Case Study: SAFPLANK® – The Ideal Material for Pier Deck

1102-CampCivitanPierDeckLow maintenance, easy installation and minimal heat retention were key requirements for Camp Civitan officials when they began searching for materials to build a new pier at their Easter Seals camp on Lake Martin in southeastern Alabama. These requirements were easily met when they chose Strongwell’s SAFPLANK® fiberglass plank system for the pier’s deck.

Camp Director John Stephenson discovered SAFPLANK® when he sought the advice of Tommy Abernathy of ASI Construction, a Strongwell associate, regarding what materials to use.  Stephenson, who planned to install the deck himself, needed a durable, water resistant material that would not retain heat yet was easy to install. The material also had to be skid resistant to provide campers with a safe surface on which to walk.

Product: Fiberglass Pier Deck
Process: Pultrusion
Materials: SAFPLANK® interlocking decking panels
Sizes: 24" wide
For: Camp Civitan, Lake Martin, AL

Guided by Abernathy’s suggestion, Stephenson chose SAFPLANK® to build the pier deck because it would remain cool enough for campers to walk barefoot on its surface. The SAFPLANK® also would be virtually maintenance free because the fiberglass material would not shrink, rot or absorb water as is the case with wood.

Stephenson gave Strongwell’s materials high marks after the deck installation. “The SAFPLANK® was really easy to work with. The 2-foot wide panels were a dream come true,” he said. He had never worked with the material before but was able to install the SAFPLANK® by himself in less than two hours. He added that the interlocking panels were a bonus because he did not need to use fasteners to hold the planks together.

SAFPLANK®’s non-skid surface, which provides campers with a safe walking surface, is another feature that made it the ideal material for the installation. Additionally, SAFPLANK® does not shrink and therefore will not create joint cracks that could cause problems for campers with wheelchairs.

Stephenson and others at Camp Civitan won’t have to spend much time or money in the future to maintain the pier, thanks to the benefits that fiberglass provides. This means that they will then be able to focus more of their resources on the most important part of the camp — the campers.

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