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2021 January February Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry


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PONTOON/DOCK SYSTEMS & DECKING EcoPile is easy to transport (left) and versatile in application (below). section he had put in, built using the EcoPile,” says Porter. “Needless to say, he is rebuilding his other marinas with EcoPile.” “We have completed several smaller residential projects with this ‘forever dock’ system,” says Porter, “but we’re just now breaking ground on a very large marina in Grand Abaco island in the Bahamas.” Grand Abaco was completely wiped out by the category 5 hurricane Dorian in 2019. In selecting EcoPile to replace the lost marina, “the marina owner wanted to build a maintenance-free system with traditional looks – and it should stand a much better chance at surviving the next large storm,” says Porter. Another marina management company has committed to rebuilding all its new marinas with the EcoPile. It has developed its own system for installation that makes it much quicker and easier to get the job done. “They bring in 40ft (12m) prefabricated walkways, hold them out with a temporary jig and drive the piling right through the walkway. They are able to build several slips, with lifts, in a fraction of the time they would have if they did it the normal way.” Saving trees The EcoPile is the ideal solution for the environmentally-conscious marina owner because the majority of its plastic components are recycled. Each 30ft (9m) EcoPile uses around 250lbs (113kg) of recycled plastics. “For each EcoPile, you are also saving not just one tree from being cut down, but several over the useful life of the product,” says Porter. EcoPile estimates that more than one hundred 55 gallon drums of copper chrome arsenate (CCA) enters the waterway every day in just Florida alone. Several studies have shown how deleterious this chemical is for the marine ecosystem, Porter says. But EcoPile’s compounds are National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)-approved, meaning they do not leach into the water. Cost competitive Switching from wood piles to the EcoPile will typically increase the overall cost of a job by only around 10%, with the added benefit that marina owners will never have to change the foundation of the structure again. Yet, compared to other composites on the market, the EcoPile is considerably cheaper, Porter claims, at around half the price of a comparable glass fibre piling. Other synthetic systems are typically too expensive for residential or lighter commercial use, but both markets have now received the EcoPile. “It is really worth the extra 5-10% upfront cost to have a foundation that will last you forever. You can change the deck boards later on but, if the foundation goes, there is really nothing you can do. With chemical treatments becoming less effective and the borers only getting worse, building a dock on wooden pilings is like building a house with a wood foundation right in the middle of a termite field. The EcoPile will cost you a little more upfront but the cost over the lifespan of the dock/ marina will be greatly reduced.” Shoreline Plastics works in tandem with another company based in Ocala, Florida called WearDeck, which makes a speciality composite deck board that has a glass fibre mesh pultruded in the product. This makes the boards very stiff – comparable to wood. “By combining their composite boards with our composite piling, we can make a dock that looks like a traditional wooden dock, but is 100% composite and should last virtually forever,” Porter adds. “To date, every contractor that has used the EcoPile has had nothing but great things to say about it and has tried to convert all their future projects to it. It’s a newer product, but the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and vinyl sheet piling has really paved the way for the EcoPile to be accepted without any pushback.” – January/February 2021 49

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