Our client is a global marina design company that is revolutionizing the way marinas are constructed. They are using GFRP composite technology to build durable and sustainable marinas for their customers.

The Challenge

Stainless steel is expensive and steel corrodes quickly in marine environments, polluting the water. A marina environment also suffers continual movement from the tide and the wake of boat traffic, both of which put a huge strain on any construction materials. A steel rod is used to hold the floating pontoons together. This was prone to early corrosion, leading to significant costs to the marina owner.

Our Solution

We worked closely with our marina specialist partner to develop a GFRP thru-rod and nut system that would be stronger than steel, lightweight, and require minimal maintenance. The GFRP thru-rod is award-winning technology and is considered the biggest innovation in marina design in the last 25 years.


FRP Thru-Rod Specification

Composite Profile and Add-on:

  • Round pultruded GFRP rod teamed with a self-locking nut.


  • Steel and timber.


  • Customized CNC grinder technology to fit a customized nut.
  • Customized resin formulation with high creep and fatigue resistance.
  • A keyway was developed that locks into the matching detail on the float to reduce shear stress on the bolt, ensuring alignment of floats to eliminate tripping hazards.
  • The self-locking design was a key feature. Tidal movement tightened the nuts rather than loosen them - reducing this task is a huge time saver for marina owners.

The FRP thru-rod and nut system is a patented technology.

Composite Innovation #2: The Waler

Following the success of the FRP thru rod and nut system, we collaborated with our client to develop a composite replacement for the timber waler. An FRP structural beam called a waler is attached to the side of the dock section and spans many concrete floats to connect them.

In the structure of a marina, walers are essential. Walers can be built of steel, aluminum, or wood, but each has drawbacks. Although it doesn’t corrode like steel, wood rots and has a shorter lifespan than composites.

Read more about the marina waler here: FRP Structural Sections are Revolutionizing Marina Construction