For nearly 30 years, 12-Meter yachts took center stage at the America’s Cup. The last 12-Meter was built in the late ’80s, but a meticulously restored fleet of “Twelves” continues to race in Newport, RI, thanks to a group of enthusiastic owners.
Enterprise (US 27), built in 1977, is the latest 12-Meter to undergo restoration. This includes adding a newly redesigned, fully optimized keel. Sparkman and Stephens was engaged to do a performance analysis and design the new keel; Symmetrix was brought in to create an accurate pattern.
The Symmetrix pattern will be used by the Broomfield foundry to create a cast concrete mold. Lead is poured into this mold to create the keel.
Twelve Meters race under a complex rating rule that takes many factors into consideration, including weight and volume of underwater surfaces. Precise shaping of the mold is critical; if it’s off by even a fraction of an inch, too much (or too little) lead will be used, throwing off the keel weight. Symmetrix’s precise CNC shaping of the pattern ensures that the molds are accurate, which in turn ensures that the keel meets the size and weight calculated by Sparkman and Stephens.
The refit of Enterprise will be completed this spring, in time for the 2018 racing season.
In June of 2016, Symmetrix starting crafting tooling for MJM Yachts. Designed by Zurn Yacht Design and to be built by Boston Boatworks, the MJM35z will be a “better performing outboard” built using a wet prepreg, post cure epoxy composite structure. What Symmetrix saw was a complex project requiring patterns and molds varying sizes and construction – from traditional Class A FRP tooling to Light RTM – calling for attention to post-cure temperatures, non-skid application, and careful project management. Early discussions centered around the tight schedule and material perimeters. Symmetrix’s agile team kept the line of communication open between Zurn, MJM, and Boston Boatworks, and over the course of the build, our sales, engineers, and production teams exchanged phone calls, emails, and even texts to make sure all parts were moving along as intended.
In the end, Symmetrix produced over 50 patterns and their correlating molds. As the last pieces make their way to Boston, we look forward to our invite for the test run around Boston Harbor.
The World’s Largest Surfboard is also our Most Documented Project. Management took a trip out west in January for the premier of this documentary. Reports are that “I’ve never looked better or sounded more intelligent.” If that’s not a reason to keep an eye out for the release, I don’t know what is.
Limited use tooling or (DTM) by-passes the pattern and plug making steps of composite construction by machining the mold side of the surface to support direct composite part making. This is done, for instance, to cut valuable time out of a limited run program or facilitate a prototyping initiative. Symmetrix DTM projects in the past include racing sailboats Comanche and Puma’s Mar Mostro.
In 2015, Symmetrix Composite Tooling worked with Gunboat on their newly designed 78’ catamaran to construct DTM tooling for the deck and coach roof. Materials were chosen to reflect the harsh conditions the tooling would face. At the most basic level, these parts would be sitting in the North Carolina sun and were therefore painted grey (not our customary black) to better withstand the heat.
The deck for a 78’ catamaran is not a small thing. Our machine and shop were put to full use as the deck was framed, cut and fully constructed.
The coach roof, while also large, had a different level of complication. As drawn by Gunboat, there were corners and crevices where our machine would not reach. Our engineers and shop manager reviewed the drawings and came up with a solution – separate it into parts. The CAD was deconstructed and configured to optimize machine use. The pieces were constructed separately in the same methods as used on the DTM deck, then reconnected to match the original drawings.
DTM parts are often more labor intensive than pattenr construction, but the end result allows our customers to get down to business faster and more efficiently. Whether working on prototypes, or limited run production, a DTM tool can help save you time and money.
Setting up shop in Bristol, Rhode Island, you’re going to see a marine project or two come through your doors. This year, Symmetrix Composite Tooling had a few fantastic marine projects from a few of our favorite customers ranging in size, part numbers, and product types.
You may remember our last job with Hinckely, the Bermuda 50. Symmetrix built the pattern and the mold for the revamped Hinckley classic and have enjoyed watching the first few boats sailing in New England. This project, while smaller, is all Hinckley. The Talaria 34R, “a riveting yacht that heralds a return to the golden age of Hinckley runabouts”, promises the beauty of a classic Hinckley with all the bells and whistles of modern boat construction. Symmetrix was able to take the CAD drawings from the Hinckley engineers and the direction from project mangers, and turn it into mold we think is just as beautiful as the final construction.
Hinckley asked Symmetrix to build both the patterns and the FRP molds for their jetboat. Over the second half of the year, we have been working hand in hand with Hinckley’s project managers as the design evolved from a computer file through to the bright orange deck mold you see below. While visions of sugar plums dance in our heads, work still continues on a few small parts to be delivered at the beginning of the New Year.
Enjoy a few pictures of the deck mold as you sip your egg nog. Merry Christmas! Don’t forget to follow Symmetrix alumni Comanche and Rambler as they sail in what promises to be a hair raising Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.
Congratulations to Carbon Ocean Yachts with the successful build and launch of the Owen Clarke deign Class 40 ‘Longbow’. Launched at the Newport Shipyard just a few weeks ago and currently undergoing sea trials, Symmetrix Composite Tooling was tapped to machine the complex deck surface here at our Bristol RI location.
The deck surface was split on centerline and machined in our large format CNC as a limited production DTM or direct to mold machined surface. Learn more about the Class 40 ‘Longbow’ here .
“The guys at Carbon Ocean Yachts had Longbow on exhibit at the Newport Boat Show last weekend and I got the tour from managing director Britt Colombo. I was impressed on a couple of levels; how futuristic and functional the deck layout is, and the close attention to detail and finish craftsmanship. Complements to Carbon Ocean!”
President, Symmetrix Composite Tooling