Miami Boat Show, Bellingham Marine Provide Floating Docks to Save Florida vs. Georgia Game Tradition

The Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show® worked with Bellingham Marine and the city of Jacksonville to provide temporary moorage to save a favorite tradition around this year's Florida vs. Georgia football game.

More information below from Bellingham Marine's press release:

Last Saturday, more than 150,000 college football fanatics converged on Jacksonville for the annual Florida vs. Georgia game lovingly known as The World’s Largest Cocktail Party. Eager fans traditionally start docking their boats at the City’s nearby Metropolitan Park Marina on Friday, spending the weekend celebrating with in-water tailgating. This year Irma had other plans.

The Metro Park fixed docks were completely wiped out by Hurricane Irma’s storm surge. According to the National Weather Service, storm waters reached up to 6 ft. above normal high tides, an event never seen before, as Irma passed Jacksonville. Many normally dry places were left underwater.

With roughly 600 people needing the docks for game day, this posed a huge problem. City officials reached out to Bellingham Marine to see if there was any possibility of having docks in time for the weekend’s festivities. Fortunately, Bellingham had an inventory of temporary timber docks waiting in a nearby plant.

“The docks were built for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) as part of an expansion project for the Miami International Boat Show marina,” said Steve Ryder, Manager of Project Development for Bellingham Marine. “NMMA officials graciously agreed to allow the City of Jacksonville to rent the docks as part of their rental inventory program. The only stipulation was that they have them back before Christmas, so they will be ready for the boat show in early February.”

On October 24, Bellingham Marine began a two-day install of 640 ft. of floating timber docks for the City to use as temporary moorage for the big game. With a bit of luck and some quick action on everyone’s part, the City, NMMA and Bellingham Marine were able to come together to save a favorite part of The World’s Largest Cocktail Party.

Click here to read the full press release