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.

Feature-filled power cat AYANA breaks New Ground in Charter

Posted on June 5, 2020

The latest Roger Hill-designed vessel, the 14-metre power catamaran called “AYANA”, has emerged from production at Noosa Marine and is now stored at The Boat Works, awaiting delivery to her discerning owners who plan to cruise from the Gold Coast back to their home waters of WA.

The fully-custom designed and built power cat is replete with unique features befitting a luxurious liveaboard vessel. With her planing hull, AYANA was built to survey with the intention of offering day charters cruising Rottnest, Margaret River and the Swan River. 

As Julian Griffiths, Director at Noosa Marine explains: “AYANA weighs around 12.8 tonnes and has loads of extras. Her owner is an experienced boatie and wanted the works.”

AYANA is a spacious three-cabin multihull conceived for day charter, with a massive, versatile cockpit for entertaining or angling, which flows into the large saloon, also decked out for socialising with dinette, galley, AV and large windows for panoramic views. The enclosed flybridge features the helm and an L-shaped lounge and dining table, while the aft deck is fitted with a davit for the vessel’s tender.

Designer Roger Hill said the list of ‘must haves’ was daunting for him as a designer and for the team at Noosa Marine.

“From my perspective, the challenges involved weight control more than anything else. AYANA is a 14-metre superyacht. It probably has more fridges and freezers than any other 14-metre afloat!

“There is no such thing as a boat that is not some form of resolved compromise. But this boat is probably as close to what the owners would say has everything they want in a 14-metre package and from my point of view the biggest compromise will be the performance of the planing hull, which will still achieve around 28 knots.”

According to Roger, building to survey requires more structural material and more safety details, which results in extra weight and additional costs of around 20 percent.

“This boat was built to the highest standard of survey in Australia so it is at the top end of the spectrum for cost and compliance,” adds Roger.

From briefing to completion, construction took just 13 months. The Noosa Marine production team comprised Julian, Max, two apprentices and a labourer.

Key to their efficiency was the use of the pre-cut DuFLEX panel system from ATL Composites.

                  

Other DuFlex panels in AYANA were cored with Divinycell’s H80, an industry standard for marine projects and ATL’s Featherlight Marine Interior panels combined Divinycell H60 core with 600gm double bias laminates.

All components for the build, from temporary framing to structural hull sections, bulkheads through to the interior fit-out for AYANA were digitised from design files and nested to optimise the number of panels required for the project that were with ATL’s proprietary Z-Joint for joining and subsequent quick assembly.

                          

“DuFLEX is incredible for saving time and reducing weight onboard,” Julian attests. “DuFlex offers builders a very high-quality panel and very precise accuracy, and for the client, an assurance of structural integrity.”

Roger agrees, stating: “Using the ATL Composites DuFlex panel system is a great way to build a boat particularly when it is embraced so well by this builder. Personally, I really appreciate the service and help that the team at ATL offers me as a designer. Their back-up and support are great.”

www.powercatsnz.com

www.noosamarine.com.au

Celebrating 40 years of Innovation in Composites

Posted on March 23, 2020

ATL Composites is celebrating 40 years of operations, supplying innovative coposite products to the marine, automotive, industrial and construction industries in Australia and around the world.


Arnie Duckworth early 80’s

Paying tribute to the vision of founder, Arnie Duckworth, who established the business in New Zealand in 1977, and the efforts, expertise and ingenuity contributed by ATL staff over the decades, Director Nicholas Cossich said “Without question, 40 years would have been impossible without the dedication, hard work and skill of our past and present talented staff who are very much looking forward to the future challenges and opportunities that our dynamic industry always presents.”

Mr Cossich also honoured the support and collaboration of ATL’s valued clients. “Success to date would not have been achieved without the firm support of our valued clients, distributors, dealers, colleagues, engineers, designers and naval architects to whom we are exceedingly grateful.”

The origins of the company are proudly in boat building, in the late 70s when Mr Duckworth, an avid sailor, relocated to NZ after a period working for the legendary Gougeon Brothers Inc in the US.

The Gougeons had developed the WEST SYSTEM epoxy system, that was revolutionising timber boat construction, by stabilising the moisture content of the wood. Back in the boat building powerhouse of NZ, Mr Duckworth observed a market for epoxy products to supply to the burgeoning marine industry, manufacturing WEST SYSTEM epoxy products under licence to Gougeon Brothers for the Asia Pacific region.

The decade of the 2000s were marked by an expanding market for multihull construction by both professional and amateur builders, whose designs were specified around the DuFLEX Building System, and the ATL used its knowledge and experience of composite materials to diversify into other markets where there is a demand for lighter, stronger, stiffer, more durable structures including automotive, architectural and surfing/sporting equipment and transportation applications.

An outstanding achievement in 2012 was the development of a range of unique epoxy systems with extremely high compressive strength and toughness for the construction of James Cameron’s Deep Sea Challenger, a 7.3-metre deep diving submersible that made a record breaking 11 kilometre descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.A success which in essence thoroughly vindicated ATL’s certifications to ISO9001 and approvals under DNV-GL for delivering world-class product quality and performance.

At 24 feet long, the submersible vehicle the Deepsea Challenger was designed to descend faster than more rotund submersibles

“Enduring and close partnerships with leading International manufacturers including DIAB Group Sweden , Hawkeye Industries USA, Airtech Inc USA, and of course our very good friends at WEST SYSTEM Inc, USA, have been key to strengthening our position in existing markets, and expansion into emerging composite industries,” said Nicholas.

“We are also fortunate to be very well supported by a long established and extensive Distribution/Dealer network in every State and Territory of Australia and also throughout Asia in Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea and Korea.”

Since 2012, ATL has enjoyed a fruitful joint venture partnership with MuH von der Linden of Wesel, Germany forming, vdL Composites GmbH to manufacture DuFLEX panels for the European market. During the successful showing at METS, Amsterdam in 2019, vdL appointed Distributors in Italy, Turkey and France to represent the DuFLEX and Featherlight composite panels in their regions.

ATL started 2020 with new products, a vision for the next decade and a commitment to build on the camaraderie and close bonds among their network of customers and colleagues worldwide.

Inga von der Linden, Director at vdL Composites, Germany sent her congratulations to ATL Composites for 40 years of innovation and excellence.

“We have been working together more than 30 years, since 2012 as distributor of DuFLEX and DuraKore panels and also for many years prior as colleagues and friends in the composite industry selling many similar product lines.

“We have had a shared stand at METS Amsterdam, also sharing houseboats, talking to each other monthly via Skype and seeing us at other industry events. That has made us much more than business partners. I love working with Lorraine and Nick and I wish for them many more successful years ahead.”

Ian Wright, third generation boat builder at Norman R. Wright & Sons, which itself commemorated 110 years in business, has been collaborating with ATL for around 30 years.

“There are almost too many yachts over the past three decades to mention by name,” said Ian.

“We met Arnie in 1982 and started working with ATL in 1987. ATL has always offered excellent support and service, especially on the technical side,” he recounted.

“In the past 15 years, they have contributed to the engineering on projects and we have been very grateful for their expertise.

“We have become extremely close, bonded by our mutual love of boats, cars, construction and aeronautical engineering. My son, an aerospace engineer, actually did work experience at ATL. They also helped build him a billycart when he was six years old.

“ATL supplied material and advice when I was building my family home at Wynnum – a green composite house we call the ‘eco-casa’. Lorraine and Nick are a great duo with exceptional skills and very complementary talents. We congratulate them on their 40-year milestone and all the best for many, many more.”

Tony Grainger, founder of Grainger Designs said “We’ve been with ATL Composites almost since the inception. From the 8m trimaran Dux Nuts (1987) through to our latest all carbon 42-foot custom trimaran Venom, and a host of catamaran and trimaran projects in between”.

“ATL have been with us on the journey with materials, state of the art laminating technology, DuFlex kits for our cruising cats, and engineering support.”

He continued: “There’s no digging needed to discover the success of ATL’s longevity. It’s cultural. The same faces are there year after year armed with technical know-how and a welcoming smile, whatever the questions. Congratulations and thanks to all the crew at ATL; and here’s hoping you guys are around for a lot more anniversaries.”

Jake Holloway, Product Manager at Shapers Australia, which supplies surfboard manufacturing products to leading surfboard shapers around the globe, was impressed with “ATL’s big 4-0”.

“That is an impressive innings to say the least, for any company in any industry,” he said. “In a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment the ability to maintain such a high level of product quality, customer service and innovation rings accolades to ATL Composites.

“What our company (Shapers Australia) really appreciate and find highly motivating is the relationship we have established with ATL. The culture of ATL is to work with customers as a team, a genuine partnership arrangement.

“It is through this partnership that ATL and Shapers Australia have been able to combine critical knowledge, share sensitive information and lead the world in the field of specialised epoxy solutions for the Surf Industry. The distribution achieved has been on a global scale and importantly the channels of communication are always open, always flowing and always looking towards the future. This mutual success is achieved through a partnership built on mutual trust and respect.

“From all the team at Shapers to all the team at ATL, Happy Birthday and a whopping big Thank you. Please raise your glasses and here’s to many great years ahead!”

Marinesports International in Victoria was among the original WEST SYSTEM Distributors appointed in Victoria. Director Andrew Morrison sent his best wishes for ATL’s milestone.

“We established WEST SYSTEM with leading yacht chandleries and boat builders and in more recent times, several quality furniture manufacturers have come to realise the many benefits of using WEST SYSTEM products as a glue and for sealing timber.

“Over the past 40 years ATL Composites, under the guidance of Nicholas Cossich, Lorraine Murray and their team, have grown a reputation for excellent customer service offering quality products with technical support. We wish them every success for the future.”

Mr Cossich said the team at ATL was grateful for their customers’ loyalty and enthusiasm for ATL’s extensive range of products, commenting on their valuable input which has spurred product development and enhancements.

He said ATL is energised by attaining the 40-year marker and has no intention of resting on their laurels.

“We will continue to push the boundaries of material performance through our active research and development programs, and are looking to expand and improve our materials and technical proficiency in numerous aspects of cosmetic finishing, thermal ranges, fire-resistance and sustainability.

“Important new growth markets include defence, automotive, architectural and civil which are now leveraging our solid foundation of expertise and technology developed over decades in our key marine business.

“Our significant, long-standing international and domestic supplier relationships will continue to allow us to complement our own product ranges by offering world leading advanced composite materials to the Australasian market.”

ATL Composites QLD facility

 

Breathing Life Into Boats

Posted on February 4, 2020

ATL Composites provides the precision pieces for the latest Roger Hill-designed powercat.

From concept to completion, building a custom-designed powercat is a breeze with an inspired vision, reliable team, proven materials and just a pinch of magic in the mix.

The product of her owners’ yachting experience and dream of long-range cruising, “Omahu”, a 16-metre composite displacement hull powercat from the pen of legendary designer, Roger Hill, is taking shape at Lifestyle Yachts in Pipiroa, New Zealand.

Meaning “breath”, or “light breeze” in the Maori language, Omahu is a custom-designed vessel that is unique in every aspect.

As Roger Hill explains “The hull shape is a development of our very efficient displacement form, but the styling is unique compared to other similar sized power cats we have done before. It is not a ‘cut and shut’ exercise using an existing similar sized design.”

Omahu is the vision of joint-owners, two Kiwi couples keen to experience long-range cruising around the South Pacific, exploring New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga and Australia.

One of the owners had previously built a Roger Hill-designed 14.15-metre sailing cat, around 15 years ago, customised to his requirements at that time. The choice of building materials, methodology and designer informed his choice for the current project.

According to Roger, the brief was reasonably straight forward. “There were around 20 specific items”.

“Both owners are very experienced yachtsmen, in power and sailing boats, with ocean-going range as the primary requirement. Both are very practical people, so it wasn’t difficult to convert their thoughts and ideas into the design.”

Emphasis was on comfort, rather than speed, although, powered by twin Yanmar 6LY400 400hp engines, Omahu is calculated to achieve an impressive top speed of 26 knots.

The design needed space for two couples to live aboard along with storage required for long trips to remote destinations where fuel, water and food might not be readily available.

“One of the interesting things that came up right at the start was how big the vessel should be. After some discussion, I suggested that perhaps they should go and find a suitable marina berth to keep it in, and that’s what happened. From that point, we worked out the maximum beam and a maximum length.”

The design process involved relatively few challenges.

“You have probably heard about the ‘design spiral’, the process of starting with a ‘loose’ collection of info and data and compromise through the design journey this becomes tighter and tighter until the final result is signed off.

The result of their collaboration will be a sensational wide-bodied powercat that embodies the “space, pace and grace”, the characteristics of multihulls that inspire such loyalty in their owners.

“This particular design does not have as much beam (5.6-metres) as I might normally have on a displacement power cat of this length, but this was related to the width of the marina berth. The upside of that slightly narrower beam, less transverse stability will be an improved motion; not such a quick roll period in a beam sea.”

With her shallow draft of just over 1-metre, Omahu will be able to explore remote inlets and anchorages where other yachts may not be able to access.

Seeking strength, durability, light-weight and precision, Roger based the design of Omahu on construction using DuFLEX Composite panels from ATL Composites.

“ATL and I go back a long way,” recalls Roger. “The first DuFLEX kit we did was over 18 years ago, and we have done many since then in both power and sail. One of Omahu’s owners had already built a sailing cat using the DuFLEX panel system so he was very happy to build the power cat using the same materials and method of construction.

“Another consideration was the builder, who didn’t have a lot of experience building a full-foam cored catamaran, so he has been very appreciative of the pre-made panels and CNC router set of parts.

“The DuFLEX Building System offers builders a very high-quality panel and very precise accuracy, and for the client, an assurance of structural integrity.”

From a technical standpoint, Omahu is destined to have a dark blue hull which dictated the choice of foam core to be used in the hull and transom areas. A combination of Divinycell HP80 and HP100 foam cores, type approved by DNV-GL Maritime, were chosen for the DuFLEX Strip Planks used in these areas to provide elevated temperature and mechanical performance under the owners’ choice of a dark blue paint.

Engineered to survey standards by ATL Composites Engineering team, other DuFLEX Composite Panels components in Omahu include wing-deck, soles, girders, webs, bulkheads, longitudinal and interiors all supplied in CNC-Routed Kit Form with various core types and densities to suit the design loads in the vessel.

Far from handing over the plans and moving on to the next commission, Roger Hill prefers to work closely with clients and yard as the vessel is brought to life.

“I really enjoy the developing relationship between the client, the builder and myself. It’s tremendous when the builder is on song and going well, the client is seeing his new boat taking shape and I get involved with helping in any way I can to make the process go as smooth as possible.

“Being a designer must be one of the more satisfying things to do on the planet and that probably applies to just about designing anything. But boats, I think are a little bit more special, it is such a complex sum of all of its parts and then when done well become much more than the sum of its parts.”

www.powercatsnz.com

www.lifestyle-yachts.co.nz