26 September 2016

13 Jun 2014

Branagh Marine Composite retrofit S/Y Gaia new keel to improve regatta performance

One of Branagh Marine Composites major 2014 winter projects was to retrofit the keel on the beautiful Spirit 100 S/Y Gaia.

The aim was to vastly improve the hydrodynamics and of course overall performance of this beautiful superyacht.

As well as a new modern shaped bulb, the keel fin profile was also redesigned which BMC were contracted to do. This was achieved by 3D laser scanning the existing fin shape to produce an accurate workable CAD / 3D file.

Luke Hendy, commercial director of BMC states: ‘The way we rolled out the project was as follows…3D scanned the existing keel and converted scans to a solid file, this was sent to the yacht designers to reshape and study the hydrodynamics of the boat and keel to optimise shape.

We then took the new shape and overlaid it onto the original giving us an original and new shape for inside and outside surfaces.

The shapes were then 2D cut in flat slices using PVC foam a little like a cat scan and bonded together to form the overall new shape.

This new shape was then laid over the laser model and blended into the hull and new bulb. Once we had treated the steel fin it was sheathed with epoxy and E glass before the new shape was bonded into place. The new CNC cut profile was then added in a series of PVC foam core slices to create the desired shape. Once bonded on they were sanded smooth, laminated and vacuum consolidated to seal the deal!’

This innovative method allows Branagh Marine Composites to work with precision and guarantees the result is as designed. Tom Aiken skipper of Gaia commented: 'Gaia's overall performance has been greatly improved by the work carried out by BMC this winter. They have been thorough and professional from start to finish and although early days, the performance in Porto Cervo, particularly upwind are better than anticipated.

We're excited by the gains and very much looking forward to testing her against a great line up for the SYC next week.'


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