A waterproof concrete system from Sika has been specified for the construction of a rectangular concrete hull for a luxury houseboat.
Traditionally used for basement construction, the Sika waterproofing solution ensured that the boat is watertight and helped create a floating foundation which would offer long term performance for years to come.
Constructed by H & J Construction at Hythe Shipyard for Jeremy Swadling, the houseboat required a concrete hull to provide good resistance to impact, fatigue and cracks propagation resulting in less long term maintenance.
With a heritage dating back before the first World War, concrete has long been used in boatbuilding and as it required no expensive moulds such as in glass-reinforced plastic boat construction, it can produce an inherently strong and rigid hull at a lower cost.
To satisfy these requirements, H & J Construction specified 64m3 of Sika Watertight Concrete to deliver the required levels of watertightness to the heavily reinforced concrete box frame of the boat. Extensive reinforcement was needed to prevent any flex in the base of the hull in the event that the boat be subjected to any freak waves at its mooring.
Measuring 25 metres long, 7 metres wide and 3 metres deep, the concrete hull features a ribbed spine design along its length, with 4 metre long strengthening piers on both sides.
Traditionally specified for below ground and basement construction, the Sika Watertight Concrete solution is designed to prevent water from migrating through the concrete.
Sika admixtures work within the concrete, firstly to reduce the water/cement ratio, therefore increasing the density of the mix and minimising the size, volume and continuity of the concrete’s pores and fill the remaining pores.
Luke Eastman, H & J Construction commented: “The Sika Watertight Concrete system was ideal for this unusual application as it was vital that the concrete created a watertight hull with a crack free and permanent seal.”
The houseboat has been fitted out and is now moored at Bembridge in the Isle of Wight. The successful application of Sika’s watertight solution has ensured that the vessel will remain waterproof for the long term.
Welwyn Garden City
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