Ockers Marine Transportation Center at Long Island Maritime Museum (LIMM)

In 2019, BBS completed full-scale architectural, civil, structural and electrical engineering services for the Ockers Marine Transportation Center in West Sayville. The first new construction seen on the grounds of the Long Island Maritime Museum (LIMM) in years, the project incorporated design and construction of a post-and-beam barn-type boathouse built over an existing railway; it was intended to faithfully replicate the typical boatyard structure prevalent along the shores of Long Island in the 1880s era.

Development of the project required a multi-phased approach: The initial stage involved the renovation and extension of the marine railway, which now extends from the boat basin into the building. In the second stage, the boathouse – a Morton pre-fabricated structure – was erected in-place as a wooden-frame truss system with a standing seam metal roof and other exterior materials such as fiber-cement plank siding. The main work area was designed without any finishes on the insulated structural panels and with a wood-deck floors. The final design incorporates an open two-story space accommodating the work platforms/viewing galleries and a steel-frame (boat) hoisting apparatus. The building also houses a 1907 one-cylinder motor and 30-ton winch for the railway; it required appropriate electrical power and lighting.

The boathouse was built in the architectural style of the 1880’s and meant to set up a working transportation center with educational programs, boat maintenance, and group workshop activities. Today, it functions as a boat restoration shop for the Long Island Maritime Museum and allows the museum to expand its educational mission by supplying the place for the general public to observe and learn about historic boat construction and restoration. In recreating a working chapter of Long Island maritime history, the museum is better positioned to portray and interpret the once thriving shell-fishing and boat-building industries on the Great South Bay.