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.
Earlier this month, Bermuda was announced as host of the 35th America’s Cup, scheduled to take place in 2017. Though there are mixed feelings about the viability of the remote island hosting the event successfully, the America’s Cup has taken an important turn with an increasingly promising future.
From its inception in 1851, when the American (and only non-British) contender won the trophy, the America’s Cup’s home was New York. Through nearly a century-and-a-half of advances in naval architecture, the US maintained their solid lead. In 1983, however, an Australian challenger broke the longest winning streak in the history of sports, 132 years. While the developments in maritime engineering before the fateful 1983 race were significant, the revolutionary winged keel sported by the Australia II set a precedent for America’s Cup contenders leading the charge for faster and stronger boats.
Since 1983, no country has been able to successfully defend the Cup more than twice. Court battles over the Deed of Gift, drastically different boat designs competing against each other, and record numbers of challengers have dominated the America’s Cup for the past 21 years. The introduction of the AC72 marked a sharp turn that the entire sailing industry would take. It became clear that hydrofoiling catamarans were not only fun and interesting for sailors, but for non-sailing spectators, too.
Ever since the first glimpses of the AC72s foiling, we have seen hydrofoiling catamarans cropping up in more and more places. The Nacra 17 was adopted as the newest Olympic class, the Great Cup 32 Racing Tour was introduced, and both the A-Class and C-Class Catamarans adapted their older designs to incorporate foiling.
The slightly smaller AC62 that will be used in the 2017 America’s Cup is being designed specifically to foil and is expected to reach speeds similar to the AC72s’. The AC45 that debuted in the first ever America’s Cup World Series, and made a second appearance in the first ever Youth America’s Cup, will be used again for the second edition of both events, only this time they will be foiling as well. While there are many design constraints in place for both classes, there is plenty of room for variability. The next few years are sure to be full of secretive designing and trialing processes and we can’t wait to see the results!
Less than a year after the project’s groundbreaking, the Washington Avenue Pier (Pier 53) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania opened to the public on August 15th. In conjunction with the Delaware River Waterfront Commission and designer Jody Pinto, Goetz Composites fabricated the translucent FRP beacon that serves as the park’s focal point.
Paying homage to the 19th and 20th centuries’ large scale immigration via Pier 53 is a public boardwalk featuring an installation called the “Land Buoy.” It stands 55 feet tall and looks east over the Delaware River. Though only one third of a nautical mile wide at the Land Buoy’s location, the river – and Pier 53, specifically – served as the gateway to well over 600,000 immigrants from the time of its opening in the 1870s, until it was demolished in 1915.
In designing the Land Buoy, it seems Jody Pinto envisioned a final navigational marker after a long journey from Europe. The solar-powered blue light topping the installation provides a unique beacon on approach to Pier 53. The Philadelphia Inquirer commends Pinto for “simultaneously conjuring a ship’s crow’s nest, a lighthouse, and the spiral stairs of an immigrant rowhouse – approach, arrival, settlement, all rolled into one powerful form.” The newly restored wharf provides an appropriately simple setting for peaceful remembrance of the site’s eventful past.
Following our post last month on the kick-off of the 2014-2015 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Alvimedica arrived in Cape Town, South Africa and secured a fifth place finish. Despite being on terra firma once again, their hard work did not stop (except maybe for a quick round of showers that I can only assume were much needed).
During the team’s time in port, they underwent medical tests performed by researchers hoping to make developments in the field of heart health. By allowing the doctors to run the tests immediately before and after the leg from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa, they are hoping to learn about how stress can manifest itself in cardiovascular system functioning. Findings will not only help to prove (or disprove) the researchers’ hypotheses, but will also provide information to the sailors that could help them to perform more successfully.
November 19th marked the beginning of the Volvo Ocean Race’s second leg as the sailors set out for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in some exciting conditions. With breeze ranging from 5 knots to 40 knots, it’s hard to imagine there was not a significant effect on the sailors’ heart rates.
Click here for related video.
The movement toward modern composites emerged in the marine industry in the 1960s and 1970s. Carbon fiber was first patented in the latter decade and has been used experimentally and commercially in boatbuilding ever since. Composite manufacturers in Bristol, RI are responsible for much of the improvement and innovation in the field, and Eric Goetz has been a key player along the way.
Click here to check out last week’s spotlight article on the Rhode Island Composites Alliance – including a video interview with Eric Goetz – on the RI Foundation’s In Our Backyard to see where the composites industry is now.
PHOTO – LALA PEREIRA/MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT ASSOCIATES
When Buckminster Fuller first designed the Fly’s Eye Dome, he was imagining a highly efficient – in terms of energy and materials – housing solution. The many circular openings would serve as windows and doors, as well as collectors of solar and wind energies. In addition, the concave composite frame was carefully designed to collect rainwater runoff.
Although Fuller passed away before his concept of a portable, self-sufficient home gained much popularity, the 24-foot and 50-foot prototypes he commissioned have not been forgotten. A replica of the 24-foot dome, built in our shop in Bristol, Rhode Island made its way down to Miami earlier this year, finding its new home in Palm Court in the Florida city’s Design District.
Through working with the Buckminster Fuller Institute (and the project manager, Dan Reiser), Goetz Composites reproduced the 24-foot Fly’s Eye Dome using modern technologies; technologies which Fuller surely would have employed if he were alive today. First, a 3D parametric model was produced from the original design. The complex tooling was then cut, using a 5-axis CNC machine. The composite parts were engineered and laminated in accordance with Miami-Dade County Building Code, which includes careful regulation of flame spread, smoke toxicity, and hurricane durability.
An article published this week in The Wall Street Journal discussed a shift in luxury retail, focusing specifically on this district. The appeal of open-air shopping (in comparison with mall shopping) for luxury goods stems from more than just the mass presence of retail’s elite. The environment of ‘high-street’ markets (outdoor shopping areas like Fifth Avenue in Manhattan) is a significant factor in the entire shopping experience. Craig Robbins, a developer working on the Miami shopping center, says that much of the Design District’s appeal comes from the fact that “you can walk around and see spectacular art and design.” In the case of the Fly’s Eye Dome, visitors can experience the work of art from the inside as well; it will serve as a pedestrian entryway to the underground parking garage.
Recent developments in the way of what MIT research scientist Skylar Tibbits is calling 4D printing have been announced. Because 3D printers are readily available and are increasingly well-understood by the general public, it must be time for something bigger and better. The fourth dimension is a dynamic component that creates a changing structure over time. We are now seeing a possibility that the futuristic wonderland Marty McFly introduced us to may not be far from materialization.
At a 2013 TED conference, Tibbits first presented his idea of “programmable materials that build themselves.” He demonstrated how, with today’s rapidly advancing nanotechnologies, we can “program physical and biological materials to change shape, change properties and even compute outside of silicon-based matter.” The impact that this could have on development at the human scale is vast; and ideas from increasingly diverse industries is just what Tibbits needs in order to keep his Self-Assembly Lab at MIT running at full speed.
Articles released by Wired and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) over the past two weeks have shown us just where those ideas, in combination with Tibbits’ team’s expertise, can take us. 4D printing uses meticulously constructed layers of material – nearly any material will do – with programmed design to alter their shape using passive energies. Carbitex, a company specializing in the production of flexible carbon fiber, has begun work with printed materials on the fibers that make the fully cured carbon active and reactive to certain energy. Applications in automotive, aerospace, and athletic industries (self-lacing Nikes?) are already in the works, and it is apparent that where we are going, we don’t need complex, expensive, and cumbersome electrical systems to control robotic movement.
It has been an exciting year for local sailor Charlie Enright. His public announcement in January of this year that he, along with friend Mark Towill, would be partnering with young Turkish medical technologies company Alvimedica for a campaign in the 2014-2015 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race earned him a prominent seat in the forefront of sailing media. American sailors and under 30s, along with dark horses of various other shapes and sizes begun to follow team Alvimedica as they set out on their journey to the esteemed race around the world.
With almost half of the crew competing in their first Volvo Ocean Race, onlookers have been eager to watch closely as Charlie and Alvimedica work to tear down the stigma surrounding youth and inexperience. In a recent interview, Charlie told Scuttlebutt, “We are good sailors with an understanding of the skills under our belts, and a reasonable understanding of what is ahead of us. We are positive, hungry for this experience, and willing to learn as we go.”
The in-port race in Alicante, Spain on October 4 bore striking resemblance to any other one-design fleet race. After many lead changes and seriously tight racing all-around, Alvimedica crossed the finish line with a comfortable lead. Sponsors and supporters everywhere breathed a long-awaited sigh of relief as the boys proved that they may, after all, have what it takes to give the old guys a run for their money in this race. You can certainly color me convinced.
Click here to follow the Volvo Ocean Race, as seven teams compete over the next several months on each of the nine legs.
Peter Van Lancker of Hunt Yachts presented Eric Goetz with his Anchor Award. Van Lancker praised Goetz as an innovator who has built elegant composite structures with precision, accuracy, and engineering skill, and also as someone who has shaped an industry as a teacher and mentor to many in the field.
Visitors to the Staten Island Children’s Museum, in Staten Island, New York, will learn about renewable energy from a new 2,200 square-foot tensile structure featuring a translucent, photovoltaic fabric roof. Designed by Marpillero Pollak Architects, the exterior pavilion (the Meadow Structure) uses thin photovoltaic strips affixed to its fabric cover to produce electricity.
A rooftop vertical-axis wind turbine also powers an exhibit inside the museum, and a skylight wind scoop passively ventilates the building’s main stairwell.
Goetz built the new wind-scoop skylight, comprising a rotating cowl and a colorful, translucent rotating drum that uses stack-effect air circulation to passively ventilate the building.
Photo credit: Marpillero Pollak Architects
On January 21st, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse visited our shop in Bristol to hear about the innovative work our company is doing in Rhode Island, and how this work can create jobs in the state. During his visit, we shared our plans for growth and discussed how he can help support the success of Rhode Island’s innovation economy at the federal level. This visit was the first stop in a series that Senator Whitehouse is holding with innovative businesses that are helping to strengthen the state’s economy.
Goetz Composites created a waterproof “Green Box” that could be mounted on deck for the Ocean Going Farmer. Full Story
Photo credit: Nick Halmos
Here at the shop our CNC machine is cutting right and left hull molds from laminated blocks of balsa. Balsa grows in Central and South America and is considered a weed. It grows very rapidly and is a renewable resource. In 6 to 10 years the tree is ready for cutting, having reached a height of 60 to 90 feet tall and a diameter of 12 to 45 inches.
Falcon is a carbon fiber 80’ Nelson / Marek ILC Maxi. Goetz is custom building an additional head, owner’s stateroom and galley. Our technicians have set up shop with the Goetz Mobile Unit.
Goetz recently shipped this custom retail fixture out for chrome plating. From there it’s on to a high profile retailer in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. Click for more images.
A prototype public art display designed by Architecture Research Office (ARO) and built by Goetz Composites adds color and interesting surfaces to Bogardus Plaza in Lower Manhattan. The initiative is part of NYCDOT’s Urban Art Program that brings art to unexpected places throughout the city.
We just added a new page to our website. You can now view two image galleries that feature Special Projects and Process and Tooling.
The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta – Video Highlights & Photos from Day 4 now online
www.loropianasuperyachtregatta.com – Check out the Photo & Video Galleries to see images by Carlo Borlenghi and Rick Tomlinson, with video produced by Superyacht Media.
compositesworld.com – Racing boatbuilder Goetz Composites (Bristol, R.I., USA) on May 25 unveiled its historic restoration of one of Buckminster Fuller’s most iconic structures, the 24-ft/7.3m Fly’s Eye Dome.
Patented in 1965, Fuller created two prototypes of this structure, a 24-ft and 50-ft/15.2m dome. Fuller writes in his seminal book, Critical Path, that “the Fly’s Eye domes are designed as part of a ‘livingry’ service. The basic hardware components will produce a beautiful, fully equipped air-deliverable house that weighs and costs about as much as a good automobile. Not only will it be highly efficient in its use of energy and materials, it also will be capable of harvesting incoming light and wind energies.” Read on – Image Gallery
We are pleased to announce that The Hinckley Company has chosen Goetz to build and supply the flybridge component of their new Talaria 48. The parts will be built in prepreg carbon fiber embodying both the leading edge technologies, and the highest levels of finish that are inherent in every Hinckley yacht. By utilizing the same technology we used to build the structure of the BWM Oracle Trimaran that won the 33rd America’s Cup, the flybridge will be lighter and stronger than conventional layups.
The relationship fits perfectly with the Goetz skill set which is focused on delivering the highest quality composite hulls, decks and structures available anywhere in the world today. Likewise, The Hinckley Company has been an industry innovator and has continuously built some of the world’s most advanced and beautiful yachts since the company’s founding in 1928. Seven new T48’s have been sold to date. Find out more about the T48 – hinckleyyachts.com
Goetz engineers and laminators worked with Zyvex Technologies on the Piranha Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) in the 4th quarter of 2010. The Piranha USV is the largest boat built from nano-enhanced materials created by Zyvex Technologies and is designed to perform a wide variety of missions like anti-piracy, search and rescue, submarine hunting, and harbor patrol.
Update – Super light nano-carbon boat completes sea testing
The sea trial was performed after six months of testing. The trial was an approximate 600 nautical mile rough-weather sea test off the shores of Washington and Oregon. According to Zyvex, a conventional aluminum or fiberglass boat would have consumed 50 gallons or more per hour at cruise speed, while test results showed that the Piranha consumed only 12 gallons of fuel per hour while cruising at 25 knots. more
Congratulations to Dan Meyers and the crew on Numbers for winning the 2011 Key West Race Week Mini Maxi – IRC. “Numbers” – USA 119 is a Judel/Vrolijk designed 66 built in 2007 by Goetz. She was the smallest boat in the Mini Maxi class.
1. Numbers, USA119, Daniel Meyers
2. Shockwave, USA60272, George Sakellaris
3. Bella Mente, USA45, Hap Fauth
4. Titan, USA60075, William Koch
Image – Billy Black – detailed results.
Goetz is building two custom cupolas and a weathervane for the Staten Island Children’s Museum. The male mold (pictured) is 5.5m in length. Here the part is getting a balsa core fitted before the inner skin is laid up. The complex shape will be laminated in a wetpreg fire retardant epoxy system.
Staten Island Children’s Museum project design and rendering by Marpillero Pollak Architects.
We shipped our first Funny Car body today. The final cook took place last night and the results speak for them selves. Built from a Carbon/Kevlar prepreg the completed body weighs just 105 lbs and will see speeds in excess of 300 MPH in under 4 seconds.
The body is headed to John Force Racing for fit out and then onto Palm Beach. The project was a joint effort between CET, Bob Tasca Racing and our next door neighbor here in Bristol, Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats.
Our latest project is for the Staten Island Children’s Museum. We are tasked with building parts of the fiberglass roofs, the air scoop and the rotating mechanism [Harken traveler tracks].
We will make a male tool and wet laminate the solid glass piece and then paint and deliver. Check back for updates and images of the finished parts. The scoop pictured below will measure approximately w12′ x h12′
Providence, RI – As Congress begins a new term, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will continue his focus on issues and legislation important to Rhode Island manufacturers. Yesterday, he visited Composite Energy Technologies in Bristol to hear about their work.
“My first priority is to keep fighting to get our economy back on track. That means bringing new business to our state, but it also means supporting existing companies and keeping good jobs here,” said Whitehouse. “I was pleased to hear from the folks at Composite Energy Technologies about what they need to continue contributing to our local economy.”
From left to right – Bob Chew, Senator Whitehouse, Eric Goetz.
Throughout the coming week, Senator Whitehouse will visit a series of local businesses to discuss challenges facing our economy and proposals to help manufacturers and small businesses grow and succeed.
Composite Energy Technologies diversifies into the world of auto racing. Eric’s experience with composite technology is a key element of the project. More Images
This is the plug for a Ford Racing, Nitro funny car body. It’s going together at our Bristol facility in association with our neighbor Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats and Bob Tasca III. We’ll use prepreg carbon fiber and a unique process to bring the finished body in at 100 lbs.
Bob Tasca III with his Tasca Racing team, jumped to a Nitro Funny Car after competing in an Alcohol Funny Car. His grandfather was instrumental in launching Ford’s return to professional drag racing more than four decades ago. The Tasca family is well known in Rhode Island where Tasca is a household name.
Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats is just down the street from our shop and also works in carbon fiber. They build super high performance powerboats for racing and pleasure.
Tasca hits 304 MPH – Video
Composite Energy Technologies has started working with Yale University in a technology sharing arrangement. Yale will be providing support for our CNC robots in exchange for knowledge in advanced composite processes. Yale students will be visiting Bristol CET next month!
We are also having discussions with MIT about composite structures for disaster relief and the Rhode Island School of Design as they pursue expertise in composite architecture applications.
“As SAIL magazine marks its 40th anniversary, we decided to highlight the 40 sailors who’ve had the greatest impact on our sport over the last four decades. After considerable debate, we came up with the following list. Odds are, however, that the debate is far from over.”
Eric Goetz – For many years the king of carbon-fiber custom boat construction, Eric pioneered and perfected many of the high-end boatbuilding techniques in use today.
Goetz engineers and laminators built and delivered Piranha (unmanned surface vehicle) in the 4th quarter of 2010.
“The Piranha USV is designed to perform a wide variety of missions like anti-piracy, search and rescue, submarine hunting, and harbor patrol.” Piranha USV is the largest boat built from nano-enhanced materials