Why Carbon Fiber
Why Carbon fiber
The F-22 Raptor Stealth Fighter has over 350 carbon parts.
When the McLaren Company decided to create the most exotic sports car
in history they built the first production car to use a carbon-fiber
monocoque chassis. The 627hp – F1 LM6.1
Goetz Composites – the early days of carbon fiber
Carbon fiber has its earliest history in the aerospace and military industries.
Only recently have we begun to see its more widespread use and application
in high performance consumer products and the automotive industries.
One of the few exceptions is Yacht Racing at its highest levels where results matter
at any cost and Carbon Fiber has been in use for many years.
Goetz built their first boat in 1975, started working with carbon fiber two
years later and built their first full Carbon Fiber boat 26 years ago in
1983. Jubilation was a 54’ German Frers design built in S-Glass, Kevlar,
Carbon Fiber, & Plascore honeycomb. Goetz went on to pioneer the business
and the process has evolved into a highly engineered and exacting science.
Simply put: Goetz delivers the absolute lightest hull, deck, and structure
possible at a required strength.
Prepreg Carbon Advantages:
- The ability to design and align the fiber orientation with the direction of principal stress.
- Carbon has excellent fatigue life and is extremely strong and rigid.
- When combined with a core material Carbon Fiber will deliver substantial weight reduction.
- Consistent (minimal) resin content – about 33% for carbon unitapes.
- Greater interlaminar shear strength due to better fiber-to-fiber contact.
- Curing at 90C [200 F] delivers a very stable part with a very low coefficient of expansion.
- Ability to mold complex shapes and easy to repair.
- Results in a 25% lighter hull, deck, and structure that is 10-15% stiffer then wet-preg
Prepreg material has the correct (minimum) amount of epoxy resin is appliedto the reinforcing material in advance and then frozen to prevent the epoxy from curing. This pre-preg material is precisely applied to the boat plug with the direction of the fibers closely managed. The entire hull is then vacuum bagged and baked in a custom oven to cure the resin. The whole process is completed in a clean and control environment. Using this pre-preg process, the hull, deck and internal structure of an 80’ America’s Cup boat weighs just 4000 lbs! Much ofour 29 years of success is because many racers and yachtsmen consider gettingthe best boat a very high priority. The best does come at a slight premium andmany experienced race programs consider it a wise investment.
This is in line with Goetz boat owners like Roy Disney (Pyewacket & Morning Light), George Coumantaros (Boomerang), George David (2 Idlers), Makoto Uematsu (Esmeralda, 3 boats), Javier Bandaras (TAU) and Philippe Kahn (Pegasus 55 and Pegasus TP52) who made it clear that they wanted the absolute best yacht to meet their needs.
Goetz manages a group of engineers and each project requires a different mix of talents including design, material vendor support, in-house talent and contract Engineers. The victorious America3 campaign for example, drew on the expertise of engineers from Stanford University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astrophysics, as well as engineers from Lockheed and Hall Engineering. The process perfected the new construction techniques and ensured the success of the revolutionary new design. Goetz was a beneficiary of the research and testing done for the A^3 campaigns as all the boatbuilding testing was done to help Goetz create better boats for A^3. These results are now part of the Goetz body of knowledge.
Carbon Cruising Yachts
If you want to go fast the same advantages Prepreg Carbon bring to racing yachts apply to cruising yachts.
- Light boats are easier to handle because of reduced loads and therefore safer.
- A Prepreg carbon boat is strong and safe in the event of a collision.
- Light yachts are easily driven under power making them environmentally friendly and giving them increased range.
- Light hull, deck and structures allow for more weight in the keel which results in a more stable yacht.
- The Goetz G58 designed by Frers will weigh in at a very light 11340 kg
- The Goetz G106 will weigh an astounding 58,460 kg
Weight control is critical to the success of every Goetz boat in order to achieve the perfect combination of speed and strength. As a result, everything is weighed. Not just the hull, deck and bulkheads but the bulkhead tabbing, excess resin from the bleeder cloth, and paint that has been sanded off and swept up from the floor. Every pound must have a purpose.
Racing yachts are often constructed with composite skins of carbon fiber, glass or Kevlar laminated around a honeycomb, foam or balsa core. Cruising yachts can be built with similar materials, or less exotic materials can be selected to achieve appreciable cost savings. Regardless of the materials chosen, Goetz always makes use of its high tech building techniques to maximize strength, speed and overall quality. The G58 and G106 will be built in Prepreg Carbon & Foam.
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