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The Masthead

Design For Series Production



e. What trends and developments in brand reputations and images and what impact this has had on consumer



Competition's Terrain - What are they claiming, with what weight, and through what media? What are their strate-

gies and tactics? Do they have the capability of countering our changes in prices, policies, product, etc.? How have

they positioned their product, expensive, low priced, race or cruise oriented, high quality, low quality?

With an understanding of our product, our market, the customer, and the competitor's environment, the problems and

opportunities confronting the business can be defined and thus a marketing objective established.


With the introduction of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) after World War II as a commercially feasible boatbuilding ma-

terial, many designers and builders believed that design and construction restrictions imposed by traditional materials

would now be eliminated.

Years of experience with wood, steel, and aluminum had produced well-defined limitations for practical, economically

sound design and construction techniques. However, these limitations sometimes had an influence on the design from

cost or availability considerations.

For example, with some metal boats, developable section forms were chosen over designs having compound curvature in

the interest of cost. The width of the keel on a wooden yacht has in the past been controlled by the timber size available.

FRP sometimes referred to as the "miracle material" was erroneously portrayed as being devoid of any such limitations. It

certainly opened up many new areas for design expression utilizing shapes and forms heretofore considered impractical.

As the marine industry gained experience with FRP some very well defined problem areas became apparent. In general

terms, the designer should avoid:

1. Large Flat Panels - The highly reflective nature of gelcoated FRP laminates will accentuate even the smallest imper-

fections or distortions. During the curing process FRP flat panels tend to distort and with repeated usage the mold

surface from which the part is made exhibits a similar change. The combined effect, distorted mold and part, often

produces cosmetically an unsightly


2. Deep Narrow Appendages - The nor-

mal construction sequence for FRP

boats utilizes female molds*. Thus,

in effect, the boat is built from the

outside (gel- coated surface) to the

inner surface (last layer of FRP).

Starting from the gelcoat, each rein-

forcing layer of glass and resin is

applied and laminated to the adja-

cent surface using 8 variety of hand

tool applications*. For parts that are

deep and narrow the process be-

comes increasingly difficult as work-

ing space becomes smaller with

each successive lamination. The abil-

ity to control the amount of resin

retained in deep narrow pockets is

difficult. Sometimes due to drainage

or over application, the resin puddles

producing a resin rich laminate. Also,

during the curing process excessive

Figure 1

Dec. 2014 Page 6