Lightweight Wonder

Posted on March 13, 2024

An expertly custom-crafted Schionning will sail the world with ease, thanks to the strong, durable DuFLEX Building System.

A highly-customised Schionning Solitaire 1520 cruising catamaran is taking shape on the Gold Coast, in the talented hands of the team at Mahi Boats, specialists in custom boat building, particularly multihulls and game fishing boats to commercial standards.

Founder and director, Dan Williams began the business 17 years ago as Hybrid Composites, before demand propelled the business into custom boat building. Dan’s background includes international experience crafting carbon fibre racing yachts.

Now, ensconced in a supershed at the Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard within the thriving boat building hub of Coomera, Mahi Boats is working on several major projects, including the 50-foot (15.25-metre) Schionning Solitaire 1520.

Described as “a serious bluewater cruiser capable of sailing the world with high mileage daily runs in comfort and safety with minimal slamming”, the Solitaire 1520 offers similar internal comfort and space to a similarly sized production boat, but is far lighter, stiffer and stronger with better waterline beam values and higher power to weight ratio.

As Dan explains, “The owners chose this model as they loved the design and the ability to customise head heights and cabins to suit their specific needs.”

There are dozens of custom features throughout the boat, starting with the entire layout.

“The clients designed the layout of the boat and we are continuing to customise everything along the way,” says Dan.

“We have raised the headroom inside. We are running a hybrid electric motor system and the boat is packed with custom electronics.

“The boat is designed to sail two-handed around the world. They owners are planning to cruise the east coast and around Australia initially, but this is the catamaran they can rely on for long-range cruising once they’re ready.”

The owners’ sailing ambitions are to be on the water within 14 months, and the team at Mahi Boats are well underway, with six boat builders engaged on the project.

Crucial to keeping the weight down and keeping to the tight construction schedule is the use of DuFLEX panels from ATL Composites, as specified by Schionning Designs.

“There are many benefits of using DuFLEX panels,” Dan states. “They are easily assembled, CNC-cut, pre-laminated panels that enable fast construction.

“They’re easy to join using ATL’s Z-Press which applies heat and pressure to cure the epoxy adhesive on the Z-Joints. Joins are fully cured in seven to 20 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature.”

Our Duflex logo in png format 768x188

Other composite products from ATL include Divinycell Structural Foam, KINETIX  R246TX Thixotropic Laminating Epoxy, WEST SYSTEM 105 resin and associated hardeners and powder modifiers, TECHINGLUE R60 Structural Adhesive in easily dispensed cartridge form,  and TECHINIFILL R1160 pre-blended Fairing Compound.c

“ATL offers a large range of composite products, all of which we are happy to use,” Dan continues.

“All ATL products are high quality and are competitive in price across the board. The ATL team go above and beyond to make sure we have everything we need, when we need it.”

DNV International Certification Renewed

Posted on June 28, 2023

ATL Composites has recently received renewal of its DNV- CP-0421 #AMPM000003M certification from highly-respected, international certification body DNV,  following a comprehensive audit of the company’s facilities, systems and processes.

ATL’s production facilities were approved for the Manufacture of Fibre Reinforced Plastics which incorporates the production of composite panels including CNC machining, joining and bonding, and the finishing process of core materials including cutting, sealing, kitting, machining, band sawing, sanding, scrimming, slitting, bonding, perforation and grooving.


DNV is the world’s leading classification society and delivers world-renowned testing, certification and technical advisory services to the maritime industry.

DNV audits assess the performance of organisations, products, facilities and supply chains to national and international standards and take into account safety, reliability and environmental impact criteria.


“We are proud of our reputation and the quality of our products and manufacturing techniques.     We have been dedicated to continual improvement for over 40 years, and every member of our professional team shares the responsibility for quality management to ensure customer satisfaction.”


In addition, ATL Composites are ISO 9001:2015 certified and received their Certificate of Registration #2600251777Q on 4 April 2018.

ISO 9001 Certification shows that a company is certified to the Internationally recognised Quality Management System (QMS) standard.

Red Car Marine resto relies on DuFLEX

Posted on June 19, 2023

A classic Sydney trawler that operated for 30 years in Tasmania as Marconi’s Cross out of Hobart is being given a new lease on life by the experts at Red Car Marine in the fortuitously named suburb, Goodwood in Hobart.

James Watson runs Red Car Marine and he and his team are meticulously restoring the 14.75-metre timber fishing vessel for its Sydney owners.

Built in 1948, the historic vessel is a veteran of tuna fishing, trawling and towing fish pens, before going up for sale.

As James explains, “Her new owners have commissioned a total refit, including the wheelhouse, aft lounge, sliding doors and interiors to turn it into a pleasure boat for cruising the Hawkesbury River, and eventually some passage making to Whitsundays.”

The design brief has expanded over time to include the aft lounge with covered awning, and below decks, berths in the foc’s’le, and two additional berths in the fish hold.

James, a shipwright, drew up the plans, and with his two assistants, Dean and Paul, have set to work on the refit project.

“The bridgedeck is the first part,” he says. “Mark Richards, who is acting as the owner’s representative, and I chose to use composite board from ATL. The DuFLEX panels cored with 40mm Divinycell H80 Structural Foam are ideal for use on top for their lightweight and strength. They weight 50 or 60kg lighter than plywood and lining. Plus, the added advantage of ease of installation, cutting down labour time.”

Custom built to meet the specific size and shape for the bridge deck, the DuFLEX panels will be shipped in eight parts and joined on site at Red Car Marine for optimum freight efficiency and handling. 

“We simply install the panel, fabricated with a specialty finish on the underside which results in no pinholes, and then go direct to sand and paint. It cuts down prep time by a truckload of hours. We are using exposed wooden beams underneath with the modern top for a really beautiful look.”

James is a loyal advocate of WEST SYSTEM products, which he describes as “our go to products”. He swears by 105 epoxy resin and 206 slow hardener, as well as Techniglue R15, a toughened, thixotropic epoxy paste with increased peel strength.

“ATL products are great quality, and the team at ATL provides good support and communication to tailor advice for each project. I’ve always found them very helpful. Tasmanian Marine Distributors – Distributors for ATL products – introduced us to Lorraine. We met her at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival and she’s very personable.”

The Marconi’s Cross restoration is on track to be delivered back to her owners in January 2024 in time for summer cruising on Sydney Harbour.

Follow the progress over the coming months:

Marconi’s Cross on Instagram @marconi_trawler

Composite Panels for Speed and Efficiency in Boat Racing

Posted on April 3, 2023

Boat racing is a thrilling sport that requires exceptional speed and performance. To be successful in this sport, each component of a racing boat must be optimised for maximum efficiency. The use of composite panels, which offer a variety of benefits that help to improve speed and performance, is an important aspect of the design of a boat.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at composite panels and how they help improve the performance of a racing boat.

What are composite panels?

Composite panels are created by bonding two or more different materials together to form a single, lightweight, and strong material. Some of the most common materials used in boat racing include carbon fibre, Kevlar and fibreglass. These materials are known for their high strength-to-weight ratio, which makes them ideal for use in applications where weight is a critical factor, such as boat racing.

How do composite panels improve speed and performance?

  1. 1. Reduced weight: One of the most significant benefits of composite panels is their lightweight nature. Boats that are constructed using composite panels are much lighter than those made from traditional materials like wood or metal. This reduced weight means that boats can achieve higher speeds with less power, allowing racers to push their boats to the limit without sacrificing performance.
  2. Increased stiffness: Composite panels are also known for their high stiffness, which allows boats to maintain their shape and resist flexing. This stiffness improves boat handling, making it easier to control the boat and maintain speed around corners and in rough water conditions.
  3.  Enhanced durability: Composite panels are incredibly durable and can withstand the high stresses and strains that occur during boat racing. Unlike traditional materials, composite panels do not rot, warp, or corrode, ensuring that the boat remains in top condition for longer periods.
  4. Improved aesthetics: Finally, composite panels offer a sleek, modern look that is ideal for boat racing. Their smooth surface finish and ability to be moulded into intricate shapes allow boat designers to create unique and aerodynamic designs that can improve the boat’s speed and performance.


Composite panels are an essential component of modern boat design and help improve speed and performance in boat racing. Composite panels enable racers to push their boats to their limits and achieve the highest levels of performance possible by reducing weight, increasing stiffness, improving durability and enhancing aesthetics. As boat racing continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative uses of composite panels that will enhance the sport and its competitive nature.

ATL Composites is a leading supplier in Australia of advanced composite boards, materials and engineering for the construction of high-performance, lightweight structures for the marine, automotive, architectural, civil and industrial tooling markets. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our products and services!

Composite Panels: Benefits in Marine Industry

Posted on March 3, 2023

ATL Composites has been supplying the marine industry for over 35 years and has the experience and materials technology to provide practical solutions to optimise structures for weight, strength, and stiffness. Our experience includes CE/ISO, Lloyds Register, ABS, DNV, Germanischer Lloyd, BV and Australian Standard compliance for racing yachts, catamarans, ferries, patrol craft and pleasure vessels.

The team of structural engineers at ATL Composites understand all aspects of composite technology, with a focus on engineering to allow for practical fabrication solutions and to optimise structures for weight, strength, stiffness and affordability for marine applications. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of composite panels for your vessel.


Weight is essential in marine applications for achieving performance, stability, and safety. The large panel-forming capabilities of ATL Composites provide the ideal solution for weight reduction. Our lightweight marine panels are a premier composite material that performs exceptionally well in a wide range of applications ensuring cost-effective, lightweight solutions.


Composite panels are designed to meet the toughest marine standards and have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than traditional materials. Our engineer’s design, fabricate and manufacture composite panel solutions ideal for a wide range of maritime applications including boats, yachts and other vessels. Our end products are lightweight, durable and corrosion-resistant.


The combination of lightweight materials, such as carbon fibre and fibreglass, with our proprietary composite technology, ensures that each panel is stiffer than aluminium or steel panels of the same size. Our advanced solutions are designed to provide maximum structural stiffness for applications requiring a high strength-to-weight ratio.


ATL Composites takes pride in the superior quality and durability of our panels, which are designed to withstand the rigours of harsh marine environments. Our composite panels are water, UV, and corrosion-resistant, ensuring a long service life even in harsh conditions. This provides a more cost-effective solution for marine and industrial applications, as the panels do not need to be replaced as often. Additionally, our materials provide excellent resistance to vibrations and shock, making them ideal for use in high-performance vessels.


Due to their lightweight construction, our panel solutions offer significant cost savings over traditional aluminium or steel panels. Composite panels’ lighter weight results in lower fuel costs and improved vessel performance, making them an ideal choice for boat owners looking to maximise efficiency while minimising expense.

ATL Composites is a leading supplier in Australia of advanced composite boards, materials and engineering for the construction of high-performance, lightweight structures for the marine, automotive, architectural, civil and industrial tooling markets. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our products and services!

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.
Our Duflex logo in png format 768x188

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!

Our Duflex logo in png format 768x188

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 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.