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2 Posts authored by: lrussell Employee

Indoor rack storage is desired by boat owners and marinas to protect vessels from weather and extreme temperatures. A major concern is protection of the boats and the storage structure from fire. The nature of the boat construction materials results in a potentially high fire load, and the storage configuration can present significant challenges to activation and water distribution patterns of automatic sprinkler systems.


Specific criterion for the design and installation of fire protection for boats stored on racks inside of buildings is currently lacking. NFPA 303, Fire Protection Standard for Marinas and Boatyards requires that automatic sprinklers systems comply with the provisions of Chapter 12 of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems for Group “A” Plastics. However, NFPA 13 does not specifically address indoor rack storage of boats. Fire test data of boats in rack storage is needed to establish more specific requirements for fire control and protection of this type of vessel storage.


Read more about in the December 2008 Fire Protection Research Foundation Report,  "Marina and Boatyard Indoor Rack Storage Sprinkler Protection".  Here is the link to the report:

The 2016 edition of NFPA 307, Standard for the Construction and Fire Protection of Marine Terminals, Piers, and Wharves provides the latest principles for construction and fire
protection in these types of structures. Compliance is essential for the
protection from loss of life and property -- especially since special use piers and wharf structures that differ in design and
construction from cargo handling piers require special considerations based on the type and function of the structure.
The Standard also applies to buildings and structures located on marine terminal premises and the terminal yard areas.


Changes in the 2016 NFPA 307 respond to industry needs for greater guidance:

  • New references to NFPA 5000: Building Construction and Safety Code offer consensus-based requirements related to the design, materials and workmanship of pier and wharf construction and other structures within the facility.
  • A new construction requirement mandates consideration of health and safety aspects for cruise ship passenger terminals.


For installers, contractors, designers, engineers, and facility managers involved in building or managing marine terminals, piers, and wharves, the latest edition of 
NFPA 307
is critical to ensuring fire protection and life safety in these special occupancies.