One could argue that Florida is the ideal destination for boating enthusiasts of all types. Whether you prefer a relaxing day simply cruising the crystal clear waters, or an action-packed day angling for Silver Kings, having quick, easy access to the water is always beneficial. Conveniently located between Sarasota and Fort Myers, lies the sleepy little town of Placida, Florida, home to the famous Gasparilla Marina. Gasparilla Marina is the area’s largest deep water marina, offering uninterrupted access to the waters of Charlotte Harbor, the Gulf of Mexico, and the world famous Boca Grande Pass. Tarpon anglers know this is the place to be in Southwest Florida and Boca Grande Tarpon fishing is well renowned for delivering non-stop action and excitement.
The short-term benefits of this new roof structure were immediate, however, the owners of Gasparilla Marina have truly created a sustainable structure that will benefit future generations, requiring little to no maintenance for several decades.
Gasparilla Marina offers several amenities, which makes it a favorite amongst boat owners. The Waterside Grill offers daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Boat rentals and fishing charters are available upon request, along with a fuel dock, bait shop, Ship’s Store, wet slips, traditional high & dry, and fully enclosed boat storage. The traditional high & dry storage protects the boats from the highly corrosive saltwater, however, it is the constant exposure to the Florida sunshine, heat, and humidity that led to many of the boat exteriors fading prematurely, and their interiors started to crack and wear out at an accelerated rate. Seeing a need to remedy this as quickly as possible, Gasparilla Marina chose to attach a new roof structure to their already existing high & dry storage area. The traditional high & dry houses nearly 400 boats, so it had a major impact on a large percentage of Gasparilla Marina’s clientele. Fabricated primarily with large structural beams, the new roof structure consisted of 79 total tons of hot-dip galvanized steel.
Dan Widgeon, General Manager at Gasparilla Marina revealed that in the past they have applied a rust inhibitor to some of their steel projects. After roughly 2 years the coating began to dry out and flake, which meant lots of time and money spent on maintenance. They were in need of a long term solution. With over forty years of experience in the metal building industry, the fabricator of choice was Dean Steel Buildings, located in Fort Myers, FL. Because of their previous experience and familiarity with hot-dip galvanizing, Dean Steel Buildings made the recommendation to Gasparilla Marina to hot-dip galvanize the steel in their new roof structure. Hot-dip galvanizing was specified for its superior corrosion and abrasion protection, initial & life cycle cost savings, aesthetic appeal, sustainability, and turnaround time. Corrosion protection was the primary reason for specifying hot-dip galvanizing. With the marina conveniently located right on the water, the highly-corrosive saltwater environment can wreak havoc on steel structures. In a tropical marine environment, time to first maintenance, or 5% rusting of the steel surface, is estimated to be 50-90 years. Within the high & dry, forklifts are used to take the boats in and out of storage. A hot-dip galvanized coating is very durable and can resist the abrasion that comes from bumping, rubbing, and scraping from the forklifts. As the hot-dip galvanized coating weathers naturally over time, the coating will take on a matte gray finish, which mingles nicely with the other surrounding structures, and adds to the overall aesthetic appeal. Since boating and fishing are year-round hobbies in Florida, Gasparilla Marina could not afford to inconvenience their customers for an extended period of time.
Constant communication between the fabricator and galvanizer ensured that the project was completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Since the hot-dip galvanizing process is not affected by atmospheric or climatic conditions, there were no delays due to inclement weather. Dean Steel Buildings adhered to the strict ASTM A385 specification when fabricating the steel used in the roof structure. The galvanizer employed specific fixturing techniques to ensure a quality hot-dip galvanized coating that was smooth and uniform throughout the entire structure. The short-term benefits of this new roof structure were immediate, however, the owners of Gasparilla Marina have truly created a sustainable structure that will benefit future generations, requiring little to no maintenance for several decades. Gasparilla Marina has grown in leaps and bounds over the last 25 years, and by taking advantage of a hot-dip galvanized coating and all that it has to offer, they have created a steadfast, sustainable foundation for future growth, while maintaining low-cost maintenance. When asked if they would specify a hot-dip galvanized coating on future projects, General Manager Dan Widgeon said, “Yes, absolutely.”
Water & Marine
Placida, FL United States
Aesthetics, Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Initial Cost, Life-Cycle Cost, Prior HDG Experience, Quality of HDG, Sustainability, Turnaround Time
The entire roof structure
Dean Steel Buildings
Valmont Coatings - Tampa Galvanizing
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