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July August 2019 Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry


MARINA REFURBISHMENT re-engage in your environmental good practice: do it at project planning and mitigate the negative effects with a well prepared and effective plan. Power supply Many times, after using automatic reading from power pedestals, marinas realise that having a relatively small number of berths (less than 150 is a figure I adopt as average) such automation is not really necessary. In older marinas, most particularly, the ducts are not prepared to give the signal cables the protection they need. Humidity will cause the cables to increase their resistance, and heat, together with humidity, will make the cable’s outside layer lose elasticity and generate cracks. The mice and rats will have a feast; there’s hardly anything better than a good cable to sharpen their teeth. A well-trained dockhand team can take the meter readings of up to 150 berths perfectly well… and visually inspect the pedestals at the same time. Local electrical installation rules must be checked as there may be changes since the original installation was made. In the USA, observance of NFPA 70, art. 555 covering marinas and boatyards is of capital importance. There are some grey areas in the ruling and more than one professional opinion should be sought. If your shore switches did not trigger very often in the summer, when boat owners use their aircon for the whole day, your marina wiring does not need increased capacity. Check cable elasticity (can be lost by UV radiation) and shear. Check voltage at the furthest pedestal and at maximum consumption. If fitted with 50A sockets, ask the boat owner to switch everything on until it draws at least 40A. Why? If the supply cables are humid or damaged they will increase their resistance and make the voltage drop. The effect is strongest at the end of the line. I am mentioning action any marina can take as a very first assessment of what should be refurbished. No special instruments, no technical knowledge beyond the very basic knowledge every maintenance crew should have. Earth leaks Now to a more specific and often neglected subject: earth leaks. The RCD (Residual Current Device) or GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) that must be fitted to every electrical circuit installation reacts to the sum of the earth leaks in such a circuit. The electrical leaks can be generated by the marina (usually via humidity in switches, contacts or damaged cables) or boat generated. A Leakage Clamp Meter to measure earth leak current starts at approximately US0. It is a phenomenal tool that carries out lifesaving control and maintenance. And this final sentence is not an exaggeration: a 100mA current flowing between a boat and the shore will paralyse a swimmer to the point of not being able to breathe or shout for help. Food and Beverage F&B is a must in every marina. Whether serving just a few tables, bites on the bar or as a full restaurant offering an onboard catering service, now is the moment to make the changes you feel your F&B business needs. A new fryer, Left: Refurbishment work can generate lots of pollution, litter, dust, noise and the need to dispose of old elements. Mitigate the negative effects by planning ahead. Below: In addition to removing obsolete equipment, pay attention to adding unobtrusive extras such as low impact lighting for public spaces. bigger fridges, enlarged terrace, new awning? Do not forget to reassess the delivery path for your suppliers and rubbish storage and collection. In some hot climates, refrigerating the enclosure where the garbage is stored makes a big difference. Either renew the decoration of your restaurant or bar, or give it a fresh look. The aspect of such a facility is as important as good food, appropriate prices and customer service. In yachting environments, customers go to a bar or restaurant to relax and socialise. Grabbing a coffee, a tea or a burger may be the primary purpose, but it is not the only one. Before, during and after Self-criticism is the best approach when planning a marina refurbishment. Thinking out of the box is the second. Please remember that your marina is not the one you know, but the one your clients, the authorities and the local community see. Chat with them, listen to your personnel, as they are the ones walking around the marina eight hours a day and receiving the first reactions from the users. Organise a refurbishment party where you tell everybody what will be done, and when, and why. And profit by undertaking crew training: they need it, they will be dealing with the newly refurbished marina in the future, and feeling close to the facility not only makes them feel comfortable, but it also makes them feel proud. Oscar Siches runs Marina Matters, a consultancy based in Mallorca, Spain. He can be contacted on 30 - July/August 2019

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