The idea of installing a beach-entry fiberglass pool in an actual beach appealed to Scott Prunty, especially given the pool would be featured at a local surfing contest. With a short window to install and fill the pool, Prunty and his team created a conspicuous VIP hub.
By Scott Prunty
A few years back, our company, Solid Structures, became involved in the East Coast Surf Contest, held annually in Virginia Beach, VA, helping the organizers create a VIP area with landscaping, pavers and water features.
This past year, they asked us to install a swimming pool that was positioned near the event stage and the VIP area. We had been set to do the same for the 58th annual contest last year, but with the pandemic in full swing, we decided not to go through all that effort without knowing if the contest would even happen. So, we moved forward with the pool for the 59th annual contest.
With the ongoing supply-chain issues, It was a tough year for anyone to find a pool. Fortunately, we had ordered five beautiful beach-entry pools from Thursdays Pools and just happened to have one in our yard.
I thought it would be interesting to have a beach-entry in an actual beach. I proposed the idea to the contest organizers as part of their outdoor-living/VIP area that would be located alongside the stage, right in the heart of all the action. They liked the idea and we move forward.
This was the third beach-entry pool we had ever installed and were relieved that putting in the pool itself, in the sand, was not an issue. The real challenge was filling the 16-by-36 vessel.
We didn’t have the time you might have with a regular pool installation when you can leave a hose running for two-to-three days. In this situation, we only had that same amount of time to install the pool, start to finish with the plumbing working and filled with clear water for the event.
This was a temporary installation, just for the surf contest, meaning we installed the pool on a Monday and removed the pool from the beach the following Monday. That meant we had to figure out how to fill this pool up as quickly as possible.
I ended up going to the fire department, begging and pleading them to help us fill the pool. After some lengthy discussions, they eventually agreed to run several hundred yards of hose to a hydrant to get the pool filled. Their hoses deliver 1,000 gallons per minute so we ended up having that pool filled in 15 minutes.
LIKE ANY OTHER
In terms of excavation and installation, it was very similar to excavating and preparing for a regular pool in the ground. The only real difference was that under the beach-entry shallow area we packed a lot of sand under that area because it was only going to be in use for a few days. Whereas, we would have normally back-filled that area with concrete for a permanent installation.
(The excavation is a little harder because the sand keeps caving in so you need to make the hole much bigger. If you have clay, the side-walls don’t cave in like they do in sand.)
You might notice in the photos that there were ‘sharks’ in the pool. Those lurking creatures of the deep were courtesy a vinyl wrap covering the entire bottom of the pool. It looks like sand with logos etched into it in the shallow area and in the deep end of the pool there are sharks.
The company that makes the vinyl wraps, put the wrap in place while we were cutting the holes in the side of the pool and running pipes.
We plumbed it like any other pool. In fact, we ran all the plumbing to the equipment, which we placed nearby underneath the stage. This gave us blessedly short plumbing runs, enabling us to quickly connect all the lights, water features and plumbing back to the pool.
As mentioned above, the main purpose of the pool was that it was a part of the VIP hang-out area for the musicians or whomever was helping out with event – people were lounging and swimming and they even had a bikini contest in the pool. I was captured in one of those photos amongst the bathing beauties.
After the contest, we went returned the following Monday and dug the pool out, lifted it onto semi-truck trailer and escorted it back to our facility. Luckily, we were able to easily remove the vinyl wrap and re-use/install the pool in one of our client’s homes.
It was a quick turnaround, but lots of fun. I grew up surfing on that stretch of beach, and even participated in the contest in the past, as well. It was cool to be a part of the event. No longer surfing in the contest, but doing something fun and exciting.
Scott Prunty is owner of Solid Structures a design/build contractors company located in Virgina Beach VA, which has specialized in outdoor living since 2008.