Carbon FFs and the Charm of Resin…..

Like most Club Racers, I wouldn’t know the first thing about the way boats are moulded. I managed to get to see my Dragon being built at Petticrows which was fabulous. All very high tech. You know, at Petticrows they weigh every last bit of materials that go into the boat and predict accurately what it will weigh on the scales a long time before it ever gets there. And that weighs 1700 kilos!

I would guess it is the same at Ovington, Composite Craft and the FF Builders. You may recall in the blog a few weeks back there was a lot of discussion about Carbon FFs and the weight. We had a lot of chat about the whole area with Charles during the Datchet Winter Warm Up. Resin is quite a challenge apparently as it weighs a lot….

The problem with carbon fibre mat if it is the woven variety, is all those holes between the strands. The little holes need filling up and if resin is used, it sinks in there and just adds the kilos. Like Cadbury’s Dairy Milk but on a very large scale…

So what they do is use Uni Directional carbon fibre (less bumps, less holes) and lay two layers so the direction of the strands forms a “V” or chevron shape.  Then glass bubbles are kind of pressed in to fill those holes with air instead of resin….

So – all very elaborate stuff – I can see now why it takes a while to get it right.  On a fifteen, you want the boat to come out on the weight before correctors are added… so the builders will all have this focus on resin which pushes the weight up…..  It might sound OK that you simply add less lead to hit the Class Minimum weight, but it’s quite likely that a boat with a lot of resin has higher turning moments…. I think that’s what part of all the fuss is about.


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