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Composites key to innovative mast design

Composites key to innovative mast design Composite materials from Huntsman Advanced Materials have been used by Pauger Carbon Composites to construct an innovative 50 foot long twin-mast catamaran called the Fifty-Fifty.

Pauger Carbon Composites, a Hungarian manufacturer of composite yachts and masts, designed and built the catamaran in time for this year's Blue Ribbon Regatta on Lake Balaton in Hungary. The design objectives were to achieve the best power-to-weight ratio possible in constructing a light weight vessel capable of achieving high speeds in long distance sailing.

Following consultation with Huntsman Advanced Materials' Hungarian distributor Farix, Pauger Carbon selected Huntsman's composite resin and composite bonding systems to reinforce and complete the yacht's composite structure. The materials were chosen for their easy processing capabilities, thermal endurance, high quality finish and all importantly, the ability to facilitate the creation of robust, lightweight parts.

The composite hulls have been produced using a hot curing system for infusion which combines low viscosity with a long pot life and excellent mechanical, dynamic and thermal properties. Because this system is formulated to provide a high Tg (> 140°C), it is particularly well suited to yachts, such as the Fifty-Fifty, which are finished in dark colours, including black or dark blue.

The chosen Araldite systems played a significant role in helping to optimise the manufacturing process while enabling the realisation of a full-carbon, high-tech multihull and innovative rig that has already proven itself in the fast and extremely competitive arena of long-distance sailing," said Denes Paulovits, owner and managing director of Pauger Carbon Composites.

Progress through the development and construction stages was rapid and the Fifty-Fifty was on the water within a 15 week period. As well as winning this year's Lake Balaton Regatta in the Fifty-Fifty, the Wild Joe Sailing Team who steered the yacht to success also broke the race's long-standing speed record by completing the 150km course in 10 hours and 13 minutes. With wind speeds of ten knots the Fifty-Fifty achieved speeds of 24 knots.
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