Tag Archives: safety at sea

The best Composite Repair Kit for Offshore sailing yachts

 

Every offshore sailor has once thought about what it would be like to hit hard a drifting container and get a hole in his hull. Though it’s rare and though sailing yachts tend to become more and more resistant, it’s a situation no one wants to face.

But still, don’t you think you should have a prepared plan to face such an unfortunate and potentially dangerous event? First, signal your situation using your VHF if it’s endangering your boat or your crew. Then, manoeuvre to adapt your speed, heel angle and direction at sea, so that you take the less possible water in. Estimate the damages and get ready to repair…Repair !!?? but with what ?

Good question indeed…do you have anything on-board to make such a repair ? If not, now is the good time to fix it !

AplTecTM has created a really clever solution: the “error proof” composite patch.

AplTec is a company specialized in composite, that had the idea to manufacture different types of “Universal composite repair system” which define themselves as “error proof”.

Those are kits ready to be used with Fiber Glass (or Carbon fiber) and adhesive units.

Apltec Composite Patch - Boat repair kit

In less then 5 minutes after opening the composite boat repair kit‘s tube, you are ready to repair, and the composite repair will have good structural qualities.

Mix the yellow Resin and the blue hardener until it becomes a homogeneous green mix. Then a clever system helps you spread the resin all over the fiber (see the demo video underneath). The fact that there is just the right quantity of resin for the supplied fiber will guaranty you achieve a good result. This “just the right quantity policy” is also very helpful for sailors who won’t have to do maths on very sensitive moments under a lot of stress. It looks like nothing, but I’m pretty sure the chances of making a mixing ratio miscalculation is higher in the minutes following a collision with an un-identified floating object.

Moreover,  you can repair in virtually any condition with the AplTec Composite Patch. The resin hardens fast even is the coldest weather, in high humidity, under the rain, and yes, even underwater !

The resin in those boat repair kits was formulated to bond on virtually any surface.  It bonds quickly and after only a few hours after your repair, you’ll reach more than 90% of the resin strength. In other words, you can quickly assess the structural quality of your boat repair. You don’t believe it: check out this video of an underwater repair:

The Apltec repair kits are widely used in the offshore racing, when repairing fast is a matter of wining or loosing a race… The easy boat repair kits allow racers to fix a broken rudder or daggerboard at sea.

It looks to me like those kits are a basic safety feature for any offshore sailor, as anyone can now repair a crack or a hole in a punctured hole. It doesn’t require a composite specialist any more to repair, at least temporary.

Many different kits exist:

  • Repair kit for Fishing boats: Composite Patch Basic Pack Fishing boats : 1 adhesive unit and 2 fiber glass patches : 21x50cm, and 21x95cm21x95cm. Approximatively 180€ (or $245)
  • Repair Kit for 30 foot boats, Composite Patch Pack 30′ Marine: 1 adhesive unit and 2 fiber glass patches : 21x50cm, and 21x95cm21x95cm. Approximatively 230€ (or $310)
  • Repair Kit for 40 foot boats, Composite Patch Pack 40′ Marine: 2 adhesive units, 2 fiber glass patches 21x50cm, and 21x95cm 2 fiber glass patches 21x50cm. Approximatively 290€ (or $391)
  • Repair Kit for 50 foot boats, Composite Patch Pack 50Marine: 2 adhesive units, 3 fiber glass patches 21x50cm, and 21x95cm 2 fiber glass patches 21x50cm. Approximatively 530€ (or $720)
  • Repair Kit for 60 foot boats, Composite Patch Pack 60′ Carbon: 4 adhesive units, 8 carbon fiber patches 21x50cm, and 6 adhesive patches 21x95cm. Approximatively 1670€ (or $2271)

My advice to any offshore sailor is to get one of those boat repair kits in his or her safety inventory. Some builders, like us at Aureus Yachts, also deliver their boats with a few boards (carbon boards 80cmx80cm in our case) to apply on a wounded area in case of real emergency.

To order your one of those repair kits, here is the link to the website of AplTecTM (note that this is not a sponsored article, and we have no financial interest in “pushing” this product or publishing this post. We want want to share this awesome new product with other sailors).

You should also get some Stay Afloat, a unique mixture that is super adhesive and will create in seconds a water tight plug, to stop leaks. This will give you time to prepare a durable fix for the water intake.

Here is a demo video of this very affordable and easy to use Stay Afloat:

If you want to increase your knowledge about composite, I strongly recommend the book “Introduction to composite materials design” by

Ever J. Barbero. Tough it’s quite a big book (562 pages), It’s easy to read, well illustrated, properly organized and up to date (second edition from 2010, so they include modern pre-pregs, vacuum infusion, aeronautical grades of carbon fibers, etc. ) and covers almost all the subjects you might be interested in:

 

 

Thanks for reading, have fun sailing ! (and sail safe !)

Aurelien