A Tempest in Tampa: Evolution of the 44-FCI
from “Rovings,” Professional BoatBuilder No. 153
Compiled by Dan Spurr
The tourist-friendly Tampa, Florida, waterfront isn’t a place you expect to see machine guns. But they were there, mounted on each side of the 44-FCI (Fast Coastal Interceptor) docked in front of the Tampa Convention Center during the 2014 edition of IBEX, held September 30–October 2.
How to Go From 0 to 60
The 100′ (30.5m) Comanche was designed to be the fastest monohull in the world—and her build was speedy too. For the past year, Hodgdon Yachts in East Boothbay, Maine, raced to launch the all-carbon super-maxi sloop in time for the Sydney–Hobart race (it began Dec. 26, and Comanche placed second on the line). Her build was not just a yearlong sprint; it was also the (nearly) 200-year-old shop’s first attempt at cored carbon prepreg construction.
Boatbuilders Join Fight Against Aquatic Invaders
Throughout the United States, resource managers are fighting invasive species: They’ve put up electronic barriers to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes; they’ve promoted lionfish as a new cuisine along the Gulf of Mexico to encourage commercial fishing; and they’ve injected waterways in Virginia, Texas, and Minnesota with potassium chlorine, also called liquid potash, which kills motor-clogging zebra mussels by cutting off their oxygen while leaving fish intact.
Now resource managers are looking to the boat industry to join their fight. For the first time, the American Boat & Yacht Council will be hosting an Aquatic Invasive Species Summit on January 27–28 at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas. The event will focus on what the recreational boating industry can do to address this growing problem.
Keeping Paint on Aluminum
Early in my career I worked for a dealership that sold production boats, every one of which was equipped with painted aluminum arches. Invariably, the paint would blister, in some cases before the vessels were offloaded from delivery trailers, and warranty claims were dutifully submitted, which the builder, to its credit, promptly paid. In an effort to stem the cash flow, the company earnestly focused on improving the preparation and paint application processes. Yet the problem persisted.
A few years later, I was managing a boatyard where painting aluminum spars was common. Leery of experiencing the same sort of failure, I began reviewing old spars and other painted aluminum hardware. I noticed that nearly all the failures occurred adjacent to a hardware installation, a fastener, a spreader, a step, or some other fitting—an area where the paint coating had necessarily been upset or breached. I believed I was onto something.
Quick Docking System
from “Rovings,” Professional BoatBuilder No. 152
Compiled by Dan Spurr
The Quick Docking System (QDS), developed by the marine equipment manufacturer Quick S.p.A., is a unique integrated maneuvering system for precisely docking sailing yachts. While most joystick controls are tailored to pod-type-propulsion mechanisms, the QDS is similar to ZF Marine’s JMS (Joystick Maneuvering System), which provides control of multiple thrusters and transmission shifting aboard yachts. Whereas the JMS is designed for the powerboat market, Quick’s QDS is aimed squarely at sailing yachts.
QDS employs a bow and stern thruster connected via a controller area network (CAN) bus to a joystick. Essential to the system is the integration of mechanical or electronic engine-shift controls for taking command of forward and reverse gears that, in concert with the two thrusters, makes for simplified docking and low-speed maneuvering.
On my recent visit to the headquarters of Quick, in Ravenna, Italy, I saw the in-house engineering and manufacturing of its new control system and components, as well as its established line of thrusters that complete the QDS platform.