|Tripping the Light Fantastic|
Part 2: NEB achieved impressive weight reduction.
By George L. Petrie
To meet the transatlantic range requirement, C. Raymond Hunt designers kept the hull bottom as smooth and uncluttered as possible. There’s only one running strake on each side of the hull beginning at the stem on the waterline and extending aft at a uniform distance below and inboard of the chine, following the natural flow lines of the water along the hull at low speed to minimize added resistance. But at high speed, with a different flow pattern over the bottom, the strakes perform their primary function of deflecting spray downward and adding dynamic lift.
Another necessary component to meet the range requirement was tank capacity, about 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel, plus freshwater, graywater, and holding tanks, in an array of integral composite fuel tanks that span almost the width of the hull’s inner bottom and some two-thirds of its length. But the critical element in satisfying seemingly incompatible range and speed requirements was to minimize weight.
Employing materials and construction processes rarely used in motoryacht construction, NEB achieved impressive weight reduction, an estimated 20 percent or more of the yacht’s total displacement. On the down side, more expensive materials and more labor-intensive processes upped the cost about 30 percent compared to conventional fiberglass construction. But that’s not a fair comparison, because the yacht would not have met her performance goals if built in the conventional way, or she would have given up interior space for bigger engines and more fuel tanks.
Next page > Part 2: The hull was laminated with Kevlar and E-glass woven into a quadaxial fabric. > Page 1, 2, 3
This article originally appeared in the August 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.