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Genmar Holdings, the world’s second largest boat builder, today received the prestigious Popular Mechanics 2001 Design and Engineering award for the company’s Virtual Engineered Composites (VEC) technology, which is considered the biggest breakthrough in the boat-building business in 50 years. Traditionally, it takes eight — 12 hours to build 24-foot and smaller fiberglass boats using an open-molding process. Genmar’s VEC technology replaces the traditional labor-intensive, open-molding process with a computer-controlled, closed-molded system that allows the company to build these same size boats in approximately one hour. Moreover, the VEC process is more environmentally friendly reducing styrene emissions from lamination by as much as 90 percent, surpassing all clean air standards. The result for the consumer is a more durable, economical boat with less imperfections that is better for the environment. “I congratulate Irwin Jacobs and everyone at Genmar who had a hand in introducing this revolutionary technology to the boat-manufacturing industry,” said Joe Oldham, Editor-in-Chief at Popular Mechanics. “Our editors and experts recognize innovation and creativity and we hope this designation will add an extra measure of assurance to consumers when making their boat purchase decision.” “VEC will change the way our industry builds fiberglass boats,” said Irwin L. Jacobs, Chairman of Genmar Holdings. “But, VEC is not limited to boat building. Our plans call for licensing this technology to any manufacturer that uses fiberglass products.” Using the VEC system’s interchangeable molds, other industry manufacturers can significantly cut down on their costs. Furthermore, since the system’s digitally-controlled chemical molding process can be monitored over the Internet, remote manufacturing sites can be set-up without the worry of finding scarce high-tech staff for each location. Genmar companies today build boats from 10-feet to 100-feet and include the following brands: Aquasport, Carver, Crestliner, Glastron, Hatteras, Larson, Logic, Lund, Nova, Ranger, Trojan and Wellcraft. With factories in six states and in Canada, Genmar employs approximately 6,500 people.
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