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Quality, Engineered

Yes Please!

... was the resounding message I got from those of you I met at the London Boat Show and to all newcomers, welcome to GT Yachts!

The best thing I take away from the show is the immediate understanding of the ethos of the company by most of those I spoke to. We're here to bring back an engineered quality into cruising yacht design and I sense an agreement that this has been lacking. I'd like to give you a taste of what engineered quality means in reality for a GT Yacht.

The photo above shows the aft watertight bulkhead being fitted. It also shows a seacock in place. Whereas you may find other manufacturers simply fixing ill-fitting bulkheads in place with metallic tabs, or drilling holes in the bare hull to fit seacocks, I insist on an altogether different approach. Not only is the mere existence of the watertight bulkhead outstanding in itself, you'll notice that the bulkhead is fully bonded to the hull. This is the only way that the loads imposed by the sea can be successfully and safely transferred to the primary structure in a GRP boat. You'll also notice at the top of the bulkhead that the edge margin has been recessed and scored. This is carried out to a precision depth on the CNC machine during cutting. It provides a better key for the bonding as well as a guide when carrying out the bonding work, ensuring enough overlap as specified in the engineering. Slightly more difficult to make out, but you'll notice the seacock in a slight recess. This is where we have engineered the composite properly, cut the core back and lapped the glass appropriately. This means that when the hole is drilled, the core edge is not dangerously exposed to the outside world, and the structural continuity is maintained.

The photo below-left shows another example of engineered quality. If you want a bow thruster but you also want to preserve sailing performance as much as possible, the tunnel penetration must be faired properly. The photo shows how we have "planted" the hull moulding, which when removed will expose a beautifully fair scallop shape. If this type of fairing is not evident, then the hull you're looking at will be hindered greatly by the existence of the thruster tunnel.

Furthermore, it's all very well of me to talk about how great it is that we only design yachts with lead keels, but whilst many people I spoke to at the London Boat Show knew that lead is better than cast iron, I'd like to re-iterate exactly why.
 
When a yacht heels, weather helm is increased which increases drag, slowing the boat down. With an increase in weather helm, manual steering becomes tiresome and pilot steering results in a higher power drain and also harder effort by your equipment resulting in wear. A yacht heeling also adopts a less-than-optimum entry into the water ahead. To alleviate heel, the righting moment must be increased. We achieve this by using a flared lead keel. Whilst this provides good ballast low down, there is another advantage that is very often overlooked when making simple comparisons with cast iron. Cast iron is approximately two-thirds the density of lead which means that for the same amount of keel ballast, there is 50% more volume of cast iron than lead. For the same draught, this results in a lower aspect ratio keel which is less effective upwind and simply slows you down downwind. If you want a better sailing boat, lead really is the only option.
 
Here's looking forward to a great season on the water and a great launch year for the stunning GT35!

All the best,
Conrad.
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