Maintenance & Repairs

American Marine Engineering provides and recommends regular annual maintenance of docks, seawalls, piles and piers in order to protect and prolong the life of your investment.

Maintaining Docks & Piers

Since docks and piers are always subject to adverse tropical weather conditions and elements such as sun, rain and salt, they require much more maintenance than land structures.

Wooden docks and piers should be sealed with Wood R/X Sealer Stain, once every 3 to 5 years.

Wooden decks, railings, and other wood surfaces require periodic oiling (for South American hardwoods) or staining and sealing for protection, even though pressure-treated wood is used.

Pilings must be inspected, repaired, and protected. If you don’t already have polyethylene wrapping on your pilings, it is highly recommended. Wraps should double the life of any wood piling by protecting it from marine borers and rot. If your pilings are damaged, Forma-Pile piling restoration is used to extend their useful life.

Maintaining Seawalls

When the ground is saturated, water pressure pushes on your seawall to equalize pressure. Installing weep holes allows some of that water to drain, making your seawall last longer.

Adding footers can save a seawall that has been undermined.

Dirt can leak out of the seams in a seawall. Adding hydraulic cement where pilings meet seawall panels to keep dirt from leaking out.
Seawalls, quite possibly are the single most expensive property repair that any water front home owner may encounter. Seawalls cost more than swimming pools and roofs. The investment you make to perform routine or required maintenance may save you the thousands of dollars in the long run. Most seawalls in Florida are built of concrete panels or limestone rock grouted together typically called “coral rock walls”.

Erosion, tidal action by nature, or boat wakes poses a serious threat to any seawall and separates the strong and healthy seawall from the weak ones. Summer storms in South Florida are notorious for dumping 3-6 inches of rain in just a few hours. This extreme load of water running off your roof, from your pool, or just a sloping back yard will test your wall to its limits.

Some of the things to know about your seawall are:

● Does it leak?
● Are there depressions appearing in the yard adjacent to the wall?
● Is the soil disappearing?
● Are there cracks in the cap of the wall face itself?
● Is your wall dipping, sagging, or even worse, bowing outwards?

Any of these conditions could mean you have serious seawall issues that should be addressed. Sealing and patching is a common maintenance practice. All walls have sections between panels, loose rocks, cracks, holes, or loose joints. All of these minor issues can be corrected by installing high strength marine grout to the affected areas. The grout will prevent sea water from flowing through the wall and eroding away fine sand and soil from the yard and under the wall. Second most common repair is footers. Often times the depth or penetration of the seawall no longer extends below the “berm” or base of the canal bed. This is called undermining caused by tidal erosion or upland pressure pushing sand fill out under the bottom of the panel.

A typical repair is to drive aluminum or vinyl sheet piling in front of the existing wall to form a row. When the driven row is in place pumped concrete will be installed to fill in the area created between the wall and new footer sheets. The driven sheets extend the depth of the wall. Another more costly repair is called batter pilings. Often times an old wall will show signs of leaning outward by as much as a foot or more. Causes usually are due to upland pressure brought on by pool construction or heavy loads like garden walls or big trees.

A batter piling is a 12” x 12” concrete piling driven in front of the wall at a 30 degree angle spaced every 10 feet. With the new batter pilings installed a new concrete cap can be formed and poured over them to connect the old wall to the new supporting batter pilings.

For any type of Florida seawall inspection, repair, replacement, or questions please contact us for a no cost estimate.


Why Choose AME?

American Marine Engineering is a FULL Service Firm.

  • Veteran Run / American Owned
  • AME is a Company YOU can Count on
  • Our Customer Satisfaction is ON Time. EVERY Time.

American Marine Engineering will handle and process all of the permits required for your project. For many who are not in the marine construction industry, permitting is usually confusing. We understand the federal, state and local requirements and can get it done right the first time. By utilizing a proactive work approach we are able to obtain agency permits in a timely and efficient manner. We will handle any extensions necessary and will act as a liaison to the different agencies to make the building process a seamless one for you.


AME applies innovative investigation technologies and experience to assist clients in the technical and financial planning of a wide variety of projects. Planning services include: Your waterfront property is more than just a lawn, a bulkhead, and the water; it is the connection from the land to the water. It provides a means for industry to transfer goods from land to water; it is how you and your friends go from sitting by the pool to cruising the intercostal.

An effective coastal site plan considers the commercial, industrial, and recreational connection between the land and water. It considers how to combine many varied uses at the one location where land and water meet. It considers the impact to the environment. It considers public access and safety.

AME Engineering has the experience to help you plan your waterfront property. From design of the structures and marinas, public access, and vessel mooring, to site utilities. We have worked with many award-winning landscape architects to bring aesthetic value, art, and beauty to your site through proper native plantings, hardscapes, interpretive signage, wetlands protection and mitigation, and even original artworks.

  • Site reconnaissance and data acquisition

  • Coordination and management of field surveys and geotechnical investigations

  • Site screening studies

  • Feasibility studies and preliminary design

  • Construction planning, scheduling, and cost estimates

  • Coordination of permitting activities


The experience that AME principals have accumulated on a diverse range of projects enables the firm to provide unique technical support and engineering advice to clients.  Consulting services include:

  • Review of projects at concept level and input into feasibility studies

  • Technical input into the planning of marine and offshore field investigations

  • Peer review of designs for marine based projects including ocean intakes and outfalls

  • Review of technical data and performance specifications for specialized materials of construction including engineering plastics and composites

  • Value engineering

Engineering Design

AME provides quality design services with an emphasis on providing solutions for marine, waterfront and underwater projects.  Design and analysis expertise includes:

  • Finite element analysis

  • Vessel mooring analysis and design of mooring facilities

  • Component design using high-performance plastics

  • Structural design using steel, concrete, and timber

  • Foundation design – including piling

Design Build Process

In many instances, it is more efficient and cost-effective to develop a facility on a design-build basis.  AME, as the designer, recognizes the needs of both client and contractor and has participated in numerous successful projects for the U.S. Navy, US Army Corps of Engineers and private and commercial residences, shipyards and boatyards.  Our input into the design-build process includes:

  • Review and interpretation of performance specifications

  • Development and refinement of design criteria and parameters

  • Preliminary design for bid

  • Coordination of field investigations and surveys

  • Preparation of submittals

  • Design of temporary and permanent works

  • Field inspections and supervision

  • Close-out reports and as-built drawings

Installation Engineering

The successful deployment and installation of complex facilities and structures in a marine or offshore environment requires careful planning and engineering skills.  AME expertise includes:

  • Interpretation and evaluation of site environmental and geotechnical conditions

  • Determination of resources for installation and construction of facilities

  • Preparation of detailed procedures for transportation and installation of sub-sea structures and pipelines

  • Design of aids to installation including pad eyes and rigging

  • Design of floatation devices and equipment for controlled sinking of pipelines and structures


AME quality assurance programs extend beyond the office and include condition surveys of existing facilities as well as inspection and supervision of new construction.  Services and capabilities include:

  • Detailed inspection of underwater structures including piers, bulkheads, and pipelines

  • Coordination of diver inspections including NDT

  • Evaluation of sites for new construction including coordination of surveys and geotechnical investigations

  • Inspection of steel fabrication

  • Coordination of materials testing

  • General inspection and supervision of construction activities