USA: Hurricane damage prompts new drystack design

The devastation to boats and marinas in Fort Myers, Florida caused by Hurricane Ian in September 2022, has prompted Christopher Shelli to rethink boat storage.

Shelli, of Shelli Associates, is to build Pierce 1 Marina – a fully-automated drystack facility – in the waterfront area known as Fisherman’s Wharf. It will be engineered to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

“As a boat owner, I am sick to my stomach looking at the photos of the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian,” he comments. “I know a lot of boat owners in Florida are unable to afford or obtain insurance for their boats, for a variety of reasons, one being the lack of safe storage during a hurricane.”

“During approaching storms, many of these owners have to make detailed plans to try to get their boats to safety, either trailering them somewhere and hoping the storm doesn’t veer off course as they often do, or trying to beat the storm by taking their boat through the locks to get to the other coast. These storms are so unpredictable in many ways, there’s always the risk of making the wrong decision.”

Capable of storing more than 300 boats measuring up to 46ft (14m), Shelli claims the building will be the only one of its kind and will utilise the most advanced proprietary software in the world.

“I already have dozens of boat owners reaching out to me about this boat storage building,” he says.


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