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2021 January February Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

Tavira (Portugal)

Tavira (Portugal) Marina Pontoons and River Landings Cascais, PORTUGAL +351 214 692 024 Barcelona, SPAIN +34 933 601 101 Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL +55 21 3942 8828

PONTOON/DOCK SYSTEMS & DECKING Surviving the storms From its beginnings in 2000, Canadian company ThruFlow has grown to become a premium decking manufacturer serving customers throughout North America, Europe, Australia and beyond. Over the past decade, the decking has passed test after test in severe storm conditions. Each ThruFlow panel features an open architecture design, built using a tough and hard-wearing 100% recyclable virgin polypropylene plastic, which allows sunlight to pass through the deck and maintain the natural ecosystem below. The porous surface is non-slip and heat-resistant, and provides protection from wave surge as, instead of buffeting the decking, water simply passes through. When Hurricane Sandy hit the US in October 2012, it devastated docks and piers in the panhandles of the southern states and across Texas. Docks with ThruFlow decking in the Gulf Coast area fared far better than most, with people reporting to Dean Meredith, president of Coastal Products Plus in Gulf Breeze, Florida that their dock was “the only one that survived as far as the eye could see.” Part of the problem in this region is shallow waterfronts. This means that many walkways are built up to 600ft (183m) or longer just to get to deep enough water to house and launch a boat. This leaves a considerable amount of personal property on the water vulnerable to the brutal force of hurricanes and storms as they build. Since Hurricane Sandy, other storms have pounded US states with minimal impact on ThruFlow decking. It passed the test for Hurricane Sally in September 2020, for example. “We received testimonial after testimonial from ThruFlow dock owners that their docks, piers and walkways survived the storms last year,” says ThruFlow president Otto Kjeldsen. “Homeowners, contractors, engineers and dealers alike sent in information.” Less fortunate dock owners, impressed to see ThruFlow docks still intact, became new customers. “We were shipping truckloads down south to fulfil the need to get people back on their docks and prepared for the next storm,” Kjeldsen confirms. ThruFlow currently offers five panel configurations to suit a range of marinas. ThruFlow’s original panel, the ‘Legacy’, is built using short glass fibres for extra durability against wear and tear. Panels are UV and damage resistant, and allow 43% of sunlight to pass through. The Legacy has proved itself in commercial marinas and natural parks around the world. The success Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Sally in September 2020, ThruFlow decking remained in place. of this product enabled the company to continue developing new panels suitable for a variety of marine applications. In 2021, Legacy will begin to give way to its new successor, ‘Legacy XP’, which boasts a better load capacity, elongated screw holes, thicker support ribs and the timeless Legacy look. ‘Impact’ panels are a newer, more cost-effective option. The panels are produced using straight polypropylene, allowing for continued durability but at a more affordable price. They include the same traits that made the Legacy panels such a success: they are easy to assemble, maintenance-free, with a non-slip and UV-resistant surface and a lifetime limited warranty. The ‘Surge’ series further improves on the Legacy panels, across two models – the Surge 50 and Surge 60, in reference to the percentage of light that passes through each panel. The extreme durability of the panels and their open design make them a great solution for private and commercial docks and marinas. Despite their larger construction, the Surge panels are just as durable as the Legacy XP design. The company’s ‘Sol’ panel, with an integrated solar panel, can connect with a system that runs from solar power, providing a clean energy alternative. This is an attractive option as more and more lakes look to mandate solar and alternative forms of power. The Sol panel, released last year, is now gaining traction by providing a firm walking surface with additional functionality. Only one panel is required to power a motorised boat lift, but the potential applications are endless. Finally, the ‘Aqua-dek’ panel, made from copolymer polypropylene, is a larger panel that can be mounted to wood, aluminium or steel frames, helping a marina save time by covering space quickly. It’s up to 75% lighter than other commercial decking products, allows for 45% sunlight to pass through and requires zero maintenance. In April, the company is set to introduce a modular wheelchair ramp that has a continuous handrail, no gap greater than half an inch, rail heights of four inches and a standard load bearing capacity of 800lbs (360kg). This extension, known as Qramp, utilises the Legacy panel in its system. – January/February 2021 33

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