Carbon Fiber Hull Naked

It seems that catamarans have become the newest hot toys of the wealthy. Where they would once sport gold chains, they are now sporting carbon fiber.  I found the most amazing example of this recently.  A carbon fiber hull that is apparently to be kept “bright”, that is no paint.  It is a HH66.  The design goal apparently is to show everybody at any marina or mooring that they are the baddest alpha male sailor there is.  Forget UV degradation when you can be that cool.

I see several interesting engineering flaws in this peacocking.  In the tropics black surface temperatures of 160F (70 C) are not uncommon.  That surely rules out room temperature cure epoxy.  Typically high temperature epoxies have very little stretch to failure, like carbon fiber.  Combined, you have a very brittle laminate. 

Especially if foiling, light is cool.  The part that makes carbon so attractive is that it is so strong;  not much is needed.  Combine brittle laminate with very thin layups and you have a damage magnet. 

In the picture it looks like it is a balanced 0/90 layup.  As I have noted so many times, long slender hulls do not have such layups if being done efficiently.  From the pattern, it looks like it is woven.  If so, it looks far cooler than a knitted or uni stack, but is not as strong.  Clearly looking cool is more important than good engineering here.  Gold jewelry by any other name.  “I am bad, bitches, pay attention.”

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10 thoughts on “Carbon Fiber Hull Naked”

  1. If the owner did not knit his name and face in Carbon Fiber it shows some resale value concern! At least someone got the storage right (Humidity-UV-Temperature-Control environment).

  2. Plastic people in a plastic world, very shallow. Never change Kurt as a real person, who tells it like it is and doesnt mind sharing the trenches with the rest of us real guys !!

  3. To my laymans eye in the infusion video It looks like a vinylester resin infusion they mention on their facebook links that the female molds had been coated first with gel coat. Vinylester is considerably better structurally than polyester but not as good as epoxy overall in its structural properties is my understanding?

  4. was clear gelcoat? did not know there was such. Tests done by Richard showed his Durakane to be as good as epoxy in every way structurally.

  5. Can carbon take a baked or non baked gel coat or a spray marine paint coat and or can a pigment be added to the resin – like a non heat attracting colour.

    Additionally can carbon take anti fouling paints – if not has a spray film paint been developed like the new anti fouling thin gloss film spray paint for metals parts, propellers, bow thruster propellers, drive shafts, metal rudders and rudder shafts. { Aerosol spray can application }

    OC

  6. Carbon structures where used for the Solar Impulse – Round the round the world flying solar aircraft. Had to be able to lift from the ground using solely solar energy electric cell power. Surely it is flexible also. I have noticed numerous times whilst commercial airlines jet flying and sitting opposite the wing window the wing rising a good 24 inches approx. during turbulence. The New Dreamliner Boeing is carbon built.

  7. Why would you with a modern multi would you want flexibility. ORACLE every person complained they had too much flex when ETNZ did not. With modern materials no need for flex. Foiling also is dictacted by power beam sail loads ratios.

  8. only for impact. only if you care about surviving crashes. I assume you have confused hull impact resistance with global rigidity.

  9. {a} With unrestricted rules for passage making and some racing rules which do not restrict auto pilots and automatic elevation flap angle computer foiling flight hydraulic controlled systems on foiling lift boards and T foil rudders ,based and similar to airbus and Boeing jets, foiling trimaran crashes will not happen. Where else is fallibility required when built with carbon. Most modern trimarans with foil assist and full foiling designs with t rudders have all used carbon and their have not been any deaths. Do they flex or do they not.The G4 gunboat no person was injured as they commenced racing with insufficient experience, logged foiling, with no damage to the vessel..

    {b} ocean cruiser says:

    May 5, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Can carbon take a baked or non baked gel coat or a spray baked or non baked marine paint coat [ Dongfeng has colour covering the exterior carbon layers as do the other boats .and or can a pigment be added to the resin – like a non heat attracting colour.

    Additionally can carbon take anti fouling paints – if not has a spray film paint been developed like the new anti fouling thin gloss film spray paint for metals parts, propellers, bow thruster propellers, drive shafts, metal rudders and rudder shafts. { Aerosol spray can application }

    Not confused. You seem to be discouraging carbon built designs and services.

    OC

  10. no difference in how carbon part takes any of the coatings you mention. I have be advocating carbon for decades. I understand where it helps and where it does not. yuppies like it anywhere and do not care to understand where it helps, or has a weakness. thats all.

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