A Visual History of the Surf Sled Vehicles

In 1986 Longitude 123 designed and fabricated the world’s first surf sled (Surf Sled I) along with a portable cofferdam, revolutionizing the way marine projects are executed in the unforgiving surf zone.  View the slideshow to the left to learn more.

Related Projects

Outfall Repair Project - (Surf Sled I)

Location: Oxnard, California
Project Description
In 1986 the City of Oxnard discovered a large leak in their 24-inch wastewater outfall pipeline. This reinforced concrete pipe outfall had been constructed decades before and little was known about its underwater condition. L123 owner, Mark Steffy, was contacted by the City of Oxnard and performed a dye test to locate the leak which was found to be in the middle of a very active surf zone and buried 5 feet or more below the sand seafloor. In response to this repair requirement, Mark Steffy designed and fabricated the first Surf Sled (Surf Sled I) along with aportable cofferdam. This skid mounted structure was designed for launch from a support vessel moored offshore, towed into the surf zone with a bulldozer operating from the shoreline, and pinned to the seafloor over the leak with pin-piling jetted in on each corner of the surf sled. The cofferdam was then lowered into position from inside the surf sled as built-in air lifts excavated around the pipeline. Once excavated the broken area was exposed and the repair made within 24 hours of the start. This project was the source of two technical papers.
This project demonstrates L123 ability to innovate and adapt to meet client requirements.

San Elijo Joint Powers Authority Outfall Stabilization Project - (Surf Sled II)

Location: Carlsbad, California
Project Description
This project involved the stabilization of a reinforced concrete outfall pipeline offshore Carlsbad, California. Approximately 2,000 feet of this 48-inch diameter pipeline was precariously suspended above the seafloor and required stabilization. The project site spanned an active surf zone. Environmental restrictions precluded the use of beach or shore-based support systems such as a trestle or pier, and the surf zone was too active to permit the use of floating equipment. L123’s owner, Mark Steffy, conceived and developed the Surf Sled II support system. Steffy also conceived and directed the design of a unique pipe support system. After soliciting 71 engineering firms nationwide, and reviewing a short list of eight responses, the Surf Sled approach was judged by the owner to be the most practical, safe and economical solution. According to the client, the project concept and execution saved the client over $20 million dollars. The surf sled used on this project was the second of three surf sleds designed, constructed and operated by Mark Steffy. The project was the subject of multiple technical papers, articles in trade journals, and presentations.
This project demonstrates the ability of L123 to plan and execute major pipeline work in a nearshore or surf zone condition. It also demonstrates the ability of L123 to conceptualize and execute solutions to challenging underwater project requirements.

Oil Well Plug and Abandonment Project - (Surf Sled II - Jr.)

Location: Summerland, California
 Project Description
In 1904 a now-defunct oil company abandoned several oil wells on the beach in Summerland, California. These wells were improperly abandoned and leaked for decades. L123 contracted with the California State Lands Commission to plan and execute the remediation of these leaking wells. L123 owner, Mark Steffy, adapted the successful Surf Sled design and created the Surf Sled II Jr., a shortened version of the Surf Sled II design and capable of handling an oil well workover rig. All wells at the site were successfully plugged and abandoned.
This project demonstrates L123’s ability to plan and manage beach and nearshore plug and abandonment and debris removal operations.