Harbor Masters

With Oracle, KCI Technologies prepared Annapolis for Volvo Ocean Race.

Annapolis Harbor is one of the premier sailing centers in the U.S. It is a great source of pride and enjoyment for locals, and it generates significant revenue for the city of Annapolis. Shallow conditions used to mean that the harbor was not suitable for larger yachts, but a massive dredging project now enables the harbor to accommodate boats of all sizes. City officials were spurred into action by a desire to host a stop on the 2006 worldwide Volvo Ocean Race, but they needed to complete the project in just eight months. Thanks to a combination of project management skills, engineering prowess, and powerful Oracle software, Annapolis charted a course for success.


The city of Annapolis selected KCI Technologies Environmental Engineering division to manage the project, which involved a plan to dredge along a 50-foot-long channel from the City Dock to the Severn River. The project involved permits, water quality tests, ecological issues, and disposing of hazardous materials.

Learn how KCI depended on Oracle technology to assist with managing the various stakeholders involved, organize schedules and budgets, and keep track of resources. In particular, KCI used Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Projects integrated with software provider Deltek's CRM & Proposals solution. In addition, KCI relied on Oracle Project Costing and Oracle Project Billing.

On any given day, Annapolis Harbor is filled with boats of many sizes, their sails fluttering in the winds of the Chesapeake Bay. For the seafaring crowd, the harbor is one of the premier sailing centers in the country; for locals, it is a source of pride and pleasure—as well as revenue.

However, due to its shallowness in certain areas, the harbor is not suitable for larger craft. If it were deeper, it could be a stopover for boats such as luxury yachts, which tend to spend more money, and could thus generate more revenue for Annapolis.

City officials had been talking about deepening the harbor for awhile, but the 2006 Volvo Ocean Race spurred them into action. Annapolis has been one of the stopovers of the race, held every four years since 1973, for the past three races. When the race again picked the Maryland city as one of its stopovers for 2006, officials were delighted. In 2002, the event generated US$52 million in revenue from tourists who came to see the grand 60-foot yachts that docked in Annapolis Harbor.

The city would, however, have to address the fact that the new high-tech carbon-fiber boats were 10 feet longer, and consequently had larger keels with drafts of 14.8 feet. The harbor channel was only 13 feet deep in some areas. If the new yachts tried to enter the channel, they would risk running aground.

Removing the shallow areas of seafloor would allow the boats to pass through easily. But a dredging project of this size—requiring the displacement of roughly 24 million pounds of seafloor—is a huge undertaking. Environmental impact is a major consideration, as is the question of what to do with the 12,000 tons of earth pulled out of the ocean. In addition, any dredging project of this size would face regulatory requirements that necessitate a host of permits, water quality tests, proper handling and disposal of potential hazardous materials, and projections about the long-term effects on the Chesapeake Bay. Add to these issues the fact that this project would have to be completed in eight months, and it became clear that the city was proposing to sail into stormy waters. But a combination of engineering ingenuity, project management aptitude, and powerful Oracle software helped Annapolis chart a course for success.


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