When it comes to the building of reliable structures and the assembly of dependable mechanical systems, company culture is key.
FIBRE Mechanics is an employee-owned company, and as a result we have attracted the type of boat builders and engineers who care most about the work they do. Boats are built by people not boatyards.
The problem we set out to solve…
Racing yacht builders have been using sophisticated composite materials and processes to reduce the weight of yacht structures for many years. The latest generation of performance cruising yachts also employ highly engineered carbon structures in order to reduce hull weight. However, we have yet to see a cruising yacht builder apply the same full-on approach to reduce the weight of mechanical systems and interiors. More often than not, the weight saved in carbon construction is 'given away' in equipment installation and fit-out.
The way we intend to solve it…
Our goal is to harness the attitude required to build a lightweight racing yacht, and to apply the same approach to the detailed design and fit out of lightweight performance cruising yachts. You will find a number of boatyards who can build a lightweight yacht in carbon fibre, (though few with anywhere near the depth of experience we can bring to the task). But, we believe, it is no longer sufficient to build a super-lightweight hull and then install traditional cruising yacht systems and interiors.
We research and specify the lightest equipment, to fully integrate the installation of systems with composite structure, and scrutinise every fixture and fastening. We apply the same weight-saving philosophy to every component, every assembly and every piece of equipment on a yacht, and we do all of this with the consistent ‘mindset’ of a carbon composite boat builder.
A yacht's specification will describe hull structure, interior joinery, sailing and house systems, mast, spars, sails and keel etc. in varying degrees of detail. You might assume that the weight of a yacht is dictated by the equipment on board, and that any yard that follows the specification will produce a yacht of the same weight. This is far from the whole story.
- A complex yacht contains a vast amount of equipment, all of which has to be attached to the yacht's composite structure with a support or foundation of one kind or another. There is weight to be saved in every attachment detail, but only for a yard that understands the importance of saving every kilo of weight possible.
- A yacht's specification does not specify every valve and pipe - such things are left as yard details, and in many cases are subject to Classification Society regulations. If the lightest solution involves equipment that is not certified, there is often an option to seek custom certification. A racing boatyard can win a very significant weight advantage by eliminating standard heavy solutions in favour of lightweight custom alternatives.
- And then there are items such as sole bearers which can be built in any number of ways - some light, some not. The design of sub-structures such as these can be an unseen reservoir of parasitic weight. They can also be an ideal target for a racing boat yard on a mission.
One tenth of a knot boatspeed upwind, or the ability to recover speed from a tack just a few seconds faster than the opposition, can be the difference between a fast boat and a boat that wins races.
If these things are important to you - you are looking for a racing boat yard. In fact you are probably looking for FIBRE Mechanics.