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Boats have been around for thousands of years, ever since early humans happened upon a body of water they sought to cross. Archaeologists have discovered that some of the first maritime vessels were constructed from hollowed out logs that could be used to traverse rivers and lakes. Boat technology has evolved dramatically over the ages, with modern ships relying on wood, fiber reinforced plastic, composites, or a combination of all three in their construction.
A composite is simply a material that is formed by combining several substances or elements together. Today’s boat manufacturers are leveraging the superior qualities of composites which have proven to be both highly efficient and to hold tremendous advantages over traditional ship building materials as well. Customers operating in the marine market should be aware of the value that can be gained from composite construction.
Hulls and decks formed of composite materials and foams have exploded in popularity. After its introduction to the marine industry in the 1960s, fiberglass (short for “fiber reinforced plastic”) has emerged as the composite of choice among ship builders. Fiberglass typically integrates weaves of glass fiber cloth stacked in alternating layers and bound by either polyester, vinylester, or epoxy. Boat builders and boat owners prize fiberglass for its low maintenance, high strength, ease of repair, and low cost compared to conventional boatbuilding materials.1
When constructing a boat from fiberglass, the process typically starts with a female mold on which fiberglass cloth layers and resin are placed to form the hull. The sandwiching of composite materials such as Corecell, Divinycell, and Coosa between fiberglass layers creates a robust yet light structure that can decrease the weight of the boat by 40% compared to that of more traditional construction elements. Lastly, a sturdy and glossy gelcoat finish is applied to the mold to shield the fiberglass from potentially damaging hazards including salt spray, fish innards, alcohol, abrasions, and ultraviolet radiation. The result is a vessel that is lightweight yet boasts unmatched structural integrity that will outlast that of other vehicles at the marina or shipyard. 2
Composites contain the strengths and advantages of the elements that go into their formation, making them ideal for boatbuilding and marine applications. Magnum Venus Products (MVP) is the premiere manufacturer of composite application equipment, serving a variety of industries including marine, automotive, aerospace, transportation, railway, oil & gas, wind turbine, and more.
MVP. Customer Focused. Product Driven.
To learn more about our gelcoat products used in boats, jet skis, and other applications, visit MVP online today!