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Aussie novel carbon fibre design streaks ahead at World Catamaran Championships

15 July 2014

The international A Division catamaran racing world has been set alight by the success of new Australian designed and built carbon fibre (CF) composite dagger boards and rudder hydrofoils.

Boats retrofitted with the novel design carbon fibre epoxy rudders, with lifting and stabilising foils (pictured above), came 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the International A division at the recent 2014 World Championship races at Takapuna, North Auckland.

CarbonicBoats, an innovative Australian product design and production company, developed the highly stable composite L rudders. Each of the epoxy carbon foils in the set was low temperature moulded using the GMS EP-270 epoxy prepreg system, manufactured and supplied by Melbourne-based GMS Composites Pty Ltd.

Dario Valenza, the founder of CarbonicBoats said the new Paradox L/V foil designs are the result of over 12 months of intensive engineering modelling, simulation and prototype testing, which included trials under real race conditions on prototype test platforms.

GMS Composites prepregs replaced another epoxy system in the very early prototyping stage after comparative tests proved they provided both very high mechanical performance properties in use plus production processing benefits.

Valenza explained: “For our L/V foils, stiffness, accuracy, dimensional stability, reliable consistency in performance properties and a very high quality surface finish are all very important. Using GMS EP-270, we can fabricate foils 2% thinner than competitive foil designs, with a trailing edge thicknesses sub-1mm. This is only possible with a good stable resin matrix. GMS prepregs allow us to accurately replicate the specified design characteristics with no needed to compromise, and finished parts remain stable in use. These prepregs have good ‘tack’ so they can be easily positioned and worked into curves for efficient mould, with a relatively short recommended cure time of only 60 minutes at our preferred 110 0C mould temperature, with the ramp up and dwell times overall being shorter than the previous low temperature epoxy system used.”

The higher mechanical performance of the GMS Composites epoxy carbon laminate system combined with the proprietary design and shape of Paradox L/V foils enables a single dagger foil to support the full weight of the boat plus the dynamic loads when racing at high speed.

Design work continues at CarbonicBoats to evaluate faster and lighter options with an aim to provide elegant, ergonomically correct, efficient and responsive solutions.

For more information on CarbonicBoats visit
For GMS Composites visit


Media Contact Details::
Nigel O'Dea