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4 years ago

2017 January February Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry


BOATYARD & DRY STORAGE A flexible racking system has been installed at Saundersfoot Harbour UK, as part of a harbour development plan. Adjustable racking saves space Recognising that powerboats come in many shapes and sizes, UK company Wickens Engineering has created a racking system that uses adjustable beams and bearer brackets to enable stack operators to make the most effective use of storage space. Sales director, Tony Collins, explains the concept. “The horizontal beam can be adjusted vertically at each level to suit different boat heights. Adjustable bearer brackets mean that the width of the bearers can be changed to suit any boat width with minimum tooling and without any extra drilling required. So, as boats change and owners come and go, the racks can be adjusted to avoid wasting space. This is particularly important for covered or indoor drystacks with height limits.” To complement growing interest in drystack at marina sites in the UK, Wickens is receiving more enquiries from harbour authorities and owners of accessible waterfront. Many, such as Saundersfoot Harbour, have limited berthing and shore space. Saundersfoot – a small traditional fishing village in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park – has incorporated a drystack into an extensive harbour development plan. The harbour authorities sought racking for boats up to 6m (20ft) so as to maximise boat storage opportunities. Saundersfoot Harbour CEO Michael Davies knew there was sufficient demand for drystack but has been careful to introduce the project on a rolling basis to ensure continuity of service and best fit with the economic plan. “We introduced the drystack knowing it is a well proven, tried and tested model for boat storage,” he said. “We wanted to ensure we could properly service our customers’ launching needs so we have deliberately filled the stack in stages over the last couple of seasons, starting with 30% capacity. If we’d filled it 100% in week one, we would have had a customer service problem on our hands with everyone wanting launching and recovery at the same time. Instead, we wanted to grow the business steadily, building capacity and staffing levels hand-in-hand.” Wickens was appointed through a tender process to create a flexible system that could be altered over the years as demand grew and changed. The company created a racking system with holes every 10cm (4in) enabling the racks to be adapted for different height and size of boat, with the option to add a fourth tier in the future. Much thought was also given to transporting boats to and from the racks. Saundersfoot Harbour typically dries at two and a half hours either side of high water with the water level dropping to 300m (984ft) away across a flat beach. Rather than use a negative lift, the harbour opted to use a traditional Linde lift with a maximum 1.5 ton capacity, combined with a specialist boat launching trailer. This is advantageous for boat owners as it means they can leave and return at almost any state of the tide. They simply motor straight onto the boat trailer on the beach when they return. There are also positive effects on the local economy. “As well as fitting in with the harbour’s economic plan, the drystack has played an important part in rejuvenating the village,” Davies confirms. “Boat owners can now come and go without tide and weather restrictions, so they are getting greater use out of their craft and coming into the village more. Plus, we have been able to recruit more staff from the village as we have steadily increased capacity. We now have a waiting list for spaces in the rack.” Contact Wickens Engineering in the UK at 36 - January/February 2017


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