Splashing in a Shipwreck

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It's amazing what you can do with GFRC (glass-fiber-reinforced concrete) and water jets. In the mind of a child, you can create a storm at sea, a great ship foundering on shoals and a narrow escape amid the crashing waves. That's what Water Odyssey by Fountain People, a company that makes interactive water features in San Marcos, Texas, was able to do in the seaside town of Oak Harbor, on Whidbey Island in Washington State.

Water Odyssey worked closely with the consultants at Northwest Playground Equipment and GreenWorks Landscape Architecture & Design Group to produce this unique, custom shipwreck design complete with the hull of a ship, mast, sails and water cannons. Water Odyssey also created natural looking boulders, logs and driftwood accented by realistic starfish and mussel detail — all of which emit water spray effects that delight children of all ages.

Note the detail on the prow of the shipwreck. Using GFRC, designers were able to create a realistic wooden hull, complete with crow's nest and sails. Designers even took the opportunity to include a wheelchair access point directly through what appears to be a "broken hull" — complete with water effects flowing through the edges of the hull-break to delight those going through — either on foot or in a wheelchair. The mast towers 18-feet high over 237 gallons of water in full flow throughout the splash play area. A computerized water-spraying system allows for different "play modules" for a wide range of ages and abilities.

"Our skilled customization capabilities were key in making this splash pad extremely attractive in this beautiful landscape," says Chris Thomas, marketing director at Water Odyssey. "Our in-house design and production teams made the vision for this park a reality, and the client was thrilled."

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