Launch of Innovative New Dinghy at London Boat Show
Since September 2011 a local team have been working tirelessly to manufacture a spectacular new 12ft dinghy in time for the prestigious 2012 Tullett Prebon London Boat Show.
The team comprising of Cornish Crabbers, the Marine Innovation Service (part of Falmouth Marine School) and Composite Integration were proud to present the all new “Crabber 12” on Friday 6th January at the Boat Show, at ExCeL in London.
The project to build the first ‘Crabber 12’ presented Cornish Crabbers with the perfect opportunity to trial a new process, moving away from the traditional hand laminating technique used for decades, by applying resin infusion technology to the new David Thomas dinghy design. Whilst ensuring cleaner, safer working conditions, the new moulding technique also guarantees every hull is built to exacting specifications every time with less waste and reduced emissions.
Using this new technique in the production of the Crabber 12 is a bold statement for the future direction of boat production in this innovative and forward-thinking company. Alex Whatley, Marine Innovation Service Manager said: “Whilst resin infusion technology is in place for many larger boat-builders, the process remains a mystery to many small to medium sized boat-builders. With the Crabber 12, Cornish Crabbers have clearly demonstrated their passion for innovation and producing high quality, modern boats which maintain the much-loved traditional look and feel of a Cornish Crabber.”
Cornish Crabbers managing director Peter Thomas explains the thinking behind this versatile new product, he said: “We’ve not only tried to bring an innovative product to the market that gives families the ideal dinghy to teach children in, but also innovated with our production technique. This is a big deal and the Crabber 12 represents our determination to constantly improve.”
Composite Integration, a previous winner of the 'Cornwall Business of the year' award is an industry partner to the Marine Innovation Service, with over 25 years’ experience in providing market-leading, innovative, and well-engineered solutions to the composites industry. Stephen Leonard-Williams, Director of Composite Integration comments: "It has been a real pleasure working with Cornish Crabbers on their new boat. Despite being at the smaller end of the size scale their project has encompassed all the key areas of process development. The fact that this development has resulted in a complete new boat makes it even more satisfying. Starting with the initial design, then working through the stages of materials selection, mould design, operator training and then moulding the first boats has enabled the team to really get a good feel for this process and to fully understand how it may be relevant to their main production."
The Marine Innovation Service (MIS), managed by Falmouth Marine School, was established in 2009 to provide knowledge transfer and consultancy to companies within the marine sector, its aim is to help existing firms, and new start-ups, to increase their expertise in the use of composites and ultimately for Cornwall to become recognised as a centre for marine composites technology. MIS is currently supported by an investment from the European Regional Development Fund through the Convergence Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
MIS is firmly embedded in industry, actively encouraging partnership-working and participating in business projects involving marine and related industries. The reputation of the Marine Innovation Service for supporting businesses to bring challenging projects to fruition is clearly growing and to date close-working relationships have been built with some 30 local businesses.
In addition to the expertise of the MIS team, the Service also provides access to equipment at the Composites Workshop from which the Marine Innovation Service operates, in Falmouth. This facility is used to demonstrate and provide hands-on experience in the use of techniques relevant to boat-builders including wet-lay vacuum consolidation and resin transfer moulding (RTM).
David Stedman, Head of Falmouth Marine School explains more: “The Marine Innovation Service clearly establishes the direction of travel for the future of Falmouth Marine School and related services. By working closely with industry in this way, we are able to support them with innovation and growth and gaining the best possible understanding of the skills and development needs of this key local industry sector.”