Written by Kerryn Caulfield, Executive Director, Composites Australia Inc.
The term ‘Industry 4.0’ represents the infusion of high technology and data exchange into traditional industrial practices, effectively automating manufacturing technologies and processes. Within the specific realm of Marine Craft Construction, ‘Marine 4.0’ signifies the harmonious union of timehonoured boat building techniques with cutting-edge engineering, robotics, construction methods, advanced materials and complex engineering software systems. It acknowledges the enduring necessity of skilled manual labour and problem solving skills required for boat construction.
Cure Marine, at the forefront of ‘Marine 4.0’ composites design and manufacturing, is utilising an impressive array of in-house, stateof-the-art automated machinery. This equipment includes robotics, CNC machines, laminate cutters, and one of the most significant 3D Printers found in the southern hemisphere. The company’s application of advanced materials and intelligent manufacturing ensures precise high-quality output and operational efficiency inherent in automated processes.
Headquartered in an industrial estate on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the seasoned team members at Cure Marine channelled their expertise of decades of experience in composite manufacturing into the flagship vessel – the ‘Cure Marine Custom 70’- the largest thus far of its high performance cruising catamarans. This catamaran, a full carbon fibre epoxy resin-infused multi-hull, represents the epitome of efficient performance design for ocean sailing.
Given the unique global loads catamarans endure, such as pitch connecting moment, transverse bending movement and split force, the light weight of carbon fibre – at a mere 16 tonnes – proves advantageous. This reduced weight allows the boat to sit higher in the water, facilitating easier wave navigation. Its stiffness attributed to the carbon fibre, enhances sailing smoothness, as the hull can slice through waves with less resistance. A higher waterline also opens opportunities for cruising boats to explore inland waterways and secure anchorages closer to shore, further enriching the adventure.
The catamaran’s design prioritises 100 per cent carbon fibre construction, optimizing weight and performance while maximizing the space and cruising comforts typical of catamarans. This amalgamation of attributes yields a world-class, agile, yet spacious and comfortable catamaran, offering unparalleled sailing and cruising pleasure. The significant reduction in weight also enhances fuel efficiency by a remarkable 50 per cent, as the power necessary to propel the boat through water diminishes.
Ian McMahon, co-founder of Cure Marine, is a seasoned mariner, with an impressive portfolio of 28 boats constructed under his supervision. Cure Marine heavily relies on Ian’s extensive experience in all facets of marine manufacturing, particularly to uphold the high-quality standard mandated for all builds. Cure cats were conceived to be able to cross oceans with speed and comfort whilst still being easily single or short-handed.
“The Cure Custom 70, the first all-carbon custom catamaran of its size constructed in Australia in recent times, stands as an exceptional testament to Cure Marine’s capabilities,” McMahon remarks. “Launching a production brand always presents challenges, yet the technological and production foundation present at Cure Marine undoubtedly eases the process. All fit-outs have undergone CNC testing in situ. We construct using our methods, our technology, and our take on clean aesthetics and style. Creating and working on a dream build such as this is exciting.”
Carl Bird, CEO of Cure Marine: “Employment of virtual product development technologies, like digital twinning, allows for a precise depiction of functionality, enabling us to identify and review potential challenges before they materialise. These insights can greatly influence product design, the manufacturing process, and the operation of the product throughout its lifecycle, subsequently enhancing performance.”
The Cure Marine Custom 70 embodies a synthesis of advanced technology, design sophistication, and the finest craftsmanship. A performance cruising catamaran, it showcases the remarkable potential of all-carbon fibre construction which, which amongst its attributes is a reduction in weight that remarkably improves fuel efficiency by 50 per cent.
The Cure Custom 70 optimizes performance while maximizing the space and comforts that catamarans traditionally offer. It combines agility and speed with spaciousness and comfort, yielding a vessel that heightens sailing pleasure. The use of carbon fibre and other advanced materials significantly enhanced the build and performance.
Its layout features a luxurious owner’s cabin to starboard, boasting a large ensuite. To port, there is an expansive aft guest cabin and a forward cabin with versatile configurations for additional berths, office space, or workshop and storage space. The separate toilet and shower compartments add a touch of convenience, completing the package of an exceptional cruising catamaran.
Attaining CE Yacht Compliance Certification, while costly, certifies that the construction meets a recognised standard, transcending mere assembly. Boat builders need to perform stringent tests and thorough documentation to demonstrate compliance with relevant European Union directives and requirements. These measures scrutinise the structural strength and integrity of vital hull components, in addition to evaluating the reliability and functionality of propulsion, steering systems, power generation and all other onboard features fundamental to the yacht’s primary services. This certification also necessitates comprehensive records of all material inputs, including resin batches. As Carl notes, ‘this practice acts as a benchmark, substantiating both the boat’s intrinsic value and its potential for resale’.