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Tag Archive Deck

Hull lamination

Deck Join is a Milestone

September sees Destiny start to look like a real boat! The deck finishes cooking in its mould and towards the end of the month everything is ready to be joined together. The floor section has already been installed inside the hull. The battening and cabling has been getting on well but we need the lid 🙂

Deck release

The first step is to release the deck and the upper section from the moulds. The factory do this very carefully with the use of their overhead cranes.

The upper section is full of shapes, windows and port holes. It is therefore much more difficult to produce a clean structure. There are so many more nooks and crannies to get stuck! The good thing about fibre glass is that this is not a problem as it can all be finished by hand. On close inspection I was originally shocked to see that bits of the window frame were broken. At first I went into a panic that the section would have to be made again! It turns out this is quite normal – no reason to worry. Once the experts have done their work, the fibre glass structure will be perfect.

Join the two halves

There are two sections to join. The deck section is first then the upper section goes on top. They are both turned up the right way ready to be lifted on to the hull.

Using the crane, the sections are lifted on top of the hull – and hey presto, we look like a boat!

Deck join marks a “milestone” stage in the production process. It’s now time to get the cheque book out again and transfer a sizeable number of dollars over to Jet Tern Marine. The bank account is definitely getting smaller, but the boat is getting bigger 🙂

The deck join at this stage is actually only temporary – just to show that it fits and the milestone stage is completed. The lid is quickly removed again after the photo opportunity so the factory technicians can carry on working easier inside. There are still big items to be installed in the hull before the deck can be permanently joined. We’ll catch up on all that activity when we visit the factory again next month!

Deck infusion

Deck and infusion techniques

So we have the lower hull – but that’s only half of the boat! The next step in the manufacturing process is to laminate the upper half. This will actually be the middle deck when its finished. For those who haven’t got a clue what lamination means, this is the process of building a very strong fibre-glass shell. This can be with traditional lamination or with infusion.

The hull is now sitting in the main factory hall on a cradle with steps for access. It’s starting to look like a boat! Obviously a lot of work to go to make all the other parts.

The process starts with a mould – a bit like making jelly 🙂 The gel coat is sprayed on the mould – which is the outer layer of the boat that gives its shiny finish. After that, layers upon layers are built up gradually with glass fibre matting. This is then layered with resin, then more matting and more resin in many layers. The result is a very strong structure which is then left in the mould to cure (dry). This takes several weeks – then the structure is released from the mould and work can begin.

Each individual section of the boat has a mould. When they are made, they are stuck together and can be changed and re-modelled by hand as needed. Imperfections in the structure can easily be corrected and sections can even be completely changed.

Vacuum Infusion

For flat sections – such as the decks – where strong weight bearing is needed – a technique called vacuum infusion is sometimes used. The vacuum improves the process and results in a very strong structure. Put simply, the resin is infused at the top and dribbles into all the crevices. The vacuum sucks the resin into all the small spaces in the glass fibre matting and ensures it is completely soaked.

Deck in process of vacuum infusion

August Activities

August 2018 was about making the upper half of the boat. At the same time, the team were preparing the inside of the hull. The upper section was laminated by hand in the mould. The mould is upside down of course so its hard to work out what is what unless you know! The workers inside are spraying and laying down the layers of resin and glass fibre.

The deck and floor sections were laminated using vacuum infusion with the moulds looking a bit like a waffle. The waffle sections also add to the overall strenth of the structure.

Inside the hull, the miles of heavy duty electrical cable were being laid. The cables run through a network of conduits on each side of the boat. This will mean nothing is visible when the boat is finished. The bulk heads (interior main walls) were also being constructed. The bulkheads give the hull itself the strength – along with all the timber cross members. The lower floor was laid into the bow of the hull.

As the work continues, you can begin to see where the cabins will be. Destiny is starting to look like a boat!