experience in environmental sciences and marina planning provides valuable insight for a comprehensive marina design, and sets us apart from other firms that only specialize in engineering.

Marina Environmental Assessments & Permitting

ATM staff has used a variety of technical tools to assess environmental impacts and demonstrate effectiveness of mitigation plans to the satisfaction of permitting authorities throughout the world. Our experts understand the technical, environmental, legal, and public awareness issues involved in marina projects and have specific experience working within sensitive environments.

Our professionals have helped numerous clients address the environmental and regulatory challenges facing their waterfront projects and have effectively negotiated federal, state and local permits in the U.S.

We have also advised clients on the best approach to environmental impact analysis and permitting requirements for international projects. In some cases, this resulted in recommending new protocols and assisting local authorities in developing balanced criteria for marina impact evaluations.

Marina Grant Funding

Securing funding for marina projects is obviously a top priority for most of our clients.  It is essentially important to evaluate all funding sources available to maximize project viability, including consideration of grant funding. ATM maintains contacts throughout the marine industry and routinely works with our clients to identify potential sources of grant funding assistance for marine projects.

In recent years, ATM has helped its marina development clients receive more than $22 million in grant funding assistance to facilitate marina and waterfront projects. This has ranged from procurement of large grants for marina projects to funding for pumpouts and boat ramp improvements. ATM staff pursues funding opportunities from a variety of state, regional and local sources, as well as federal programs that include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Clean Vessel Act and Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG P) programs.

Bidding & Contract Administration

Since 2004 alone, ATM’s professionals have assisted our clients with over $250 million dollars in marina construction. Detailed construction planning/phasing, demolition planning, consideration of ongoing marina operations, project bidding, construction contract negotiation, observations of work in progress, pay request approvals, change order management, and contractor coordination are all services performed by ATM staff.

Our marina bid documents have been used for projects in the U.S. and worldwide for the selection of marine contractors and suppliers of docks and marina utilities. A carefully balanced approach allows maximum participation of all suppliers who meet project needs, with clear rules that encourage fair competition.

Post-Storm Recovery Assistance

ATM has successfully completed storm recovery, erosion control, and beach restoration projects worldwide. Domestically, this includes considerable experience with both federal and non-federal projects in South Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.

We are available to help with the following services:

  • Post-storm damage inspections for docks, seawalls, marinas, etc. (including structural, environmental, and operational)
  • Underwater damage inspections of submerged structures
  • Emergency permit application assistance for reconstruction of waterfront structures, including docks, bulkheads, seawalls, revetments, piers, groins, and geotextile structures
  • Cost estimates for repair/reconstruction work for FEMA and other emergency funds
  • Recommendations and design for new structures to avoid future damage
  • Post-storm damage bathymetric surveys for navigation purposes

Schedules are often compressed during a recovery effort, and ATM has experience responding to critical schedule requirements in permitting, design and construction phases. ATM has provided fast-track design and construction-phase services for emergency beach and dune construction following Hurricanes Hugo, Frances, Jeanne and Rita, Matthew, and most recently, Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Contact Our Team

W. Sam Phlegar, MS, PE

President, Principal Engineer


Contact Our Team

Timothy P. Mason, ME, PE

Principal - Waterfront Engineering