In Focus: 20% increase in demand for timber-effect planking

close up detail of timber effect concrete from ICMS

Inland and Coastal Marina Systems (ICMS) has reported a 20 per cent increase in demand for its timber-effect planking this year. This surge of interest comes on top of the fact that 60 per cent of the company’s in-house production is already for timber effect.

While glass reinforced plastic (GRP) is often used by marina construction companies as a durable pontoon decking material, as it’s said to offer durability and excellent anti-slip properties, ICMS has witnessed a steady move towards glass reinforced concrete (GRC), because of its construction properties, and because it can be made to look like traditional hardwood marina decking.

“The colour and texture of our GRC decking can now be altered to suit, offering the classic hardwood timber yacht marina aesthetic without any of the drawbacks of traditional timber,” says Oliver Shortall, managing director of ICMS.

“Although well suited to the task and offering an attractive finish, wood can be very slippery when wet and rots, significantly increasing maintenance costs while decreasing the longevity of the marina system.

“We’ve been using GRC as our main marina decking option for almost 30 years, and it’s a testament to its strength and durability that the very first examples of this are still in use.”

Oliver Shortall, managing director ICMS

Concrete is also much denser than wood or GRP, increasing pontoon weight, which Shortall says “provides a safer, more stable platform giving users greater confidence underfoot” and, as it is also suitable for bare feet, can be used in sports and recreational settings as well as yacht harbours, leisure marinas and commercial ports.

“Combining the strength of concrete with the slenderness of timber, our timber-effect GRC decking is the future for creating modern, sustainable marinas. And with a design life of 30 years, it offers the lowest lifetime cost of any marina decking on the market as well.”

ICMS recently completed the installation of a 70m wave attenuating breakwater at the eastern end of boatfolk’s Haslar Marina, which has, reportedly, created a dramatic change in the wave climate.

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