Not all composite products are created equal, and not all FRP rods are suitable for use in the construction of pontoons.
The FRP pontoon approved Thru-Rod from Pultron Composites is a highly specialized product. It was developed by Pultron in partnership with world marina builder Bellingham Marine exclusively for use in floating dock systems.
Pultron’s one-of-a-kind FRP thru-rod will not fatigue or deform under long term stress. It has tremendous tensile, shear, and thread strength. It is specially designed to withstand the dynamic forces and corrosive nature of the marine environment. The rod’s specialized performance properties are directly related to the composite mix, a unique thread design, and use of a specialized nut.
There is great variation between products within the composite industry. By definition, a composite is made up of various parts. While products from different manufacturers may look similar their physical, chemical and performance properties most likely differ.
Therefore, it is important to know the difference between an FRP rod that has been designed and approved for use in a pontoon system versus one that has not been approved.
The unique berth at D44 in Long Beach, California, designed in partnership by Seabulk, world leader in solutions for the marine bulk industry, and Bellingham Marine, world renowned marina builder, was developed in response to a need for an environmentally friendly, low cost berthing system designed specifically for the docking of Panamax-class, self-discharging bulk carriers.
The berthing system developed by the team includes two stifflegs supported by match-cast, post-tensioned floating concrete platforms. The legs position the self-unloading bulk carrier and provide a load path to bearing walls at the top of the bank. The legs also support a walkway for vessel line handling and pilot access to the buoyancy float.
Polaris Materials, President and CEO, Herb Wilson reported the ship’s pilot and crew were impressed by the strength of the stifflegs and how easy line handling was at the new berth. Polaris Materials is the parent company of Eagle Rock Aggregates.
“The stiffleg system utilized at D44 delivered ship berthing and mooring at a fraction of the cost of a conventional pile supported facility,” shared, Mark Mattila, Vice President of Ports and Marine for Seabulk. Additional features and benefits of the system include minimal overwater coverage, pre-fabrication of components for quick and easy marine installation, and it’s environmentally friendly.
Bellingham Marine’s company strategy is fairly simple; provide each client with a solution that provides the best value for their specific project and criteria. In order to find a balance between price and performance, each project must be looked at through its own unique lens.
The company relies heavily upon the expertise of its employees, its experience in the industry, and its network of outside professionals to provide each client with a best value option.
Innovation is embraced as a means to achieve “best value” rather than a goal in and of itself. It is this focus on value and ability to provide innovative solutions that allows Bellingham Marine to excel in its niche market and to be comfortable and successful in taking on unique, one-off projects.
In 2013, Bellingham Marine was approached by a major supplier of high quality construction aggregates. The company was looking for an innovative solution for mooring its Panamax bulk carriers at its new import terminal at the Port of Long Beach in California. The existing berth structures at the site were designed for barges and would not work for what the company needed. They needed a solution that would allow them to moor mid-sized bulk carries and support an efficient off-loading operation.
Floating Dock Manufacturer, Bellingham Marine, Looks to the Composite Industry for Product Innovations
With a reputation for leading the marina industry in design excellence, Bellingham Marine looks toward the future with its eyes firmly fixed on innovation and user experience.
The company’s unwavering commitment to customer service, engineering excellence, and its R&D program are key elements of Bellingham’s success in the marina industry and some of the key motivations behind buying a Bellingham Marine dock system.
“Our R&D efforts have long focused on improving user experience,” remarked Bellingham Marine President and CEO, Everett Babbitt. “Higher freeboards for greater user comfort; increased load capacities to support large crowds and vehicles on the docks; improved aesthetics and design details to set high-end facilities apart; and continued product refinement to promote greater longevity have been at the core of many of the company’s product advancements over the past ten years.”
“Now, new technologies and major breakthroughs in engineering are allowing us to elevate our product offerings and improve user experience on a whole new level,” added Babbitt.
Use of telescoping pile in floating concrete marina design was first conceived by Bellingham Marine in 2006 during the design of a 150 meter long floating wave attenuator for the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli near Sydney, Australia.
Since its use at Kirribilli, Bellingham’s telescoping pile has been used on several other projects and is gaining popularity among high end marina owners that are looking for a mooring solution for their floating docks that combines the benefits of a traditional pile system with the clean visual look of a chain anchored dock system.