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Airex T92 structural PET foam core material from 3A Composites was selected for the construction of the Agena Marin taxi catamaran.
This sustainable design concept combines the advantages of composite technology with a special hull shape to provide improvements in fuel efficiency, waste reduction and ride quality.
“Airex T92 was chosen due to its excellent compression strength, superior shear modulus, and outstanding fatigue resistance properties,” reports Mladen Peharda, Owner & Head of R&D, Agena Marin. “Extra value for choosing Airex T92 was the PET core eco-friendliness, which fitted perfectly with our taxi catamaran sustainable concept.”
The prototype was built in one-off construction mainly from flat table moulds to test the concept at full size. Since the main purpose of the water taxi is professional use, the design focused on robust construction with fatigue resistance and sustainability. Single-skin under the water line and full sandwich construction above were chosen with these goals in mind. An ultra-fine displacement hull combines deep, ultra-fine smart bows with a high bridge deck. This type of hull is designed to wave pierce, resulting in a more comfortable ride for the crew and passengers. Engine power can be reduced in line with the smart hull design and construction. Weight reduction improves various other aspects of the boat’s ride and leaves buoyancy available for payload.
Vacuum resin infusion combined with the hull and deck composite engineering is said to result in the lightest, strongest, toughest boat possible, providing maximum stability with fuel efficiency. The 9.7 m vessel provides 18-20 knots with only approximately 40 hp on each side, which is reported to be less than a third that required by other designs. All the bulkheads and deck components were structurally designed to give box construction elements throughout the entire boat.
The prototype 01 was built in less than 30 working days and presented to the public at the Biograd Boat Show 2017 in Croatia, where it gained four orders. It was extensively tested over the course of the following three months with Honda BFP60 A LRTU (H. THRUST) in various weather conditions and the final results are reported to be better than expected.
“After 10 years of research and development, we are proud to present a sustainable catamaran concept tailored to special applications, including water taxi, crew transfers, dive support, commercial fishing, charter angling, and standby duties,” says Peharda.
Image provided by 3A Composites
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