Carbon Fiber And Boats: The Perfect Match?

Luxury yacht maker, Hinckley, thinks so. The American boat brand unveiled the Hinckley 40C, which offers a luxurious ride comparable to the brand’s classic Picnic Boat, with the lightweight strength and speed aided by a carbon fiber design.

The 40C utilizes a carbon fiber inner layer, providing the craft with the best in strength and weight.

This enables the craft to reach a top speed of 63 miles per hour, around 20 mph faster than the Hinckley Picnic craft it’s been likened to.

However, this craft isn’t just built for speed. The boat also features an innovative gyro stabilizer, a feature that supposedly stops up to 95% of rocking whether the boat is docked or sailing to the sunset.

It also has a cappuccino machine.

But Hinckley isn’t the only boating brand that’s been utilizing carbon fiber to add support to its hull.

Plans for the new Palm Beach GT50 plans to use 100% carbon fiber to build its deck, helm station, and superstructure.

And it isn’t just speedboats that are utilizing carbon fiber technology. The Tartan Yachts 395 relies on a carbon fiber mast to help reduce the ship’s weight.

So, why has carbon fiber invaded the boating industry so seamlessly?

The answer lies within carbon fiber’s lightweight properties and durability.

Most boats, even until recently, have relied on wood to craft the perfect seafaring vessel. But even back when we experimented with wooden hulls and timber masts, we still strived to find lighter woods that didn’t sacrifice strength. Regardless, wooden planks still had a tendency to shrink and expand under the influence of water.

In the modern day, we’ve experimented with aluminum and other types of metals. Aluminum pulled out on top, but it will still corrode in a fairly short amount of time.

Enter carbon fiber.

Carbon fiber materials offer around 10 times the strength of metals like steel for around half of the weight, making seafarers all the fairer.

Boat manufacturers quickly fell in love with carbon fiber composite materials, usually opting for fiberglass composites to make their vessels resistant to moisture and corrosion.

On top of that, they’re easy to build. One of the best parts of carbon fiber composites is their simple construction. You create a basic mold and ta-da! You can use it over and over again, saving time.

The sale of powerboats in 2016 alone was expected to increase between six and seven percent. With new carbon fiber innovations, who knows what 2019 has in store for the boating industry.

Compared to wooden boats, carbon fiber designs are practically Poseidon-sent.

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