Imagine temporarily installing nearly a mile of Viega PureFlow PEX tubing and then taking it down just a week later. That’s exactly what Steve Harold and his crew from SG Harold in Massachusetts did in Boston Harbor over the course of four days for a special event.
A lot of work for a short time frame of use, but the PEX served an important purpose, running down the piers so the ships coming into the harbor for the Sail Boston Tall Ships event could connect to filtered water upon arrival.
The Sail Boston event, a six-day extravaganza in June, brought in ships from throughout the world. Boston served as an official port in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. The transatlantic regatta is a five-month race that also doubles as a public showcase for the impressive vessels. The adventure started in Royal Greenwich, UK, then raced onto Sines, Portugal; Bermuda; and then Boston. As a fleet, the ships then cruised on to Quebec City, Canada.
Sail Boston included educational programs about U.S. and international maritime history, and attendees of all ages were enchanted with the Tall Ships fleet that made its stopover in Boston. For such a huge event, enormous amounts of preparation work were required — everything from event security to details like PureFlow PEX waterlines.
Harold and his crew, dubbed “the water team,” had many obstacles to overcome. The PureFlow tubing, approximately 5,000 feet of it, had to be run down the sides of the piers so the tubing was out of the way of foot traffic. But there were plenty of hazards to contend with: staircases, jumping from pier to pier or, in some cases, piers that required special security clearance from the Department of Homeland Security.
“We had to be careful not to put it in the way, where people would trip on it,” Harold said. “We tacked it along the docks and fished it through stairs and different areas. In one case, it was particularly difficult to get the tubing to the other side of the pier, so we used a motorboat to help. We put a string on the end of the tubing and used the boat to get to the other side.”
The crew of three had an interesting time “connecting the dots” from pier to pier. In some places, they hung Viega PureFlow PEX along ropes tied to the sides of docks, and in one instance they even had to run it through water to allow for changing tides.
Harold said he was thankful for the flexibility of Viega’s tubing, making it easy to manipulate and maneuver through the obstacles they encountered.
This was the second time Harold ran PEX tubing for the Sail Boston event. Back in 2000, when the ships were also in the Boston Harbor, Harold suggested to event organizers the use of PEX. The tubing was somewhat new on the scene. Harold’s venture in Boston was successful in 2000, so bringing him and his team back in for this year’s event made sense, since they already had a good grasp of how to do it all.
For Harold, using Viega PureFlow PEX today isn’t a question. He’s been a loyal PEX user since long before Viega PureFlow products were introduced to the market and said he likes how easy connections are made with Viega. Especially for a temporary job like Sail Boston, PEX was the only viable and affordable solution.
“It’s just quick and easy,” he said. “They keep improving the fittings. You connect and it’s good.”
With such a large and spread-out project, it was important for things to be simple and quick. Some runs of PureFlow were short, while others were quite lengthy – one alone was nearly 1,000 feet long. Harold also “plumbed” some of the portable restrooms that were set up for the event.
As 54 Tall Ships docked in Boston, and an estimated 3 to 4 million people traversed the piers to take part of the majestic experience, they were unaware of the thousands of feet of PEX surrounding them – meaning Harold and his crew were quite successful in their job.