In keeping with Goetz Composites’ passion to grow advanced manufacturing in Rhode Island, Goetz Composites worked with the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, Composites Alliance of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training to develop and conduct a month-long, training program dealing exclusively with advanced composites manufacturing.
Participants in the Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training (CPAT) program were unemployed Rhode Island residents who were selected through a rigorous process comprised of interviews and examinations, both written and hands-on. The fast-paced curriculum was focused on building the necessary skills required to fulfill the immediate employment needs of Rhode Island composites companies. Classroom and practical instruction familiarized trainees with the materials, tools, and processes used to manufacture composite parts. OSHA training, company tours, and week-long internships rounded out the interdisciplinary approach to preparing each student for a career in the composites industry.
The CPAT program was created to meet the growing demand for knowledgeable employees in the composites industry, while simultaneously decreasing the state’s unemployment rate – a win-win. A majority of the program’s graduates have secured living wage, industry jobs before Christmas – one of the goals set at the program’s conception in September.
Goetz Composites would like to thank the other participating Rhode Island companies who generously opened their facilities up to tours and internships: North Shore Composites, Aquidneck Custom Composites, Outerlimits Powerboats, Symmetrix Composite Tooling, and Resolute Racing Shells.
Earth’s natural resources are far too precious to be excessively consumed by combustion engines. In addition to quickly depleting resource supply levels, pollutants emitted from the consumption also have a detrimental effect on Earth. Today, most maritime activity depends heavily on legacy systems that burn a tremendous amount of hydrocarbons – pushing a heavy boat through the water takes a lot of effort! This unsustainable practice must change. Fortunately, recent technological advances have begun to increase the viability of alternative energy sources. As an industry, it is our responsibility to adopt these innovative technologies and assist in further development as we design and build next generation vessels.
Over the past few years, Goetz Composites and SDK Structures have been leading a team with one goal: design and build a light commercial boat that proves the viability of electric propulsion. To accomplish this, we have identified four key areas of focus:
- State-of-the-Art Foiling Technology: In order to alleviate range anxiety, the boat must move through the water using minimal energy. In the past five years, there has been a huge leap forward in terms of the understanding and development of hydrofoils. The development of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models has followed suit, allowing for quick analysis of the control surfaces. Unfortunately, the most efficient control surfaces are inherently unstable.
- Active Foiling: Before extremely efficient foil systems can be accessible to mainstream users, as opposed to elite America’s Cup athletes, an automated control system must be developed. Airplane pilots use a system of controls to make flying more intuitive. To further reduce error (induced by fatigue, etc.), autopilots do most of the work. An integrated control system like this enables central monitoring of critical systems (such as batteries, motors, and foil position), while constantly tracking performance. If a value is outside of safe operating parameters, the boat can land safely without issue.
- Lightweight Construction: Full prepreg carbon fiber construction and disciplined weight control enable maximum range and payload. Simply put: the lighter an object is, the less energy is required to move it.
- Electric Propulsion: In order to maximize range, we are using batteries with extremely high specific energy that can be cooled without significant parasitic load. This technology is developing rapidly as many industries are seeing its value. Marine applications are specifically challenging due to higher required discharge rates, resulting in excessive heat.
We are excited to be working on this experiment in sustainability and look forward to collaborating with like-minded partners.
Though the two will undoubtedly remain closely tied here in Bristol, the composites industry has made great strides in establishing itself as independent from the marine industry. Beginning in the 1960s, when the use of composite materials first became dominated by marine construction, boat builders in search of lighter and faster solutions were pioneering the advancement of high performance materials and manufacturing. Since then, expansion into the transportation, aerospace, construction, and wind energy markets – amongst others – has begun to pull composites growth. Check out some of our contributions to this industry diversification here.
The past twelve months have been action-packed and exciting for our team. This week marks one year since we began production in our new 38,000-square-foot building. Although, geographically speaking, the move was quite small (our Ballou Boulevard shop is less than three miles from our old location on Franklin Street) the implications for our company have been momentous. Not only has the size of our shop grown nearly threefold, but our workforce has increased by over 50 percent also.
In order to keep up with our demand for knowledgeable employees, we have spent significant effort working with our accomplished veteran team members to develop training programs to acquaint apprentices with the materials and processes used in advanced composites manufacturing. We are dedicated to advancing the careers of our employees because we value the creative, important ideas that come out of an educated and empowered workforce. In November, we will be partnering with the Composites Alliance of Rhode Island to host an intensive – and free! – month-long training program for apprenticeship candidates to learn advanced manufacturing skills and techniques. Attending this program is the first step toward developing a career as a composite technician.
We are excited about growing advanced manufacturing capacity and creating jobs in Rhode Island!
We hope you enjoy the new look and feel of GoetzComposites.com. We wanted our site to reflect the high tech projects we are creating so we enlisted the help of local web designer, Kate Wilson and her company risingT to help us. With the goal of showcasing our latest work and explaining the variety of services we offer, we hope you find the information you need. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any feedback or questions!
Goetz Composites is pleased to announce and welcome Gregor Welpton to our team as Director of Special Projects!
Gregor began boat building in 1984. His passion for building and designing boats has led him around the world in an exploration of form and function.
After graduating from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, Gregor trained at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Townsend, WA. His interests brought him to Alaska as shipwright replacing planks, ribs, bow stems, and sterns. Soon thereafter, Gregor began teaching at the University of Alaska, Southeast, and was hired to run the University’s Marine Technology Program. He later attended the Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design in Arundel, ME and after graduating from the Yacht Design Program, he began working for Victory Design in Napoli, Italy.
Gregor, a seasoned project manager, has worked on a variety of projects including experimenting with multiple hull forms as well as bow foils, lifting bodies and actuating interceptors for Navatek. He built several craft and ran projects for DARPA and ONR. He set up a production facility in Bath, ME for Hodgdon Defense where he managed a project building the GARC (Greenough Advanced Rescue Craft). Gregor has been involved with building prototypes and worked with Coastwise Engineering to design aluminum passenger-carrying catamarans. He also set up the first vacuum infusion shop in Alaska, building smaller catamarans for lodges, water taxis, and other guide outfits.
A veteran boat builder and designer, Gregor’s passion for his work is best summed by his understanding of traditional boat building, and application of cutting-edge technology to the tried and true basics.
Goetz Composites is pleased to bring Gregor’s diverse skill set to work with our team!
Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race resumed last Sunday afternoon, following the brief stopover in Newport. Family, friends, and sailing enthusiasts gathered from around the world to show their support before the teams embarked on their final ocean crossing of the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race. If you didn’t get a chance to visit the Race Village or see the boats sailing around Newport Harbor, it was a truly special experience. The number of visitors was reported to be almost 125,000 (more than 5 times the entire population of Newport) and the marine traffic in the harbor was arguably denser than ever before. With a bit of good luck on the weather front and some seriously impressive organizational efforts spearheaded by Sail Newport, we can’t be the only ones hoping for Newport to be the North American stopover again in the 2017-2018 edition.
Don’t forget to track the boats here and root for our home team, Alvimedica.
The 20th edition of Charleston Race Week takes place this week, with racing set to kick off today. Over 2,500 competitors are expected to participate; among them, our own Kristen Buckley. She will be racing on J22 Wild Goose with an eager fan base cheering her team on from Bristol. For more information on the event, including results and live streaming action, click here.