JEC Asia show: Folding composite boat makes waves

A 3.7-meter-long boat weighing just 55 kg folds nicely for transport in as little as 45 seconds according to its developers Cobra International (Chonburi, Thailand) and Quickboats (Cottesloe, WA, Australia). Utilizing a PVC foam core and glass fiber-reinforced epoxy thermoset construction, the boat is stowed in two storage bags, one for the hull and the other for the seats and other components, that can easily be carried on a roof rack according to Danu Chotikapanich, CEO of Cobra, pictured here (left) with the boat on show at JEC Asia.

 

The Quickboat hinge has been tested for more than 1500 openings, which presents more than 10 years of usage. The boat can use an outboard motor of up to 10 hp.

As flat panels are bent into the hull shape in the Quickboat, their sandwich structure is pre-stressed. This gives the boat the required rigidity without having to increase the thickness of the laminated skins or core.

Further, one of the key patents of the Quickboat is the composite hinge, consisting of a strip of Kevlar fiber impregnated with a soft epoxy resin and entrapped in between a fiberglass flange. The hinge is especially designed to flex in such a manner that the Kevlar is always under tension.

Hinge flex also provides the specific shape needed for the keel, varying from a flat section at the bow, to a V where the boat cuts into the waves, to an inverted V towards the stern which gives the boat the proper directional stability when planing. Finally, the fiberglass flanges also flex when hitting waves, thereby dampening wave impact and avoiding overstressing of the panels.

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