Swim spas have grown in acceptance and use around North America in the past five years. With more and more people considering them for swimming or other aquatic workout uses, we thought it might be helpful to review a few concepts about the products and their use.
Like many products, the newest generation of swim spas today are improvements on the original models and concepts that were introduced to the market. The first models were big blocky rectangular boxes of water which allowed some amount of aquatic exercise, but they had some limitations. Innovative new products, like Marquis’ patent pending Aquatic Training Vessels (ATVs), have addressed those limitations with great success.
The limitations to acrylic. Acrylic sheet is a great material for holding water. But as the volume reaches 1000 gallons and more like in a swim spa, with weights in the thousands of pounds, the stresses and strains on acrylic and how to support it properly with a surrounding structure can become a quality concern. Particularly in shipping and backyard delivery and installation, the structural strength for a large acrylic swim spa can be compromised. It can result in cracks and leaks over time that are hard to fix and cosmetically impossible to repair back to “like new.”
Another real limitation with old school acrylic swim spas is depth. Acrylic sheet is melted into shape inside a mold to become a swim spa. But a flat sheet can only melt and stretch into shape so far. If it stretches too far, the walls thin out and result in imperfections in wavy lines and inconsistent shell strength. So getting acrylic sheet to melt to a sufficient depth for wide ranging aquatic exercise has been impossible for most swim spa companies. The molds old school units use are expensive to make as well, so companies often have to keep using those old shallow depth molds they developed for many years.
Marquis approached the large vessel acrylic challenge with the science of polymers and marine industry resins used to build the world’s most sophisticated boat and yacht hulls. The covalently bonded macromolecular structure to the layers of resin inside an ATV provide an incredibly rigid and durable vessel. ATVs withstand all of the forces that degrade acrylic in the same manner that racing yacht hulls withstand the pounding force of high speeds hitting against powerful ocean waves. And the ATV polymers outperform acrylic in resisting the degradation of UV from the sun or ph imbalances due to poor water chemistry management.
ATVs can also be deeper and more creatively configured with a non-acrylic polymer vessel. Creatively bowed vertical side walls or stylized design elements around steps or therapy seats are not restricted by the way acrylic sheet would melt into mold locations. The layer upon layer of polymer resins can create a vessel with a true four feet in water depth to allow for standing aerobic workouts with water resistance, for ample depth that allows all swim strokes, for resistance rowing activity, varying seat depths and more.
Marquis further strengthen their Aquatic Training Vessels by utilizing an innovative uni-body gusset construction to the exterior frame in support of the vessel. It is safe to say that this next generation of swim spa design and construction from Marquis has dramatically improved the structural limitations of the first generation old school acrylic swim spas sold by other companies. And the resulting ATV product allows for a wider range of aquatic activity for a wider spectrum of users and benefits. So in terms of ownership and user satisfaction, the next generation Aquatic Training Vessels are the strongest swim spas you can consider.