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How Engineered Fabric Structures Can Improve Marina Operations

From boat storage to transit security headquarters, marinas can utilize engineered fabric structures to help a variety of their operations. 

The weather resistance, durability, and portability of fabric structures are just a few of the characteristics that make them the obvious choice for use around the docks, while their endless customization options can help them stand out among the more traditional marina structures.

Characteristics That Make Fabric Structures Perfect for Marina Operations


Engineered fabric structures can be easily set up and taken down without the need to hire a specially trained (and expensive) team. Although they’re incredibly sturdy when put together, they can be deconstructed and moved at any time. This makes engineered fabric structures a great choice when you aren’t sure whether your station at the marina will be permanent or temporary. 

The drastic reduction in lengthy construction also creates very little environmental interference, so you can feel eco-friendly while setting up or taking down your structure.

Customizable Size

Fabric structures can be engineered to accommodate a wide range of uses. 

If you’re using your engineered fabric structure to store your boat or create a workspace, you can completely customize the size and dimensions. These buildings provide a large interior space that is freestanding and can be configured with high side walls and ceilings, so you can work and move your boats in and out without obstruction.

Customizable Design

If you’re looking to stand out among the other boat sheds and structures around the dock, engineered fabric structures couldn’t be a better choice. 

Customization options are endless. Whether you’re aiming to promote your watercraft repair shop with a flashy logo, or want to easily direct passengers to where they need to wait using a specific color, design, or signage, the tensioned membranes of fabric structures are the perfect canvas for large graphics and getting attention!

[Related: Why Choose Alaska Structures®?]  

Protection from UV Rays

Leaving your boat, tools, or other materials out in the sun all day can cause damage, deterioration, and fading. Protect your investment with engineered fabric structures that allow light in while blocking harmful UV rays.

Protection from Harsh Weather

We all know that days out on the water are not always bright and sunny. 

Not only do engineered fabric structures protect from damaging UV rays, but they also are tough enough to withstand brutal marine weather, such as intense winds, rain, and even snow. Keep your watercraft and other marine supplies dry and protected year-round.

Natural Light and Improved Ventilation for Working

If you’re using your fabric structure for a workspace or repair shop, or to enclose a dry-dock facility, you won’t be disappointed. The material of the tensioned fabric structures allow in natural light so you can see what you’re doing. Enjoy lower electric bills by reducing the need for lighting during the day. 

If working with strong paint fumes, chemicals, or need a well ventilated work space, fabric structures can be equipped with HVAC and exhaust systems. Or design an open-air structure that allows for natural ventilation and air flow.

The thermoplastic tensioned fabric of membrane structures is made to prevent mold and mildew growth and resist rot, is chemically inert, and offers a greater abrasion resistance than PE-based fabrics. They can also be impregnated with a UV stabilizer versus a thin coating that quickly cracks and degrades. 

So whether you are storing a yacht, powerboat, or sailboat and protecting it with a covered slip, or need a paint booth that protects nearby boats from overspray, you can breathe easy with an engineered fabric structure.

Cost-Saving Benefits

Engineered fabric structures have many cost-saving benefits. Though the initial investment may be more than a store-bought metal shed, a steel building, or a wooden structure, the long-term benefits quickly add up to reduce overall costs. For example:

  • Reduced weight and cube mean a lower shipping cost. 
  • A fast and simple setup without requiring a supervisor or trained crew to perform the work allows you to begin construction as soon as the fabric structure arrives.  
  • Minimal tool and foundation requirements allow the building to be set up and securely anchored to virtually any level surface, including wood docks, pilings, or concrete footings.
  • A fast and simple setup drastically reduces the construction schedule and allows you to begin repairing, painting, or storing boats (and generating marina revenue) in a fraction of the time. Once setup, an engineered fabric structure is virtually maintenance-free, saving you the ongoing and expensive upkeep associated with metal buildings or wood structures being used around water. 

Protect your marine investments by choosing portable fabric structures for your marina operations.

Multiple Uses for Fabric Structures Around the Marina

Boat Storage and Protection

Engineered fabric structures are the perfect choice for boat storage. They are durable, weather-resistant, and can be customized to your boat’s specific dimensions — saving you a lot of worry while storing and protecting your investments.

Storage Supply and Warehousing

Rather than a basic tool shed, fabric structures are a better option for your marina storage supply and warehousing needs. Should your storage needs change, a fabric structure can be easily reconfigured, expanded, or relocated. 

Port TSA Operations Shelter

Engineered fabric structures aren’t only limited to storing watercraft, tools, and boat handling equipment. These fabric structures make great shelters for TSA and other marina operations facilities, since they allow natural light, can be equipped with insulation and HVAC packages to create a temperature-controlled facility with proper airflow, and are engineered for safety to protect individuals from poor weather conditions.

Retail Showrooms

Because of their durability and weather resistance, engineered fabric structures are the perfect solution for setting up retail showrooms around the marina. Their customizable designs also allow for store logos and unique marketing, making it easy to point out and promote your dockside business.

Cruise Terminal Passage Reception and Waiting Areas

Engineered fabric structures create the most efficient terminal passage reception and waiting areas. Large fabric structures can be designed and engineered to create passenger waiting areas, luggage drop-off or pick-up stations, and information booths. The durability and safety of engineered fabric structures, along with the near endless number of customization options, lend to the creation of a truly one-of-a-kind cruise terminal. 

[Related: Engineering Fabric Structures for Airport Facilities]

Get Started With Alaska Structures’ Engineered Fabric Structures

Alaska Structures® is the world’s premier manufacturer of engineered fabric structures. 

Our dedicated team has been creating state-of-the-art tensioned membrane structures for a variety of industries since 1975. From construction sites, workforce housing, aircraft hangars, dining halls, exploration shelters, marina operations, portable classrooms and much more, Alaska Structures has created more than 65,000 engineered fabric buildings used in more than 85 countries. 

If you’re interested in engineered fabric structures for use around your marina, contact us today. Our expert team will work with you to plan your project and help you decide which of our fabric buildings would be the best fit for your operations. 

Contact us today and let’s get started:

Telephone: +1-907-344-1565

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Alaska Structures
Alaska Structures® is the world's leading provider of engineered fabric building and turnkey camp systems. Our modular buildings are proudly made in the U.S. and designed to meet area-specific wind and snow loads required by local codes or the International Building Code (IBC) for safety. No other fabric-building provider comes close to matching our level of expertise or experience.

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