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Finish of Daedalus 30 Cabin Cruiser Causes a Stir

  • Friday, 22nd October 2010
  • Reading time: about 4 minutes

A new fibreglass construction cabin cruiser, Daedalus 30, made its debut appearance at the UK Southampton Boat show in September, catching the attention of many seasoned fibreglass boat building experts who attended the show.

The surface finish and the overall build quality stood out, along with its unusual concave dynamic hull design. The GRP deck and hull of Daedalus 30 was judged by many as aesthetically best in class due to the very high gloss mirror like gelcoat surface. This exceptional surface finish was achieved by Marine Concepts Ltd, using a matched marine laminate construction with a Lloyds approved iso/npg gelcoat from Scott Bader Ltd.

Daedalus 30 is built by Marine Concepts at their factory in Lee-on Solent, near Portsmouth. Established since1998, they are better known as a specialist manufacturer and supplier of top quality plugs, moulds and subcontract mouldings. Marine Concepts has built their quality reputation over the last 12 years and are now an approved supplier to many prestigious UK marine accounts. Over the last eight years, Scott Bader has been their preferred supplier and Crystic products are used unless other resins and gelcoats are specified by a subcontract customer.

For the Daedalus 30 project, Marine Concepts drew on Scott Baders expertise to help them with the material selection and laminate design of the hull, deck and interior. They also got advice about fabrication techniques, such as bonding, which optimise build costs and improve quality; particular focus was given to eliminating common problems only seen after demouding, such as print through. Mr. Terry Stubington, co owner and a director of Marine Concepts explained: We got a lot of advice and support from Scott Bader, who helped us develop the specifications and fabrication programme for the Daedalus 30. This gave us a high degree of confidence that we could achieve our build quality objectives; what finally came out of the mould exceeded expectations.

All the moulds for Daedalus 30 are made from Scott Baders matched tooling system; Crystic 14PA tooling gelcoat, a vinyl ester/ DCPD skincoat, VE 679 PA and 474PA tooling resin. The craft itself is made entirely from Crystic products by hand lay-up. This includes Crystic LS31PA iso/npg brush gelcoat for the deck and hull, as well as other specialty products such as the new Fireguard 75PA excel intumescent topcoat in the engine compartment to meet fire safety standards.

The laminate construction of the deck and hull also uses the vinyl ester/DCPD skincoat but with the addition above the waterline of a barriercoat, Crystic Crestacoat 5000PA, which is applied immediately behind the Crystic LS31PA gelcoat; the barriercoat improves surface finish and reduces gelcoat micro cracking. Mr. Stubington commented further about their shop floor experiences of using Scott Baders materials: Our laminators find Crystic products easy to work with and we are very satisfied with Scott Baders consistent quality and service. A big benefit to us has been the reparability of the LS31PA gelcoat. Its very user friendly and much easier to do repairs with compared with some other gelcoats we have been asked to use.

The mirror like finish of the hull in particular attracted a lot of comments from boat builders who saw the Daedalus 30 at the Southampton boat show. Apart from using a proprietary gelcoat polish, nothing else was done to the gelcoat surface after demoulding. In the hull section, it is the production methodology used which has significantly contributed to the resultant surface finish. Marine Concepts opted to bond all the stringers and bulkheads with Crystic Crestomer 1152PA structural adhesive; any cores were also bonded in using Crestomer 1196PA. According to Scott Bader, the practice of bonding bulkheads in preference to over laminating has been proven by other leading GRP boat builders to significantly reduce bulk head print through, while also reducing weight and build times.

Although they have built Volvo ocean race rib support vessels in the past, Daedalus 30 is Marine Concepts first ever luxury cabin cruiser. It is the end result of a four-year collaboration with the UK designer John Moxham, whose hallmark, mostly concave, hull design has been used on the Daedalus 30. The hull has a sharp V section forward, a large radius amidships, down angled spray rails and another big radius at the stern. This dynamic concave hull design has been proven in many former Moxham designed boats to give a soft and dry ride, even in rougher weather conditions.

While Marine Concepts remains firmly focused on its core business making plugs, moulds and subcontract mouldings, further expansion of the boat building side of the business is planned for the future. Marine Concepts expects to add other models to the Daedalus range.

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