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Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       05-02-2008, 1:03 PM Reply   
Hey guys, is there any company out there that is using carbon for boating accessories like board holders or towers or even rear deck replacements? I am considering making some parts for my 88 SS and maybe there could be some overlap.

It looks like Monster Tower just contracted a company, but I am sure they are going to be premium priced not ot mention they look akward.

I know Malibu makes their Carbon tower, but I would be interested in an add-on tower. I work with prepreg, aerospace grade carbon. Superlight and strong. Let me know what you think. I am still determined to get to my wake enhancement device also.


I think a light board rack would be pretty sweet.

(Message edited by fig on May 02, 2008)
Old     (kmcginty)      Join Date: Sep 2005       05-02-2008, 1:23 PM Reply   
I think "G" had carbon board racks. A deck would look sweet but be really slippery
Old     (deltaboy)      Join Date: Jan 2007       05-02-2008, 2:03 PM Reply   
The top deck of our boat (where the side vents are) and up the side of the tower was laminated using carbon fiber. Looks nice in the sun for sure.
Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       05-02-2008, 2:08 PM Reply   
yeah the deck would have to have some grip for sure, but on a sunny day it would get pretty hot. I think a few indents for tack foam or something would key well with it.
Old     (deltaboy)      Join Date: Jan 2007       05-02-2008, 2:30 PM Reply   
Swim step would look sweet I think. The deck isnt any slippery than any other part of the boat (its all slippery) since instead of glass they layed carbon ontop of the clear. Some accent peices would be nice looking, e.g., rear grab handdle on the transom on our boat has a trim peice around it and is carbon fiber on a few models. I think Calabria had an option of a carbon fiber inlay in the dash. Not sure if it was their boat or another one but it looked cool. Its just that when it gets scratched then it all looks like crap.
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       05-02-2008, 3:29 PM Reply
Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       05-02-2008, 4:21 PM Reply   
Thanks Art, I found them. Just wondering who else is out there.
Old     (wakinbakin)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-02-2008, 6:12 PM Reply   
Kevin (deltaboy) do you have any pics of your boat?
Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       05-05-2008, 9:13 AM Reply   
I had a chance to go through the boat this past weekend since I had to go through things for the season.I though about what I would make. Here is my short list that would be mostly universal to other boats of the same vintage.
-Front intake vents.
-Cup holders
-Rear deck
-Flat trim to replace weathered teak.
-The dog house (this is actually pretty appealing to me given it is such a large portion of the boat interior.
-maybe CF ballast vessels although the cost would probably not make them desirable.
-Driver's seat
-Dash cubby tray
-rope tie in/grip handles

just brainstorming here... I have an old boat that needs lots of cosmetics, but not sure about how many things are interchangable. It seems as though boat manufacturers have stuck together on most parts for simplicity, but there will always be slight variations.

Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       05-06-2008, 12:11 PM Reply   
I am going to start with an easy one, the cup holders. Should have something to post pics up in a a few days. I think next I will design a rope cleat stay tuned.

Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-06-2008, 12:53 PM Reply   
you should make a whole CF boat to save on gas.. then you would be the shiz..
Old     (deltaboy)      Join Date: Jan 2007       05-06-2008, 1:10 PM Reply   
Tyler the only one I have, on this computer, of the CF is before the hull and deck were fused. But at least you get an idea.

Figgs are you going to back light it with LED's? That would be ridiculous! Post pics when you get it done.

Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       05-07-2008, 8:41 AM Reply   
LEDS can certainly be added and I have a lot of experience with high wattage LEDs as well and indirect optics. But I have to ask, how many people really use their boat at night?

Old     (boarder_x)      Join Date: Mar 2006       05-07-2008, 9:01 AM Reply   

A lot of people ride all day. Then cruise back to the dock at night. Putting LED's in the cup holders, and lighting up beer, is just another way of living the dream.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-08-2008, 8:50 AM Reply   
Did someone say Carbon Fiber
Mirrior Arm
Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       05-08-2008, 9:36 AM Reply   
excellent, thanks for the reference.

REgarding hand laid wet vs molded prepreg autoclave there is a big difference in not only strength but finish. With the proper process of placing prepreg into the mold, the weave deviation is minimized. here is an example of a part I have done in the past. The finish is the epoxy from the prepreg not a gel coat.

Awesome work BTW Grant that boat looks great. A huge step up from my boat :-) but I am cheap.


(Message edited by fig on May 08, 2008)
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-08-2008, 10:41 AM Reply   
Fig nice work: Yea weave deviation is a big problem. I have thrown away YARDS of carbon fiber and ton's of parts because the weave was distorted. Once you know what good carbon looks like its hard to put parts on your boat that you feel look good enough.

I have seen some of the sickest lay up on bicycle frame's IMO they are doing stuff with Carbon lay up that no one is doing.

The Fundimental Carbon is awesome. The racks are a work of art. The design and lay up first class. To bad nice thing's cost so much. I would like to see more products using Carbon Fiber
Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       05-28-2008, 11:18 AM Reply   
OK finally got the cup holder back. I still need to trim it on the lathe but its way too strong at 3X layers of prepreg.

Old     (brit_rider)      Join Date: May 2004       05-28-2008, 11:24 AM Reply   
This may be kind of cheesy, but would a stainless steel cup holder with a carbon fibre bezel not be a sick look and be cheaper to produce? Just thinking aloud...
Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       05-28-2008, 11:28 AM Reply   
It may be harder to integrate the SS to the CFRP. A thermal pressfit would probably work, but may not be much cheaper to product. I still have not gotten a production price on something as simple as this, so that will drive the future.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-28-2008, 12:50 PM Reply   
Figs Ill take 6 of thoes
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       05-28-2008, 1:59 PM Reply   
Fig, I want a carbon hull for my Sanger if you could manage it. Oh, yeah, with a little kevlar in the lower hull and transom please.
Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       05-28-2008, 3:09 PM Reply   
Art, that is gonna be a tall order haha. These are all molded first and fit in an autoclave, so the size limit is around 6 ft. diagonal at the moment. :-)

Grant, do you have OD measurements for existing cup holders on your rig?
Old     (tigerules)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-28-2008, 4:35 PM Reply   
Art, I believe that Sanger has built a carbon fiber hull back in the old days. If memory serves me correct it was hydro. Ask them they might do it for you if you have the coin...
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-28-2008, 5:51 PM Reply   
My boat is at the Lake house. Ill take some measurments this weekend. They are either 3 or 3 1/4 round. Does that sound right?
Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       05-29-2008, 2:34 PM Reply   
So it looks like there are two major sizes. Mine were 2.75" at the waist and 3.8 at the flange. I will order up some "stepped" cup holders and make another mold for both sizes.

What kind of prices do you guys expect for these? Right now at this production level they are around $40 per piece. If there is enough interest I can gang mold them and get better pricing.

Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       05-29-2008, 2:41 PM Reply   
hey, i'm interested. i'll find out what size mine are.
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       06-06-2008, 8:23 AM Reply   
hey just curious if this project is still going on FIGS?
Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       06-06-2008, 2:06 PM Reply   
I have picked up the larger size of cup holder and an Atwood intake vent cover. I will be working on these two parts over the next week. I will post up pics as soon as I get some parts out. The cup holder I molded looks great on my boat. I can take some pics in a bit.

Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-06-2008, 3:33 PM Reply   
The CF parts look sweet, Fig. Hope you can pull it off. Others haven't done so well.

Malibu's CF tower isn't made any more. Seems like it was Titan or Metcraft who tried it. Guess they broke too easily.

Ever used one of those CF handles? They have a history of breaking too. There was a guy in Ohio who broke one & ended up with some of the CF embedded in his leg. I guess he ended up with some nasty infection because of it.

Several people have tried making CF foils, boards & seats for a SkySki/AirChair like ride. Some have worked pretty well...... others haven' just a matter of time before someone figures out the process to make the products strong enough to take the abuse, yet still lightweight. Good luck!
Old     (tx_cook)      Join Date: Aug 2005       06-06-2008, 4:54 PM Reply   
ever tried VARTM? it can eliminate the autoclave. also can make a part as big as you want with complex curvature. has a higher FVF as well at around 52% compared to prepregs.

i think one of the problems with those handles is that the fiber isnt nearly as strong in the traverse direction as compared to uniaxially loaded fiber. thus, most of the strength in the handle section is dependent on the matrix(epoxy/resin) strength. however, the matrix weight fraction is aimed to be minimized in production to get a higher fiber volume fraction. since the matrix strength is much lower than the fiber, and it is minimally present, its no wonder they break (i assume they are breaking in the handle section). also, around a curve, such as where the handle section is continuing to the main body, there is a high stress loading through that transfer section. so, there is another dependence on the matrix to transfer the load around the curve while the fiber begins to carry more of the load as the position along the curve continues from handle to body. if they were to make a strong core for the handle, then be able to transfer the loading to the fiber through bonding then these handles should be very strong. however, this goes back to the main goal in the beginning: will the handle still be light?
Old     (fig)      Join Date: Sep 2007       06-07-2008, 7:57 AM Reply   
tx the parts are actually vac assisted before they are introduced into the autoclave environment. We have tried non pressurized (non autclave) curing and the finish and strength are about 60% lower. To reduce secondary processing, there is no beating the autoclave for strength to weigh ratio.

I think using the epoxy resin for any type of strength is the folly most begotten by composites manufactures that are not making aerospace parts. The idea with prepreg is to consolidate the matrix to minimize the resin component. The less resin beyond fabric saturation, the stronger the part. Since prepregs are pre-wicked, you also do not need to worry about resin beading on the outside of the weave instead of penetrating into the weave. It is sputtered during the weaving process.

The cup hold shown for instance, will support my entire 200lb weight standing on one foot, with nearly zero deflection. These are strong and a handle or tower component should be no problem as long as we can fit the model into the autoclave...or break it into parts that can.



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