Boat storage and fabric structures: Portland Yacht Services

    Fabric Storage Building at Portland Yacht Services
    June 9, 2014 | Ports Waterways & Terminals

    Portland Yacht Services has opened a new facility for boat storage and maintenance at its new location on the western end of the waterfront in Portland, Maine. The new tension fabric building was custom designed and constructed by Legacy Building Solutions.

    Founded in 1981, Portland Yacht Services had previously operated out of historic brick buildings on Portland’s eastern waterfront, but gravitated toward a fabric structure when discussing a storage facility for the new boatyard.

    “We liked the idea of having a fabric structure that could be illuminated primarily by natural sunlight coming through the roof,” said Phineas Sprague, Jr., president of Portland Yacht Services. “We also needed a building that could accommodate a wide range of boats, from 100-foot-long yachts down to jet skis. The new fabric building has long clear spans that require no interior posts, which makes it easier to maneuver vehicles, trailers and boats inside.”

    Portland Yacht’s storage building features durable rigid frame, I-beam engineering. It measures 120 by 160 feet, and was designed with specific clearances to meet zoning maximums and interior required volume. To accommodate various boat sizes and entry points, the main endwall incorporates three entrance doors – a 30- by 30-foot bi-fold loading door and two 20- by 20-foot high lift overhead doors.

    “The I-beam design gives the building a conventional look,” said Sprague. “It fits well visually on the site, which our neighbors really appreciate. Legacy also supplied an interior liner to prevent moisture from dripping off the ceiling, something that competing manufacturers we talked to could not or would not do for us. Their responsiveness to our needs throughout the process was impressive.”

    The exclusive interior liner system includes active cavity ventilation to increase energy efficiency. Ventilation is further aided by an active gable intake and exhaust system. Additionally, load design of the building frame can accommodate interior circulation fans and future expansion. The structure also includes a sprinkler system and is built to conform to NFPA 303 fire protection standards for marinas and boatyards.

    Other features of the new fabric building include 3-foot canopy extensions, ice breakers at the roof edges, exterior light and camera mounts, and a bird deterrent system. The building meets seismic “C” design codes, and the polyethylene tension fabric roof is rated for 110 mph winds and 60 PSF ground snow.

    prague, who operates Portland Yacht Services with his wife and fellow circumnavigator Joanna, added that the new yard is increasing their capabilities to boats up to 1,300 tons with a dry dock. The company currently employs about 45 people and serves thousands of customers throughout the state of Maine.

    Legacy Building Solutions specializes in the innovative design, engineering and construction of fabric-covered buildings for several different industries and applications. For more information, contact Legacy Building Solutions, 19500 County Road 142, South Haven, MN 55382, call 320-259-7126 or 877-259-1528, or visit the company’s website at