Is carbon fibre the next miracle material in boatbuilding or shall we create a synergy of what’s perfect for our clients?
If you ask anyone why use carbon fibre, you’ll typically get a three word answer, stronger, harder, lighter.
These are the reasons it is commonly used by some of the biggest brands on earth from Boeing to Lamborghini.
But do these benefits translate in the boating world?
Stronger: Carbon fibre is typically twice as strong as fibre glass allowing boat builders to use less while achieving the same strength of a traditional boat.
Harder: At around six times harder than fibreglass it gives builders a hull that’s more sturdy and stiffer at high speeds on the water.
Lighter: Put simply a carbon fibre is about half as heavy but twice as strong at fiberglass giving a boat more speed and stronger fuel efficiency.
However, there are no rainbows without rain. Carbon fibre boatbuilding has some hefty down sides, namely the cost. It can be 6 times more expensive than it’s counterpart fibreglass, so a builder needs to weigh up the benefits – Is a small speed improvement something an owner is willing to pay 6 times more for?
It also conducts electricity, something which can be rather problematic in an Iguana with an electric land drive! Every element needs to be insulated from a carbon fibre hull adding further time and cost to build.
At Iguana we’ve created a striking balance, using carbon fibre to create new elements such as a cabin and increased storage on the Commuter model. This allows us to keep the weight low but the strength and performance of the boat high.
Keen to stay are the forefront of innovation we have also adopted Kevlar in to our manufacturing process, using the composite to create our tracks resulting in a robust system that requires virtually no maintenance.
So regardless of what the material is, each builder needs to make the decision based on whats right for their clients.
Be it carbon fibre, Kevlar or back to traditional wood, at Iguana we are constantly evolving to ensure we remain true to our mantra of delivering an uncompromised boating experience.