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    Is it time to replace the wooden bearers in your inland marina for something more durable?

    Once a ubiquitous material in construction and structural applications, wood has experienced a decline in popularity in recent years. This shift away from wood as a primary structural material can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the emergence of alternative materials like GRP and aluminium composites, concerns about deforestation and sustainability, as well as changes in regulatory requirements. If you’re using wooden substructures in your marina, here are some factors you might like to consider:

    1 | Limited Lifespan

    Wooden bearers typically have a limited lifespan compared to alternative materials like Aluminium bearers. Inland marinas may incur higher long-term maintenance costs when using wood because of the need for more frequent replacements.

    2 | Rot and Decay

    Wood is susceptible to rot and decay when exposed to moisture for extended periods. In inland marinas, where boats are constantly in contact with water, wooden bearers can deteriorate over time. This not only weakens the structural integrity of the bearers but also creates a maintenance issue, as they may need to be replaced or repaired regularly.

    3 | Inconsistent Performance

    Wooden bearers may warp or degrade unevenly, leading to an uneven surface. This can cause problems with walkway stability, making it difficult to navigate the marina safely.

    4 | Fire Hazard

    Wood is flammable, which poses a fire hazard, especially in marinas where there are fuelling stations and a high concentration of boats. Wooden bearers can contribute to the spread of fires if not adequately protected or maintained. By contrast, most aluminium bearers have a A2 fire rating, making them safer to use.

    5 | Insect Infestations

    Wooden bearers are also susceptible to insect infestations, such as termites. These pests can compromise the structural integrity of the bearers and necessitate costly repairs.

    6 | Maintenance Costs

    Wooden bearers require regular maintenance, including sealing, staining, and replacement of damaged sections. The cost and labour associated with maintaining wooden bearers is higher than that of more durable composite materials.

    The Solution

    To address these issues, many inland marinas have been transitioning to more durable and environmentally friendly materials for bearers, such as aluminium, which offer better longevity and performance in the challenging marine environment. When paired with an appropriate marina walking surface such as d² Glass Reinforced Polymer grating, a durable, high performance system that will stand the test of time can be easily achieved.

    Dura Aluminium Bearers

    Aluminium Dura Bearers offer a simple and long-life decking substructure solution for gardens, balconies and large commercial projects. Unlike timber subframes, which can twist, rot or warp over time, Dura Bearers are made from 6063 grade aluminium (T6) and have a greater strength-to-size ration than traditional materials.

    Dura Structural GRP Profile

    Dura Profile structural profiles are designed to meet or exceed the higher performance E23 grade and offer unrivalled strength to weight, non-conductive, noncorrosive and chemically resistant and fire-resistant properties. The standard profile range we stock are produced in 6m lengths in ISO resin and in dark grey RAL 7043.

    d² Dura Grating

    Designed, developed and manufactured by Dura Composites, d² Dura Grating offers outstanding safety, performance and durability and is more cost-effective than traditional GRP grating in almost every scenario. It can be applied in all industries where GRP mesh grating is used today and has an industry-leading Class Bfl-s1 fire rating as standard in accordance with BS EN 13501 (excludes 23mm). A comprehensive range of load testing data is also available within our GRP Data Analysis database to help you make decisions based on real data to ensure maximum safety for your project.