It’s a TANK …… 13.9m Roger Hill Mono destined to turn heads!

Posted on June 15, 2022

The latest Roger Hill design is a dramatic departure from the multihulls he’s built his reputation on for more than 25 years.

The custom-designed 13.9-metre monohull motor yacht, named “TANK, was commissioned by a former client and, while a step out of Roger’s comfort zone, the new build will still have a number of “Hill hallmarks”, including the lightweight, durability of the DuFLEX panel system.

As Roger explains, the brief was to design a monohull motor yacht for a couple who were intent on downsizing and using their boat more “casually”.

“Their ideas and needs have changed and evolved,” says Roger. “Their family has grown up and they would not use a big boat enough now there is only the two of them.

“A key factor was power and fuel capacity for longer trips. It’s powered by twin Mercury V12 Verado engines, with 600 hp each which are hailed as ‘game changing’ for their extraordinary range and performance, as well as the outboard segment’s first steerable gearcase and industry-first two-speed transmission.

“The 1,900 Litre fuel capacity will provide approximately 700 nautical miles of range at a cruising speed of 25 knots. But the boat will also be capable of 50 knot runs to Stradbroke Island for a picnic.”

The boat is being constructed by Julian Griffiths and the team at Noosa Marine from DuFLEX/Foam Composite Panels of varying densities; H130 Divinycell in the hull bottoms and H80 in the Topsides were determined to be the lightest and most durable solution by ATL Composites Engineering Team as part of their complete composite vessel analysis to meet NSCV Survey Compliance under AMSA.

“The lightweight construction optimises the vessel’s performance and installation of a Quick MC2 anti-roll gyro will provide added stability,” says Roger.

Construction on “TANK” is halfway through. “It’s called ‘Tank’ because it looks like one,” says Julian. “It looks like a big superyacht tender, with double berth and everything that opens and shuts onboard, including an outdoor galley under a T-top, lounge front and back with tables that can fold down.

“It’s about 8 tonnes, but it’s light for its length and it will certainly be speedy!”

No stranger to working on monohulls as the designer and builder of his own brand of weekender, the Noosa 7, Julian reports that the Hill monohull is proving “a tricky technical build because it has a lot of mechanical complexities”.

“For example, the anchor tucks behind an anchor locker and because of the plumb bow, it has to pivot out on an actuator. Then there’s a feature a lot of new boats have these days, the sides all fold out to give owners more leisure space. Plus, the duckboard boarding platform rises in and out of water and there are retractable awnings for added shade.”

Along with the large double berth, “Tank” boasts plenty of outdoor seating, a day bed that converts to an alfresco night berth. Another unique feature is the low draft of just 600cm, so the owners can practically beach “Tank” wherever they choose to anchor.

Fortunately, Roger has specified DuFLEX panel system which Julian has many years of experience building with.

“DuFLEX makes the build quicker and more economical. It makes the vessel lightweight and strong. It’s a win-win,” he says. For Roger, the new monohull is a stimulating adventure into new waters, and “a big confidence vote for the client to design with me. “Having the close relationship I have with the client, Julian at Noosa Marine and the technical advice and engineering expertise provided by the team at ATL, has resulted in a combination of solid information that has optimised this design.”

Delivery is scheduled for TANK at the end of 2022 in time for Summer.

Roger Hill 12m Design takes shape with DuFLEX Composite Panels

Posted on April 19, 2022

The divinely named “Celeste”, a 12-metre Roger Hill-designed power catamaran, is in build at G & T Marine, Auckland – it’s the first time seasoned boat builder Grant Symmans has worked with the DuFLEX panel system and Z-press from ATL Composites.

The privately-owned, custom-built, displacement-hull power cat is on track for delivery by May 2023 to an experienced owner looking for volume and ease of cruising.

So far, according to Grant, he has used the Z-press to join the DuFLEX panels for superstructure and cabin top.

“It’s a first for me,” he states. “Roger is a huge fan, so we went with it. It’s labour saving, comes as a kit, and the DuFLEX is lightweight and sturdy.”

The 12-metre vessel is a “fairly straight forward” build, single level sedan with a beam of 4.8-metres.

“Using DuFLEX has made construction a simple process and at this stage we’re impressed with it. We’ll know more when we do the hulls,” Grant adds.

Using ATL’s Z-Press streamlines the composite panel joining process, applying heat and pressure to cure the epoxy adhesive on the Z-Joints. Joins cure fully in 7 to 20 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature, type of hardener, core type and thickness of the panel.

Roger Hill, specialist power multihull designer, says the client sought a well-appointed powercat for “the next phase of his cruising lifestyle”.

“I have always said that these displacement hull power cats we design are ‘sailor’s power boats’,” he explains. “That is, when you have been a yachtie all your life and you’re facing the unavoidable ravages of time on your old body but don’t want to give up boating, these cats are a good option!

“For Auckland-based yachties who have been cruising around at around 6 to 8 knots, a lot of the time motoring (as you get older), and a lot of the time beating to windward, these smaller displacement hull power cats are ideal.

“They cruise most economically around 14 to 15 knots, or about twice the speed you have been used to going all of your previous boating life, and they are really fuel efficient. Also, they will motor directly into any head wind and nasty sea state without spilling your drink, or leaning over.”

Fortuitously, the client is Roger’s very first when he struck out on his own and established his design firm 27 years ago.

“He owned his lovely 11.9-metre cruising yacht from new, it fitted his requirements perfectly all of that time and he kept it in immaculate condition. Like all of us, he is getting older and the physicality of sailing a yacht basically on your own was starting to tell.

“He made the very hard decision to sell and move on with the next phase of his boating life. They went out for a ride on a smaller 10-metre displacement power cat we designed and from that, he commissioned his new 12-metre design.”

While there is nothing particularly new or radical about the design, there are some unique features.

“The client wanted something that he could trust and depend on to fulfil his future yachting aspirations,” explains Roger. “As with the original sailing yacht, the new power cat is specifically detailed around his requirements.

“Things like the very clever swimming diving platform that lowers down between the motors to form steps down to a wider bottom panel that allows easy access into the water for diving and launching a small RIB.

“It’s just the two of them, and the layout will be very comfortable for them to live aboard for extended periods through the summer as they have done with their yacht for many years.

“The choice to go with outboards was based on being able to explore areas they have previously not been able access with a deep draft keel, so adding a new dimension to their cruising ambitions.”

The choice to use the DuFLEX system came from the client seeing it for himself, visiting the 16-metre “Omahu” and speaking to its owner who had a previous sailing cat built out of DuFLEX and was extremely positive about the process.

“The preliminary design for the structure of “Celeste” was based on standard foam cored composite boat building methods. From that the options were costed up and DuFLEX won the job!

Cored with Divinycell foam, the DuFLEX panels in CELESTE have a combination of H80 and H100 densities in the hull shell.  The hull bottoms are cored with 20mm H100 DuFLEX Strips that are laminated with a 460 grm unidirectional E-Fibreglass which will have an additional laminate applied on both sides, while hull sides are a mix of H80 thicknesses and laminated with double layers of 800grm quadraxial chosen to meet performance and engineering requirements.

Grant Symmans was a more traditional builder accustomed to using plywood, timber, and fibreglass skinning methods of construction, but he was intrigued with system and its multiple benefits – precision cut, time saving, labour saving and minimal waste.

Grant and his two co-workers are now well into the build.

“They made the large cabin top first and it went together very well and quickly, and they are now starting to plank up the first hull.”

“The client, whose father was a New Zealand timber boat builder and built many cold-moulded Kauri sailing yachts, was quite tentative about the  process but is now also becoming much more relaxed and happy as he sees the boat coming to life.”

Celebrating 10 years – Bonded in Composites

Posted on April 5, 2022

2022 marks a decade of joint venture partnership between ATL Composites Australia and M.u.H. von der Linden GmbH, based in Wesel, Germany, manufacturing the range of ATL’s lightweight panel solutions including DuFLEX, DuraKore, and Featherlight composite panels to top European boat builders, architects and other creative industries. 

Over the past 10 years, their Joint Venture company, vdL Composites GmbH,  has attracted a loyal clientele across Europe and they are proud of their well-deserved reputation for precision manufacturing of quality products, expert technical support and top customer service. 

In that time, many significant products have been refined and new products developed as a result of their creative teams and in response to evolving industry requirements. 

“Since we established our joint venture partnership, developments in improving the production process and products have been implemented by the respective partners in their own production, on both sides,” said Director, Inga von der Linden. 

Highlights over the past decade include working with some of the leading international boating brands, including Schionning, Gunboat, Outremer, Nautor Swan, Baltic Yachts, Judel Vrolijk Designs, Itacat from Italy, Twans in the Netherlands, Lütje, Michael Schmidt Yachtbau and Shiptec AG, as well as various superyachts, production boats, sea ferries and commercial craft, proponents in the construction industry and even manufacturers of camper vans. 

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.”

“Over the years we have provided materials for eight Schionning Catamaran Building Kits: Arrow 1200, two Arrow 1360, Arrow 1500, Legend 60, GForce 1400, Growler 710 and Solitaire 1740,” said Inga. 

“We have worked with Gunboat on their 68 and 72 models supplying deck panels and bulkheads, and we’re currently providing the Gunboat 80 with carbon panels. There have been many interesting, unique projects, such as an impressive 80-metre superyacht which we supplied deck panels and panels for outdoor furniture.

“Then there was the acclaimed Southpark Building in London, which involved an ambitious extension of Narrow House, which despite the many challenges went off without a hitch and is now inspiring the next generation of architects and builders. 


“Another key project was the result of working with building firm, Detlef Urban. Whatever industry our clients come from, we have fostered strong communications and respected relationships among our various departments, technical, design and purchasing – which is no mean feat!” 

In 2022, M.u.H. von der Linden GmbH will attend METSTRADE Show in Amsterdam, just as they have since 2012, and for many years prior.  Initially becoming a distributor for DuFLEX  in the late 1990’s and ultimately resulting in the JV being formed in 2012. 

“METS is a very valuable networking and showcase opportunity for us,” said Inga. “And we always enjoy catching up with Lorraine, Nick and some of the team from ATL Composites. There have been some barriers over the past years, but we are looking forward to 2022 to catch up with clients and hear about their new projects.” 

Ahead for the partnership between ATL Composites Australia and M.u.H. von der Linden GmbH are many more years of innovation and product development. 

“We are looking forward to new developments, especially in the area of sustainability,” explained Inga. “Panels with bio-resins and natural fibres such as flax or hemp and cores made from balsa or recycled PET, as well as panels that have a fire certification. There are so many novel and environmentally-friendly solutions to building sustainable vessels, homes, commercial buildings and any other structure that requires ingenuity and light-weight composite materials. We are also enthusiastic about promoting our DuFLEX panel system to existing and new customers all over our region.”  

“We had a vision of collaborating with the most discerning European clients, and it is undoubtedly due to the determination and hard work of our close friends at VDL  that we have been able to build an enviable reputation in the market over the past 10 years,”  says  ATL’s Managing Director, Nick Cossich. 

“Their focus on precision manufacturing to the highest standards, but also the ability to intimately understand clients specialised needs, has been fundamental to this success.  

It is a privilege to partner with so many unique and inspirational European clients, and we truly appreciate that they have trusted us to deliver solutions to their most technically challenging requirements.” 

Noosa Cruiser 750 Unveiled

Posted on September 16, 2021

Noosa Marine has completed the first of two Roger Hill-designed Noosa Cruiser 750’s.

Named “Bliss”, the compact, 7.5-metre monohull is having final finishes to its upholstery ahead of delivery to its Noosa-based owners.

Julian Griffiths, Director at Noosa Marine said “It’s wonderful that both of the new Cruisers will stay local and enjoy our wonderful waterways”.

The trailerable power boats are 2.4-metres wide, 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 converts into day beds. The aft is self-draining, eliminating the need for a bilge.

Below decks, a V-double berth, enclosed toilet and galley means owners will be totally comfortable spending nights or weekends on board. It’s powered by a 115hp outboard engine, making this the ideal weekender and day boat for cruising on the Noosa River, or equally the Gold Coast Broadwater, Moreton Bay or Sydney Harbour.

Both Cruisers were built using DuFLEX foam core panels, cut-to-order by ATL Composites and the transoms were made from Coosa panels, high density polyurethane foam reinforced with layers of fibreglass, also from ATL.

The hulls were planked with DuFLEX/Foam Composite Strips, developed by ATL Composites to conform to highly convex or concave contours, and can provide up to 50 percent 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.

“Working with DuFLEX is brilliant for boats that are quicker, lighter and stronger,” said Julian. “Our boats are custom-built by hand. We use widely spaced temporary build frames that are CNC-routed from design files to the required shape, then for large parts, like the hull, we bend the flat panels around the frames, ensuring a fair hull shape.

“DuFLEX panels reduce construction time and optimise structural weight in high performance composite structures,” he explained.

“It reduces time consuming laminating, coring and vacuum bagging steps normally required to fabricate high performance composites, and it also reduces material waste, labour and tooling costs.”

DUFLEX underlies New Generation Charter Cat

Posted on June 25, 2021

DuFLEX panels are crucial to the light-weight and customisable design of a new breed of cruising catamaran under construction at Liquid Force Marine in Cannonvale, just a few minutes from Airlie Beach, gateway to The Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef.

The latest Schionning Design International “Euro 1480 Bi-Plane” was custom designed by Schionning Designs International, the design studio in collaboration with the owner, Kevin Berry, who lives in Mackay. Kevin plans to enjoy his vessel with family and friends, and place the boat into charter during peak charter season in this popular cruising paradise.

Named “Ad Astra”, the 14.9-metre multihull will be built to Survey. Its design suits commercial operations due to its simplicity, the bi-plane rig for ease of handling and the outward-situated carbon fibre masts, leaving the interior bridgedeck space unobstructed for optimal use.

“It’s definitely a step up from production vessels,” says Kevin, who drew on his own experiences over the years to create a unique platform for charter.

“It will be a performance cruiser for personal use, designed with our family in mind, but with all the features required for charter – six berths, large owner’s cabin, huge social spaces as well as plenty of privacy.”

The interior layout features a full beam main cabin with ensuite and large windows situated forward on the bridgedeck, and a walk-around galley behind leading out to a large cockpit. Two queen cabins are located belowdecks in each hull, each with ensuite, and a smaller crew berth forward.

The eco-friendly design incorporates electric motors, 6kW solar panels on the roof and a pair of lithium batteries. “The concept of alternative power deserves so much more exploration,” states Kevin.

According to boat builder and Director of Liquid Force Marine, David Morris, building a vessel to Survey and ASMA compliance adds more layers and complexities to the process. “The Schionning design is ideal for charter,” he observes. “It’s open, spacious, modern looking, stable and has a unique rig plan for more deck and cabin space.”

Dave has never worked with DuFLEX before and is finding it easy to work with and ideal for a custom build.

“There are many advantages to DuFLEX and the Z-Press system – it’s quick, easy to handle, exact. The CNC cut panels are very impressive. It’s a very efficient method for boat building, saving time and waste.”

The Euro 80 was speced with DuFLEX/foam panels. Depending on the part, various thicknesses of Divinycell H80 and H130 foam cores and a combination of high strength E-fibreglass in various configurations. Divinycell Foams have been the leading choice for the Marine industry worldwide for more than 30 years and provide an excellent combination of mechanical properties with low weight.

To streamline the composite panel joining process, ATL Composites has developed the proprietary Z-Press. The press applies heat and pressure to cure the epoxy adhesive on the Z-Joints. As per the joining video on this link https://www.duflex.com.au/services/joining-the-panels/ Dave and his team used Techniglue R60 Structural Adhesive in cartridges for joining the DuFLEX panels, a quick and clean process that saves time, wastage of materials and ensures an excellent bond.

Additional reinforcing is being supplied by ATL Composites including E-Fibreglass taping and carbon reinforcements. The Euro 1480 will be laminated with KINETIX R246TX with a combination of hardeners to offer options for cure and working times, and of course WEST SYSTEM epoxy and powder modifiers for all bonding, coving, filleting and fairing for the project.

With 30 years’ marine industry experience, Dave began his career in Sydney as a sailmaker and went on to professional international yacht racing. Dave is a Marine Surveyor and runs Liquid Force Marine with business partner, Brett Diessel.

For this project, Dave heads up a team of three boat builders, and will eventually bring on four additional labourers once construction begins in earnest.

The project began in February and is scheduled to be completed late next year and on-water by Christmas 2022.

ATL Composites and Schionning Designs International have had a long-standing relationship since the 1980’s and hundreds of Schionning catamarans have been built through the years using DuFLEX, and in the earlier days strip planked with DuraKore with long-lasting performance.

http://www.atlcomposites.com/

https://schionningdesign.com/euro-1480-bi-plane-catamaran/

www.liquidforcemarine.com.au

NEW Noosa Cruiser Incorporates DuFLEX Strip

Posted on May 18, 2021

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.

Ariel designed in 2006 by Roger Hill

“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

Posted on April 23, 2021

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

More information at www.duflex.com.au
Video of the boat in action:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-ZpYgBPZ5A 

 

Light, strong, fast and versatile, the Noosa 7 is turning heads and winning hearts.

Posted on March 4, 2021

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.”

Download the DuFlex brochure here.

Pre-Fab Perfection

Posted on December 7, 2020

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.

https://www.duflex.com.au/markets/architectural/

Image credits:

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”

Posted on November 30, 2020

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.”