Yacht Construction

FIBERGLASS

Liner Construction

All Cruisers Yachts models incorporate fiberglass liner construction. Liners are fiberglass components that “line” the inside of each of our hulls. They are permanently attached to the stringers and sheer shelf utilizing a methylmethacrylate adhesive in addition to redundant mechanical fasteners approximately every 12-inches and fiberglass tabbing.

Liners provide additional structural stability, acting as an actual extension of the stringer system, thereby strengthening the overall structure. They also provide rigidity by mechanically joining the stringers with the hull sides. This means more strength and less vibration for a longer service life. The liners also provide a stable platform for secure attachment of the lower edge of all bulkheads.

Cored Fiberglass Structures

Cruisers Yachts utilizes cored construction in all fiberglass deck and hull components. Benefits of coring include lighter structures, increased strength-to-weight ratios for lighter structure weights, increased stiffness and vibration absorption, plus thermal & acoustical insulation.

Cored construction is more expensive than solid laminate construction, because of the material costs and application requirements for higher skilled labor. We believe that the benefits outweigh the costs.

All underwater through-hull locations are “relieved”. This means there is a safety margin of solid laminate between the actual through-hull location and the cored laminate for an added measure of assurance. The best of both worlds. In addition, the edges of all through-hull fittings are completely sealed prior to the fittings being installed. Urethane adhesive/sealants are used to bed all through-hull fixtures.

Cruisers Yachts incorporates a variety of core materials in our fiberglass components, including:

  • Coremat - a thin material that ads stiffness and cosmetically insulates large flat surfaces against fiberglass substrate print-through.
  • Balsa - while harder to work with than foam, we utilize premium end-grain balsa because of its superior compression and shear strength. Skilled operators make the difference.
  • Plywood - most areas that are designed to receive mechanical screw-type fasteners are cored with plywood to provide a sufficient compression to hold the fasteners.
  • Aluminum - all mounting areas for deck hardware are cored with 1/4” aluminum plate. This eliminates the potential for compression fractures often associated with surface mounted plates, for more reliable hardware and less chance of water intrusion.

Laminate Process

All fiberglass components are hand laminated, utilizing skilled, experienced operators to achieve the optimum resin-to-glass ratio for each specified substrate. Cruisers Yachts incorporates a variety of substrates, in various applications, including:

  • Woven cloth - traditional 0/90-degree basket weave. Economical. Conventional. Provides good strength but produces heavier laminate weight.
  • Uni-directional knitted cloth - better strength-to-weight but more expensive substrate. Strength emphasized along one axis.
  • Bi-directional knitted cloth - even better strength-to-weight but even more expensive substrate. Strength emphasized along +/- 45-degree axis and 0/90-degree axis.
  • Chopped strand matt - Lowest strength but provides superior bonding between primary layers of substrates and between primary layers and smooth gelcoated surfaces.

Our lamination operations involve the sequential build-up of layers of fiberglass materials as opposed to applying multiple layers at once. This allows for exacting resin-to-glass ratios as well as a layer-by-layer inspection process that can identify and correct any air voids before adding additional, concealing layers. We grind the surface between each layer for better adhesion.

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Coatings & Resins

Vinylester Barrier Coat

All hulls have a protective coating of vinylester resin incorporated into the hull laminate, beneath the water line, to prevent water migration through the laminate structure. This formulation virtually eliminates any possibility of osmotic blistering.

Resin

Cruisers Yachts utilizes a high performance, isopthallic, dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) laminating resin. This premium material, from Cook Composites, is custom blended for:

  • Improved durability
  • Increased toughness
  • Reduced exotherm for better cosmetics

Gelcoat

Gelcoat is the pigmented, low porosity, resinous surface coating that protects fiberglass laminates from ultra-violet deterioration and provides its cosmetic finish.

Catalyzed gelcoat is applied into a prepared mold using a spray gun. Skilled applicators use manual gauges to assure optimum layer thickness of 20 to 25 mils. Too thick and the surface becomes brittle, too thin and you reduce the protective value of the coating. Guns and nozzles are rigorously maintained, and calibrated regularly, to assure complete mixture and flow. Applicators clear the guns outside the mold before applying material to the mold surface.

Starting in 2011, Cruisers Yachts began using Cook Composite’s Imedge Gelcoat. This is their latest, premium formulation. The new Imedge line features dark, rich high gloss colors and easy gloss recovery after sanding or buffing. It has superior weathering & blush resistance, improved impact resistance for less cracking and maximum resistance to scratches, wear & porosity. Finally, it has lower weight per gallon and is MACT compliant for lower volatile emissions.

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Precision Molds

It starts with precision molds crafted for smooth, mirror-like finishes and long service life. Cruisers Yachts then adheres to a rigorous schedule of mold maintenance to assure this deep, mirror-like finish is preserved on all parts. This also reduces the need for excessive post-finishing which can shorten service life. Maintenance includes waxing between every part, routine stripping and prep of tool surfaces and immediate repair of any mold defects.

“Slower” lamination schedules are specified to minimize heat build-up that can cause cosmetic distortion in parts as well as damage to the molds. Putting less stress on the tooling assures us of longer service life and assures you of a better cosmetic finish.

Superior Stringer Design

The stringer system is the structural backbone of the hull. It supports all static loads and absorbs the dynamic energy incurred as the vessel travels through the water. Cruisers Yachts engineers perform a detailed structural analysis for each model and specifies various stringer compositions, depending on the application. All stringer systems are 3-deminsional, in “egg crate” configuration, to minimize panel dimension (unsupported expanses).

Longitudinal stringer members are bedded in a polyester bonding material to eliminate hard-points and fill any potential open areas that may trap water. All limber holes are fully sealed, then lined with redundant PVC tubing as added protection against potential water intrusion.

All stringer systems exceed ABS Guidelines for Pleasure Motor Yachts and the CE ISO structural standard for Europe. Both standards provide a generous safety margin.

Sheer Shelf

All Cruisers Yachts models have a wooden sheer shelf laminated into the hull. This is essentially a wooden beam that runs longitudinally along each hull side, from the aft bulkhead, forward. It helps to stiffen the hull structure, absorb side impacts (like hard docking), absorb vibration. It also serves as a structural connection point for fiberglass liners, integrating hull sides with stringer systems.

Hull Stand-Off

Cruisers Yachts technicians consistently maintain an adequate stand-off when laminating stringer members & sheer shelf cores to hull sides. This allows for design strength without creating “hard-points” that can cause laminate fractures, or cosmetic cure distortion that highlights bulkhead locations in relief on hull sides.

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