To get down to a few facts that canīt be denied
First here some quotes on Manufactruring Technologies that I gathered together cruising around on CF
> At the first glance it's big but not so organized factory. At that time they were having some issues on maintaining standard on finishing. I saw same line of boats with different quality of workmanship. Later same year, a friend got his boat delivered with two different wood finish in the interiors.
- They have an accelerated Hull/deck manufacturing process. At that time, they were laying fiberglass
layers wet on wet and Drying the hull/deck in a gigantic oven
. Some seasoned sailor friends thinks it's not the best way to make fiberglass
hull/deck. May cause osmosis
problems in the future. (I don't actually know how other mass boat producers are manufacturing the hull
. This is just and observation and comment)
- The Hull/keel joint did not seem strong enough. There were no structural reinforcement in joint area. (I have to admit, we were still under the influence of Match 42 accident)
- Like other mass boat producers, they use market proven brand name components for electronics
, running rigging
> Autoclaving is about the BEST method for curing plastic resin - as long as it is tailored to the process - it's what they do with carbon spars for example. It's only the cost of the huge oven
that has kept it from becoming the standard process everywhere.
Just think - you can take the time you need to lay out the fabric
- no rush "before it kicks", just get everything just so, then bake it.
Putting the hull/deck in an oven is many times a pretty common thing to do these days. I personally would not worry about that part of a boat I was going to buy. Many also heat and put some of the parts
in a vacuum bag to help the resin get thru the cloth/glass part too. This helps keeps the hull/deck light, along with being strong.
But as we all know, the human factor can be an issue with all manufacturing processes, so while something maybe a great way to build, if the humans do not do it correctly.....might as well be the worst way! then again, the worst way done with great care, may be better than the Best way with no care!
Coming from aircraft industrie and particular CF tooling and design
First off all......let me ashure You that Vacuum Resin Infusion and controlled curing in an autoclave is the absolutly best of the advanced materials.Around the year 2000 this tech was introduced big time in european comercial aircrafts. Comercial aircrafts set the standard for technologie in regards to safety
There are 3 mayor advantages of this tech and in this order the first one is:
It allows to make bigger and more complex parts
that otherwise would be imposible. To bring this in understandable perspectives. Before the same part had to be manufactured constructing several parts and than riveted,clued sealed joined together to make the same part. Every joint is a weak spot. Think off stress with high pay loads, vibrations and in temperatures from -55šC to 150šC. Those aircrafts have to operated in desert and arctic temps,wet and dry enviroment. So the less parts the more structural integrety. It eaven gets more complex when joining different materials together. They all behave different and in some ocasions it would eaven be imposible to design and manufactor a certain part in any other way. This is a huge progress.
Second...imagen under those payloads there must be a super high precision rivet about every 1 inch to garanty the the structural values. But eaven so the quality of the joints has to be inspected from time to time. Hope You get the idear.
The second and super important progress was the weight savings. Imagen how much weight difference there is if You can save all the rivets,sealers, glues and special tapes. We talking about aconsiderable percentage of the total weight of the aircraft.
Third think about just 1 rivet. The parts to be joined have to be mounted in a precision assembly rigg. The position has to be marked, the hole be PRE drilled, than drilled to itīs size to prevent stress on material, reamed for the rivet to have a 360š precision fit and countersunk for aerodynamic performance. Eaven with drill jigs there is a lot of room for human error and if dedected the whole process has to be repeated with over sized rivets and repaired. Now start to multiply.....
Itīs not only the cost....itīs also a lot safer because of the
>>>>>control of quality of lesser parts
In contrast to that
vacuum resin infusion garanties all fibers are properly wetted, the access resin is removed
The resin is cured at the exact temperature and time factors at every stage of the resin and all positions of the part controled by sometimes more than 100 temperature sensores in the autoclave depending on size of the part.
The quality of those 2 processes is ashured by inspecting the finished part with an X-Ray scanner and stress tests.
There is no more posibility of human error in that process. Nothing and no issues escapes this process.
You would be surprized how much superior the limits get using this production proccess compared to any other method and specially compared to the ones used in high end custom boats with small production numbers.
There is tecnically no way they will ever garanty those quality standards.
The draw back is the huge investment for incorporating such technology in the boats industrie. Also the tooling is very expensive and every little change is combined with high costs. The design of the molds better be double checked for precision etc and they have all to ready for production at the same time as also the rest of all the other parts to have a smooth production cycle.
As to be expected....itīs a long process from designing a new model/boat, ramping up production and getting to pull out them boats like cockies but once everything runs smooth prices go down drastically and there is no better way to construct boats as far as quality to price
More so it needs to sell a lot of boats to pay for such a manufacturing facility.
Usually for building boats this way it needs a proto type but even most of this design stage today can be eleminated with using the known parameters into computer design animation. So they know pretty much everything about the boat before they even start the production.
Another very negative aspect is, this way of building boats leaves very little room for changes unless those desirable changes are incorporated right from the beginning.
BUT...after all itīs a huge progress and a Win Win for boats
Well ..where does that leave us ?
A high quality boat but may be not designed to what we define as blue water
aplication.I would estimate that this new situation will shut the door for many boats builders in the future, because the relation between what You pay and what You get for the money will get outrageous. Once the big markets are saturated they will attack smaller niche customers and hopefully they will start thinking soon about the here discussed blue water desires.
I personally would well come more designers and builders with good boats to make a deal with those facilities to at least manufactor part of their boat with those tecnics to ashure better quality standards and bring down the price.
The option of converting such a production boat to the here mentioned features ?
Yes everything is possible but besides the money I am very skeptical when it comes to trial and error experiments and I guess there are limits if You donīt want to touch the structural integrity of such production boats.
In this aspect what I definitly like about the new design production boats is the space available for the size of the boat. They certainly look good.
What I absolutly donīt like is the double steering
in the back. Huge areas totally unprotected from the elements.All the gear
to move the sails
comes from quality suppliers but It seems to me for withstanding tough conditions for extended periods the next size up is more adequade. When it comes to blue water navigation equipment
the outfits are pour and that costs a lot of money to upgrade. And for permanent live a bord I think it needs a whole lot more. Not only will that raise the weight considerably and it remains to be seen what effects that would have on the performance, but also to find a proper space for the components ???
I certainly would enjoy the project
But I love sailing and spent the money else where a lot more