Built to take on the competition offshore, this Nelson/Marek-designed 52-footer is designed to perform under the IMS Rule. The Owner, an experienced hand at offshore competition, has set his sights on, among other events, the 2004 Newport to Bermuda Race. Given the often-demanding weather of offshore racing, the hull and deck structure must be able to handle boisterous conditions while keeping rig tension -- all while weighing as little as possible. New England Boatworks' industry-leading Advanced Composite Technology is just the ticket.
Utilizing a proven combination of vacuum-bagged, heat-cured carbon pre-preg inner and outer skins, varying densities of Core-Cell and Airlite structural linear foam core (foam density is dictated by stress-map analysis), this 52-footer will be stiff, tough, light, and strong. The hull mold has been constructed to high tolerances using computer-drawn, laser-cut framing, and the mold skin has been painstakingly faired. The pre-preg hull and deck laminates, which use SP Systems epoxy pre-preg uni-directional and double-bias fabrics, are heat-cured in NEB's full-size composites climate control room.
Thermocouples attached to the inside surface of the mold ensure that the cure temperature is correct and consistent throughout the hull and deck as the temperature is carefully ramped up, then held at 175 degrees (Fahrenheit) for a prescribed time period. In common with other Grand Prix NEB projects, this Nelson/Marek 52 will feature extensive custom-built carbon-fiber structural and deck hardware components, designed by Nelson/Marek Yacht Design in conjunction with NEB's Engineering Team, and built by NEB's Composites Team.