Robert Charles McGregor, Neil Sinclair Miller


The problem of the protection of shorelines and coastal structures from wave action is one of long standing. More recently it has become necessary to examine the feasibility of providing the same sort of wave attenuation for locations further offshore. Where the need for protection is in shallow water, close to the shoreline, bed-based breakwaters are possible and floating breakwaters may only be desirable on the basis of one or more of the following grounds: a) cost, b) requirement for protection being of short duration, c) reduced interference with currents, d) adaptability to changing performance criteria, e) poor foundations. As the water depth becomes larger, the costs of a fixed structure become prohibitive whereas only the anchoring fraction escalates for a floating breakwater. There is an extensive literature extending from 1842 on the floating breakwater concept. Most of the references, however, are postwar following the wartime stimulation of interest in aid of assault landings. Recent sources of state-of-art information are Kowalski (1974) and Adee (1976). The use of scrap automobile tires has been discussed by Candle (1974), Kowalski (1974, 1976) , Noble (1976) and Harms (1978). Candle was proposing what may be called near rigid mats of tires where neighbouring tyres move relatively little with respect to one another, whereas the Noble, Harms and Kowalski designs use the breakwater flexibility. In the Kowalski breakwater**, the tires are formed into groups which are known as modules which allow the breakwater to "breathe" and so dissipate more energy by internal movement as well as making construction easier. Several breakwaters of a fairly simple form have been built using this concept. These have been operational in the U.S.A. for several years and have successfully protected at least one marina through hurricane conditions.


breakwater design; scrap breakwater

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