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September October 2019 Marina World

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PONTOON/DOCK SYSTEMS & ACCESSORIES Marina dei Cesari (Port of Fano) is located in one of the most scenic towns in the Marche region of Italy. It has 400 full service berths and accommodates vessels up to 40m (131ft) utilising Martini pontoon infrastructure. and profit in recent years, building and delivering marina systems in its factory near Milan and liaising with other suppliers for products such as concrete breakwaters. Historically, 75% of all projects have been in Italy but in recent times a shift towards export has reduced this to around 50%. Overseas customers increasingly ask for customised solutions thus playing to the company’s strength. “We’re looking at cases where the timber, the fender or the steel structure itself has to be of a certain type,” Guglielmo explains. “Over the past five years, we’ve had several such requests, including the orders for Hungary and Israel, that have been significant,” he adds. As a small company that doesn’t compare itself with the giants in the pontoon sector, Martini pays great attention to economic impacts, is reluctant to embark on expensive marketing drives and lets the facts speak for themselves to promote the quality of each product. A good example is the installation in Rapallo, which withstood the terrible storm of 29 th October 2018 that destroyed the Porto Carlo Riva dam and devastated the city. All Martini infrastructure installed 20 years ago survived perfectly and elements that were 30 years old sustained just minimal damage. This level of durability and a range of key references in places such as Saint Tropez, Monte Carlo and Viareggio testify to the quality of the pontoon systems. Comfort and safety Like other responsible manufacturers, Martini has paid increasing attention to protecting the environment particularly with regard to concerns about deforestation. Rather than use tropical hardwood for pontoon decking the company developed a simulated teak using polyolefin resin, which is in line with the ISO 9004:2009 standard. The deck boards are used on jetties and walkways, and thanks to the wood grain effect obtained by using a special moulding process they look very similar to natural teak. In comparison with timber, however, they are anti-fungal and non-splintering, and require no maintenance. Available in two longlasting shades, to be mixed at random to reproduce the effect of real wood, the boards have natural bounce and are silent underfoot. All boards are sized to suit the specific marine conditions, the strength of the supporting steel framework and the range of likely weather conditions at the marine location. Via its partnerships, Martini is able to offer high performance breakwaters and high displacement pontoons with concrete floats. It also offers a special self-supporting gangway and a wide choice of swing arms. All pontoons are designed to suit the specific needs of every application. “The choice of materials is fundamental,” Guglielmo emphasises. “We offer hot dipped galvanised steel for the framework that sits out of the water as it’s a material that has high resistance to wave action and boat movement. For the floating support structure, however, we opt for aluminium alloy as it does not corrode even when in constant contact with water.” Martini’s Strong, Middle, Easy and Sport ranges incorporate a synthetic resin that is resistant to marine agents and to damage from UV rays. The Concrete model, by contrast, has a concrete shell and is fibre reinforced with electro-welded mesh interconnected to the frame by 20mm stainless steel threaded rods that run from top to bottom through the float. Both resin and concrete floats are filled with a closed cell expanded polystyrene core that is guaranteed to be unsinkable. Recent products include the swing arm, launched at Metstrade in 2018, designed to enable people in wheelchairs to safely and comfortably board a boat. For the future Although the Middle module is currently the most requested pontoon product, Guglielmo believes the company will place most emphasis on its Strong model for the future. “Customers tend to be more and more oriented towards robust, safe and long-lasting products,” he says. Changing climate and sea conditions, meanwhile, pose a challenge and a conundrum. “We are wondering whether we should adopt a meteomarine approach as we believe it is necessary for the customer to be aware of any risks that may be incurred when our products are installed in a specific place. If the location of the mooring system is wrong, especially in the face of weather changes in recent years, it can be very damaging for the structure. The big question is should we, as the supplier, make the customer more aware of these issues or is it the customer’s responsibility? We don’t have an answer other than to advise customers to buy a bigger module with higher displacement.” “The future is a dilemma,” Guglielmo continues. “We could promote the Strong model – but we would have to evaluate this from a commercial perspective – or we could make our customers aware of the increasingly important factors that need to be considered. We believe it is right that the client should first chew over certain factors and then we will be ready to give the appropriate advice.” - September/October 2019 49

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