NEW Noosa Cruiser Incorporates DuFLEX Strip
A project is underway at Noosa Marine on the Sunshine Coast that is a couple’s “forever boat” and a brilliant homage to its predecessor.
The 7.5-metre is a monohull power boat inspired by “ARIEL”, which was in for its 13-year “berthday” at Noosa Marine when a local couple spotted her and fell in love. ARIEL was designed by Roger Hill Yacht design in 2006 based on a specification for a “a simple yet classical look with flared few sections and tumble home at the transom”. Roger was also commissioned for this new Noosa Cruiser.
“They have been customers for many years,” says Julian Griffiths, Director at Noosa Marine. “We’ve worked on their boats over the years and they’ve always admired our cruisers. They were at our workshop one day and saw ARIEL and said ‘aha, that’s it!’. Construction is underway, with an estimated build time of four months.”
Crucial to the speed and cost-effectiveness of the new boat are the foam core cut-to-order DuFLEX panels from ATL Composites.
DuFLEX panels were specifically designed to reduce construction time and to optimise structural weight in high performance composite structures. Using DuFLEX reduces time-consuming laminating, coring and vacuum bagging steps normally required to fabricate high performance composites. It also reduces material waste, labour and tooling costs.
The hull will be planked with DuFLEX/Foam Composite Strips, developed by ATL Composites to conform to highly convex or concave contours, and can provide up to 50% of the total laminate.
An advance in marine strip planking construction, DuFLEX / Strip Panels are laminated with unidirectional reinforcements in a 1200mm x 2400mm sheet and machined with Z-Joints on both 1200mm edges. These panels can be joined to the full length of the project, and ripped into strips on-site.
The boat’s owners have had three previous boats, including a canal boat in France and are seasoned boaties, having enjoyed cruising the Med for the past 15 years.
“Now that they’re focused on home waters, they want their final boat to be a good one – the best!” says Julian.
The new build will be wider at 2.4-metres and still trailerable, with an array of custom features designed into the boat, including extended roofline and forward flare, tumblehome aft and teak trims.
There’s a cockpit shower and full-length seating that could convert to day beds. The aft is self-draining, eliminating the need for a bilge.
Below decks, there will be a V-double berth, enclosed toilet and galley. It will be powered by a 115hp outboard engine, making this the ideal weekender and day boat for simply messing about on the Noosa River.
“It will also be a competent offshore vessel, ideal for Moreton Bay or Sydney Harbour,” Julian asserts. “It could hop down the coastline to Sydney if you pick your weather.”
While yet unnamed, the new incarnation of ARIEL will be delivered just in time for some winter river cruising.
DuFLEX the Key to Speed and Stability
ATL Composites has supplied DuFLEX Composite panels and KINETIX high performance epoxy systems for the latest designs from Norman R. Wright & Sons for two new custom designed Pilot Boats for PNG Ports Corporation.
“Siabo” is the first boat to hit the water from Wrights featuring their all-new Extra Long Waterline (XLW Class) design, which offers optimum seakeeping and efficiency in all sea conditions and speeds in excess of 30 knots.
Norman R. Wright & Sons was one of 10 companies to tender for the first of a fleet of 14.2-metre pilot craft.
The DuFLEX Building System was used for the entire vessel construction, including hull shell, frames, bulkheads, deck and superstructure. Panels were supplied as full-sized components and offered significant structural weight savings over infusion and other traditional methods, as well as eliminating the substantial costs associated with moulding.
Working with ATL Composites, Wright’s Naval Architects and Master Tradesmen integrated unique composite construction, combining resin-infused and pressed GRP cored panels with DNV-GL approval.
The design allows for a reduced centre of gravity for superior stability enhancing pilot safety when alongside ships, along with wide, flush, uninterrupted side decks around the entire vessel for optimum safety.
The two new boats are the first in what is expected to be a fleet catering to the growing ports, cargo and liquid natural gas infrastructure in Port Moresby and the 21 other surrounding PNG ports that they service.
PNG Ports Corporation visited Wright’s headquarters at Rivergate Marina & Shipyard, Brisbane and trialled a comparable vessel.
“They were impressed with our 110-year history, our factory and our history of support on similar fleets in North Queensland,” said Tony Riek, Managing Director.
The 14.2-metre design is customised specifically to the needs of PNG Ports Corp designs and is based on an evolution of Wrights’ highly successful Skirmish Class Pilot Boats which draw on over 80 years of Pilot Boat design and building expertise.
“Pilot Boats are a part of our DNA,” explained Tony. “We designed and built our first in 1935 and since then designed and built some of the sturdiest craft seen, in some of the harshest Australian waterways and beyond.
“The quality of our boats means many are still in continuous service after decades of operation. There are Pilot Boats still in operation which we built in 1993. We have a team of highly skilled and qualified naval architects and boat builders using the latest technology, processes and high-tech materials.”
ATL Composites engineered the vessel to meet DNV-GL: 1A HSLC R2 CREW, and worked closely with Adam Evripidou, Tony Riek and the Wrights’ team on developing and optimising build techniques.
DuFLEX Composite Panels reduce construction time and optimise structural weight in the production of light weight composite structures. Using DuFlex panels in boat construction avoids time-consuming laminating, coring and vacuum bagging steps normally required to fabricate high performance composites, and material waste, labour and tooling costs are greatly reduced
Light, strong, fast and versatile, the Noosa 7 is turning heads and winning hearts.
At Noosa Marine, the expert team of boat builders is crafting a sleek Noosa 7, a 7-metre motor yacht designed by Director Julian Griffiths and only the second unit ever built, constructed using the lightweight and strong DuraKore and DuFLEX panel systems from ATL Composites.
Renowned for his expertise in building multihulls of the calibre of the Schionning G Force 2000 Special, KATO, a seriously fast cruising cat, as well as power cats from the pen of Roger Hill, including the 14-metre AYANA and 19.5-metre BAJACA, Julian is now focused on promoting his own designs under the Noosa brand.
Ten years ago, Julian built the first Noosa 7 as his own boat to a design he developed as he went along. It’s the kind of boat you’d see in Monaco and the Riviera, as luxury tenders to superyachts and day boats.
“It was ahead of the times,” he says of the compact craft that serves as an excellent day boat or weekender and is sturdy and stable enough for runs up to Double Island Point and Musgrave Island from Noosa at a top speed of 30 knots.
“I built the first one for myself, without plans, just making it up as we went along. On the second one we’re doing plans as we go. A draughtsman is measuring and doing the drawings which will be computerised. Then we’ll get a kit produced from ATL so future boats are a quicker build for us.”
Two days into this build, Julian received an enquiry from a Gold Coast couple who’d seen his original Noosa 7 on social media. “It was on Pinterest, of all places,” says Julian, delighted, yet still staggered.
They couple visited Julian’s factory at Noosaville on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and saw Julian’s boat in the flesh and bought the second vessel on the spot.
“The boat grabs a lot of attention,” says Julian. “It’s unique, classic but modern, simple, cool.”
With space for up to eight people, sleeping four in comfort, the Noosa 7 boasts a bathroom, deck shower and fridge under the helm. “It’s a great weekender. We take it offshore fishing or just island hopping.”
Its 140 hp Suzuki engine is all that’s required to top 30 knots. The incredibly light vessel weighs only 1,250 kg and at 2.3m wide x 7.3m long, it’s conveniently trailerable.
The first Noosa 7 was constructed using DuraKore Strip Planking for the hull, but the following models will be made of 100 percent DuFLEX Composite Panels in CNC routed kit form.
“DuFLEX is brilliant to work with,” says Julian. “You can create boats that are quicker, lighter and stronger. Our boats aren’t moulded, they are made by hand, using widely spaced temporary build frames that are CNC- routed from design files to the required shape. Large parts like hull panels are created by bending the flat panels around the frames, ensuring a fair hull shape.”
The DuFLEX Kit Technology also minimises material waste and tooling costs and simplifies quotations.
Other features of the Noosa 7 include a T top for protection from the elements, full size fridge and accommodation for up to four people.
“It handles really well because of its long waterline length, like a yacht,” Julian explains. “I took my sailing and yachting background and incorporated knowledge into a power boat.”
Build time is approximately three months and the cost of the Noosa 7 with engine and nav gear is $140,000.
“This is a hand built, high-end, epoxy composite product, unique and one-off, you are buying a custom vessel. It’s not for everybody, but we are hopeful of catering to a niche of coastal cruisers looking for something different.
“The best things are the simple things,” explains Julian. “That keeps everything down: weight, maintenance, price. We’re aiming to build around five to eight per year, it depends on labour.
There’s also a 10-metre version in the works, just waiting for somebody to spot it and make it their own. The larger model will be priced at $300,000. “It’s more like a super tender, European style with a V8 diesel inboard and the works onboard.”
Owners can be sure of after-sales support. “It’s my name, my pride that go into our boats,” asserts Julian. “Once you buy one of our boats, you’re in the family.”
A second storey extension on an historic apartment building in London is the perfect study in pre-fab sustainability and style.
Site access and sympathetic design were just two of the parameters that had to be considered in the construction of an upper floor of a London City House.
Architect Matthew Anderson of Arkitekt MNAL, Steinlia AS, based in Oslo, Norway, was commissioned for the project. He devised a two-pod concept fully-engineered in DuFLEX ® Composite panels, supplied by vdL, Germany, ATL Composites’ European partner.
“The project is located in a complex historic situation in central London and involved the addition of a new storey to an existing private terrace house,” Mr Anderson explained. “Site access and speed of construction, as well as the irregular geometry of the existing house, required prefabrication with a high degree of precision.
“We used DuFLEX for the main structure of the extension, including external walls, roof, and floor. The DuFLEX panels also provide the finished internal surfaces of these elements.”
The addition needed to be lightweight due to crane restrictions in London. The panels are both structural and offer appropriate insulation. Sidewalls and roof were 70mm thick, while floors were 40mm thick and laminated with a 600grm biaxial E-Fibreglass skin and a high performance ATL epoxy and cored with PET Foam.
PET is a recyclable core which has excellent smoke and toxicity properties, good mechanical performance, is chemically stable and will not absorb water and consequently, there is a growing interest in the product for architectural and construction applications.
DuFLEX Composite panels offer a range of benefits, including structural stiffness and light weight. In fact, they represent a 90 percent weight saving over a comparable steel design, meaning ease of handling and reduced risk of worker injury. They are durable, will not rust, rot or corrode even in a marine environment and is very low maintenance.
DuFLEX provides excellent thermal insulation with vastly improved properties compared to steel, and the panels significantly reduce the size and weight demands on support structures and foundation. This translates to a reduced cost for installation and handling.
With applications as diverse as building facades and door, gates and window frames to long-span roofing, composite decks, bridges and pre-fabricated housing DuFLEX can be engineered into architectural projects to meet design loadings and regulatory requirements.
Complex forms can be created relatively easily, and made-to-measure units can be manufactured to be adapted to existing structures, broadening design freedom and offering rapid processing and construction which helps to lower costs significantly.
The sections for the London House “pods” were built and CNC routed at vdL Composites GmbH in Wesel, Germany, then glued together and packed at Bootswerft Baumgart, Dortmund. They were transported by Glogau International Yachttransporte to the London site.
The project got underway in September 2019 and was completed in July 2020 after a two–month delay due to COVID19 restrictions.
According to architect, Matthew Anderson, who travelled to the site to witness the pods’ installation, “they were a very good fit” and the process went perfectly to plan in just two hours.
“We chose DuFLEX due to its high specific strength (strength/weight ratio), insulating properties, aesthetic qualities, and flexible application.
“We are satisfied with both the speed and precision of constructing with DuFLEX, the structural performance of DuFLEX, and the beautiful rooms that we created together.
Architect, Matthew Anderson, Arkitekt MNAL, Steinlia AS.
Agnese Sanvito, http://www.agnesesanvito.com/
Videos of Installation are Available on Request.
Insideoutback Campers on an innovative project, known as “Bruce”
Now complete and ready for family travel, “Bruce” the motor home represents the prototype for a low-impact vehicle with pioneering green credentials.
The brainchild of architect, Dick Clarke, Bruce is the first Australian motorhome from InsideOutback Campers whose body is built almost entirely from biologically derived materials, grown in a forest or a paddock.
“The walls and floor are custom DuFLEX composite panels, manufactured by ATL Composites on the Gold Coast. We used ProBalsa end-grain core with structural skins of woven flax fabric laminated with a bio-epoxy
Built on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the project is a new mid-size 6 berth-plus 6 seat motor-home with the guiding principal of using only environmentally friendly components and without fossil-derived materials.
“Fundamental to my work since that time was the aim to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. It has to be about the eco-impact of the materials you’re using as well. In 2016-17, I built a motor home that was vacuum bag foam sandwich construction, extremely light and strong, but with conventional materials. When I was looking to make an awning cover, I discovered these new organic composite materials and fell in love with them and decided to work with them on a prototype motor home for our kids and grandkids to travel with us.”
The relationship with ATL has its origins years ago, when Dick worked with Ian Wright from Norman R. Wright & Sons on his modular home, dubbed “Eco Casa”, constructed with the DuFLEX panel system.
Dick contacted Mac Dalton, ATL Technical Sales Manager in May 2020 and the sustainable campervan project began.
The structure is much like an ocean racing yacht, with panels joined by layers of woven flax fabric, aided by small amounts of carbon fibre in high stress points, all laminated with bio-epoxy resin.
“The floor is 50mm thick and the walls are 25mm thick. The roof weight was minimised by using 20mm Divinycell PVC foam core with e-fibreglass skins, in bio-epoxy. The bio-epoxy is zero-VOC when cured, but importantly is low odour during curing – so, very different from conventional polyester resins!
“This has some carbon fibre as well, used strategically in the high stress joint areas. The bio-epoxy resin combined with the flax on a balsa core makes for a motorhome body built almost entirely from biologically derived materials – grown in a forest or a paddock. “All connections are glued and screwed, for long lived structural integrity regardless of vibrations. Door and drawer latches in contrasting black from Dorset Australia in Melbourne.
“The roof is raised on gas struts made to order in Brisbane by Aussie Gas Struts. It is lowered by gravity and a pulley system taken from a catamaran mainsail downhaul system by Ronstan. The canvas pop-top is a cotton-poly blend selected for its breathability, zero-VOC, and UV protection, made by Affordable Canvas in Sydney.
“Flooring is a flexible sheet made of recycled rubber and cork chips, and the wall and head lining is made with recycled PET bottles, also zero VOC.
“The electrical system is very powerful, having 400AH of LiFePO4 (lithium) batteries with sophisticated battery management. “Four 290 watt e-Arche solar panels provide nearly 1.2kWE of power to the batteries. A 1,200 watt inverter provides 230v power, and there are a number of 5v USB power outlets.
“Hot water is provided by an Australian designed 12v ‘Duouetto’ system, heating 10 litres at a time – enough for two showers, before reheating in 20 minutes. Cooking is by two Origo ethanol cooktop burners, therefore there is no gas on board, saving space and weight
The beds are located above the cab (small double); a queen bed that folds down at the back with an inflatable mattress and in-bulit air pump; a large single on the back seat of the cab (which seats four abreast), and another on the settee.
Upholstery is hemp fabric which is very sustainable, extremely robust and easy to clean, while being very nice to the touch.
The galley is equipped with a full-sized, stainless-steel sink, the two-burner cooktop, a 208 Litre fridge and freezer, and copious storage in drawers and cupboards.
“The days of big heavy campervans and motorhomes are numbered,” he states. “The era of the compact fold-out campervan and motorhome has arrived.
“We have three guiding principles: agility, economy, connection. Agility refers to compact campers and motorhomes that can travel light on the country with ease, low centre of gravity, low wind resistance, low tyre wear.
“Economy means lower capital cost, vastly lower fuel and maintenance costs, lower depreciation: keeps you on the road longer, bank balance healthier. Connection refers to keeping you in touch with the land you came to explore, not cocooned in a hot-box with project-home decor. We design ultra-compact expanding vehicles that work from the inside out.”
DuFLEX: Aussie ingenuity on show at METS
ATL Composites and their European joint venture company, vdL Composites will attend this year’s METSTRADE Show in Amsterdam, 19 to 21 November, exhibiting the DuFLEX panel building system, developed in Australia and now industry standard for boat builders the world-over.
“METS is the world’s largest trade exhibition of marine equipment, materials and systems,” said Lorraine Murray, Director at ATL Composites, based on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
“It’s important to connect with our customers and our partners in Europe and show them the innovative ways DuFLEX can be used in boat building, saving production time and delivering lighter weight, stronger boats.”
Inga von der Linden at vdL Composites said “We attend METS because we meet the international industry there and we can show them the DuFLEX products in reality.
“Existing customers can also visit our stand and see new developments, network with colleagues and experience innovations from the global marine market.”
Developed in Australia by ATL Composites, DuFLEX panels are available with a range of lightweight, high-strength core materials that are laminated with a high-performance, specially formulated, epoxy resin and can be reinforced with multi-axial E-fibreglass or carbon fibre.
DuFLEX panels have become an industry standard for composite boat construction and the system is specified by leading designers around the world for the construction of pleasure, performance and commercial craft.
In 2012, ATL Composites and MuH von der Linden GmbH of Wesel, Germany, formed a joint venture company, known as vdL Composites GmbH to produce DuFLEX® composite panels for the European market.
Since then, the DuFLEX range has been available to professional boat-builders and designers throughout Europe, with local supply and experienced technical support provided by the Technical Team at vdL Composites.
Growing demand for the DuFLEX panels has led to an ever-increasing European customer base and the further development of options for customers.
Business secured directly from last year’s METS includes supplying DuFLEX for interior fitouts for ITA Catamarans and projects for Gunboat, Baltic Yachts and Nautor’s Swan.
As Inga explained “The Gunboat 68 used DuFLEX for interior panels for ceilings and cladding. Delivered as full-sized parts, the DuFLEX panels were cored with DIAB Divinycell H80 foam, and reinforced with several orientations of E-Fibreglass and/or Carbon Fibre to provide a combination of stiffness and strength. Vdl Composites also supplied 42mm and 84mm FRP Bonding Angles to provide a quick and effective way to make right angle joints between the panels.
“Iconic builder, Nautor’s Swan contacted us as a result of the referral from their neighbours, Baltic Yachts, who demonstrated the panels,” Inga continued.
Jan Vidjeskog at Baltic yachts said “DuFLEX panels are cured to our demands and have a good and even quality which make them easy and cost-effective to use.”
The vdL Technical Team will be available at METS to introduce you to The DuFLEX Building System, and to discuss your specific design and fabrication requirements.
vdL Composites will exhibit at booth CMP.25.EL in the Construction Material Pavilion.