Quality Always Translates
To further explore the build process of the Astondoa 72 GLX, we interviewed the builder’s chief engineer, Chema Cano-Yuste, in Santa Pola, Spain, with the help of Rafael Barca.
Power & Motoryacht: While touring the boat I couldn’t help but notice there weren’t very many seams or joints in the build materials.
Chema Cano-Yuste: It’s a common way to build the boats in our shipyard. For bigger boats like this, the bigger parts, hull, deck, superstructure, are glassed together, not only outside the boat, but inside as well. You may have noticed there’s no rubrail on this boat. That’s because we don’t need to hide a deck joint. We don’t have one. That’s how big yachts are built. We don’t want any seams anywhere. There’s no flex anywhere. At Astondoa we bond on the outside and the inside. It makes for a very strong boat.
Power & Motoryacht: I see. And you work with a 5-axis router?
Chema Cano-Yuste: Yes we have a CNC 5-axis router machine. It’s 21 meters by 6.5, by 4 meters. We can build plugs or direct molds with it. We have few limits for doing any size boat. A 37-meter boat, for instance, is no problem to produce. It’s a wonderful piece of equipment.
Power & Motoryacht: That must have been a big investment.
Chema Cano-Yuste: Yes it’s a very big expense. Just the machine, five years ago was about €2 million. Just the machine, not the facility. Not the things you need to run the machine. In total we invested about €5 million, more or less.
Power & Motoryacht: And what can you tell me about the construction of the GLX’s hull?
Chema Cano-Yuste: We use vinylester resin in the hull, and everywhere else actually—all the way up to the top of the boat, which is unusual, and not cheap to do. Vinylester resins have high structural and mechanical properties, much more so than polyester resins. Vinylester is stronger and more flexible and also has more osmosis, or blistering, resistance. You’re not going to see bubbles on our hulls. And inside the hull specifically, we use Kevlar and carbon fiber. Again, not an inexpensive thing. But we put it on the transversals and longitudinals to add strength, while, particularly with the carbon fiber, not impacting the weight of the boat much. They’re not all the way up and down the stringer, but at stress points, yes, we do. It makes for a strong boat, it won’t creak. It’s a boat you can feel very safe in. She’s built to Germanischer [Lloyd] certification. A 72-foot boat! That’s not a common thing.