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Nov Dec 2015 Marina World

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DRYSTACK traditionally the main initiators of new port facility projects – are now putting pressure on port authorities to stop or significantly change certain projects; and amendments are being made to legislation to promote social integration and environmental management. These ‘drifts’ are not a threat to sailing activities but pointers as to how to run them. Naturally, this takes us back to charter and boat clubs, which bring good indirect revenues to port facilities as they have a much higher use ratio in terms of car parks, fuel stations, restaurants, provisions and supplies, than a private boating facility. The prime opportunity, however, to satisfy the new social demand is to implement drystacks along the coast, both in ports and other sheltered coastal and riverine areas. The stumbling blocks are urban constraints and, above all, visual impact. The latter has been a major obstacle for the development of drystacks in the world but, consequently, it is also a factor that has been much improved and developed. Why drystack? The benefits of drystack for the boat owner are plentiful: peace of mind; timesaving; security; safety; high reductions in maintenance and repair; fuel saving (up to 40%) due to a clean Above and below: renderings for Tifón Water Planet Tigre near Buenos Aires, an ambitious mixed use drystack project currently under construction. hull; lower insurance premiums; and boat cleanliness. Keeping a boat in a drystack is environmentally friendlier and availability may be better than for wet slips. Drystack also offers a great deal to operators and developers: • Investment costs do not usually exceed €15,000 per slip whilst an 8m (26.2ft) wet slip usually exceeds €30,000. • A drystack customer is permanent, not transient. • Ports can be restructured to leave water space for berths of greater length. • Staffing can be reduced. • Rental and charter companies can keep boats covered and thus operate out of season. • Insurance policy reduction is possible. • The innovation creates an image that helps to promote the facility. • Tax rates can be cut. • Towing traffic and inappropriate tow arrangements in port and residential areas can be reduced. • Pollution and carbon footprint is lowered. This could lead to lower taxes in the future. Hoist or forklift Drystacks are basically divided into hand operated (forklift) facilities or mechanical (hoist) based operations. In the USA and Argentina – two countries where drystack is most prolific – development has gone in different directions. Whereas forklift systems dominate in the USA, automated and semi-automated drystacks are performing well in Argentina. This is how they differ: 1 Initial investment: investment in hand operated systems is lower and implies less risk. 2 Operating costs: annual expenditure for hand operated systems is high in insurance, consumption, energy costs and also in taxes and human resources. 3 Yield: the hand operated systems can perform a boat launch in six minutes. If we add the return procedure, the yield is four or five units/hour. Automated systems can carry out the whole operation in three minutes, which increases performance to 20 units/hour. 4 Manpower: personnel expenses are 50% lower in automated systems. The forklift operator’s professionalism will mark the system’s efficiency and entails high www.marinaworld.com - November/December 2015 21

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