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.
Typically on our blog I like to write technical or educational pieces that have an overall focus on marina design best practice, innovation and industry trends.
I make a conscious effort to stay away from brand specific pieces as I do not want to compromise the credibility of our blog by including sales pitches.
This article strays a bit from my traditional focus but I thought it still worthwhile to share as many of our readers are familiar with the Unifloat concrete dock system and may have the same question one of our recent clients had – What is the difference between the Unifloat system you produce today vs. the one you manufactured thirty to forty years ago?
For all intents and purposes, to the untrained eye, today’s Unifloat dock system looks very similar to the ones manufactured by the company in the mid to late 1900’s – after all, today’s Unifloat is characterized by the same overall design concept as the original. The modules are still made from concrete, most commonly connected by treated timber walers, which are held in place by through-rods.
The topic of replacement cost is a subject I wrote on several years ago; however, I think it’s an important topic for marina owners and one worth revisiting. Whether you’ve recently completed a total rebuild of your marina or are beginning to realize that the life of your current docks is finite, taking a good look at the future replacement cost is an exercise worth doing. It makes good business sense and will help you better plan and prepare for the future of your marina.
The question for many marina owners is “what will it cost to replace our docks in ‘x’ number of years and how will we fund it?”
Although there are a number of variables that will affect the answer to this question, the heart of the question can be answered by calculating the time value of money and the future cost of a marina rebuild.
Here is a list of the variables that you’ll need in order to make a reasonable estimate.
To describe Marina Design as a simple process would be a lie, but it’s not magic. There are quite a few simple things you can do for yourself to ensure that the design of your marina is optimized for your market and your expected return.
One of the most important things you can do is team up early on with an experienced marina design consultant and construction company. They will help you avoid common pitfalls and will help establish a realistic masterplan for the site. Look for companies that have a long history in the market and a proven track record. Your strongest team will be one that is led by a single firm that has a rich network of marina professionals.
Another is, talk to boaters – owners, captains, crew, and anyone else who has visited a number of different marinas. It may sound like a no brainer but you’d be surprised how under utilized boaters are when it comes to marina design. In 2007, Bellingham Marine put together a focus group of yacht captains and crew members to hear what they had to say about marina design. This was the first time anyone in the industry had really sat down and listened to what boat owners appreciate in a marina. The process led to a better understanding of the level and types of amenities they look for. It also provided great insight about the type dock systems they prefer.
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