Marina Del Rey Marina Welcomes Patented Composite Innovation

Share this article:

“The availability of these new products will have a tremendous impact for our clients in both maintenance and life cycle cost.”

A 5-year reconstruction project of the Marina Del Rey Marina, in California, is well underway, with our customer, a leading marina design/build construction company, contracted to design and build. When complete, it will be the first marina in the USA, to be outfitted with FRP thru-rods and walers throughout.

Located in Southern California, the Marina Del Rey Marina is the playground for water sports enthusiasts and home to over 5000 boats. Using advanced composite FRP components will further enhance the design life of the marina and substantially reduce maintenance.

The Challenges of the Marina Environment

The marina environment is unique, with many variables and ecological factors to consider. High salinity water, extreme temperature variations, wave action, and decay are just some of the physical elements marinas are exposed to. There are several disadvantages to using steel in dock construction. One is the corrosive nature of the marine environment; rust and spalling is common in all types of steel and the early onset of corrosion is typical in a marina environment

Other challenges when building in such an environment is the ecological impact of the marina. Steel rusts, and treated timber, traditionally used for the walers, break downs and leaches into the water. Stainless steel and galvanized steel are susceptible to a shortened lifespan in this environment making GFRP an ideal material.

Significant Breakthrough in Marina Design with Composites

Seeing the potential in composite material, our customer invested in dedicated research and development to revolutionize marina builds. They worked closely with Pultron Composites to develop the FRP thru-rod system using high performance composites with a unique thread design – using a world-first CNC grinding technology. The addition of the self-locking end nuts provided superior elasticity and resilience. The end nuts stay tight, reducing continual maintenance and tightening.

With superior stretch characteristics, the FRP thru-rod system holds tension better than steel. The FRP thru-rod system has recently gained patent status and is seen as a positive transformation in the marina industry.

The introduction of the FRP thru-rod system is a major advance in dock construction. Improved component performance and longevity makes way for a better product. Lower maintenance requirements mean a reduced cost of ownership.

“The availability of these new products will have a tremendous impact for our clients in both maintenance and life cycle cost,” they stated.

The move to FRP components in marinas is seen as the biggest step forward in marina design in the last 25 years. The benefits to the Marina Del Rey Marina using these FRP composite systems include:

  • no rust or decay
  • less maintenance
  • longer asset life
  • modern design
  • no leaching or product deterioration.