Recently, the team at the idyllic island of Lord Howe, 600km off Port Macquarie NSW, sought to replace their popular swimming pontoon. Annual inspection during winter revealed the wear and tear had reached unsafe levels and the old pontoon was condemned.
“The pontoon provides loads of fun for residents and visitors alike and is a great asset for the community,” says Kate Dignam, Assistant Manager, Technical Services at Lord Howe Island.
“When sourcing a new pontoon, the Island Board wanted to capture the essence of fun and expand on it. Safety was, of course, paramount with the choice but staff are confident the new pontoon will more than satisfy everyone’s requirements.”
As Kate reports, she Googled ‘pontoons’ and came across the quirky story of ‘Sam the Swim Safe Man’ who has floated in the briny Broadwater on Queensland’s Gold Coast for the past 13 years, without a break and with no degradation to his UV-resistant polyethylene form.
“I rang Gold Coast Council and asked which company was responsible for the Man, and then I contacted Superior Group.”
Lord Howe’s pontoon was custom-designed and made in Superior Jetties’ factory on Queensland’s Gold Coast, from polyethylene using a process called ‘rotomoulding’, which involves spinning a heated mould and injecting polyethylene into it as it rotates. The result is a single, seamless product.
“The pontoon consists of two modules that lock together, and there are a range of pieces and sizes that can be put together in different ways,” explains Kate. “We are pleased that we can add to it in the future and we are already planning a few ropes for hand holds and a swim front.”
The colours were developed by Superior and according to Kate, have made “a bright and cheery addition to the popular swimming and picnic area known as Under the Pines”.
“It’s much bigger than the previous pontoon. It’s amazing to see so many people enjoying themselves on it. The colours are just right for the island and it will be a great addition to the water fun over summer, and all year round.”
With its high-tech rotomoulding machines that can handle large items to 3m in length, Superior Group can design and manufacture any large, hollow plastic item to any brief.
As well as rotomoulding, Superior offers post-moulding, secondary operations using high-tech CNC machining for precision finishing of polymer sheets, aluminium and wood.