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|Lightweight structures in boat building|
Lightweight Structures B.V., based in Delft, Netherlands, focuses its business on creative product development, engineering and manufacturing of structures for markets where weight reduction is one of the design drivers, while improving sustainability, safety and performance. Our core competences are in the composites (fibre reinforced plastics) area. Roughly, (carbon) composites are the end solution when a weight requirement is dominant. Their specific stiffness (stiffness/density) is best of common engineering materials!
For Damen Shipyards in Gorinchem, the Netherlands, we engineered and built a series of carbon/epoxy taxiboats that will be used for transportation in the creek and between the islands of Dubai. Damen was responsible for the nautical engineering and assembly, Lightweight Structures for the engineering (using Patran/Nastran FE analysis) and manufacturing (using vacuum infusion) of the composite parts and the Dubai gouvernment for the design/styling.
A few sprecifications of this taxiboat are:
Looking forward to your reaction,
When the boat pushed into the sea from our pick-up point at Jumeirah Open Beach, the air-conditioned gold-topped frame pitched and bounced in the crosscurrents. The first reaction of the tourists, save Mr Leclerc, an experienced sailor, was: “Is it safe?” Ahmed Musmujeono, the boat’s Indonesian captain, sitting in front of the GPS controls that plotted our path, replied: “Yes, yes, very safe.”
Mr Leclerc said the safety equipment inside made him feel secure. “I didn’t think a small boat could be so good. But I can see a fire extinguisher, life jackets. I feel safe.” For Fatima Agha, from Pakistan, it was her first time on the Arabian Gulf. “I truly enjoyed it.”
They suggested a video that points out attractions. Apart from the obvious structures of the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab, the tourists frequently asked: “What is that building?” Small screens behind every seat currently play pop videos and give safety information along with details about Dubai and the Government.
Dubai residents are already taking it up. Capt Musmujeono has ferried families with children who booked rides along Jumeirah Beach and then extended it to the Atlantis. “People like the boat, like the sea. Nobody comes at you because it’s open sea, it’s free,” said Capt Musmujeono, who has 23 years’ experience sailing ferries in the Far East.
While some say a water taxi can be expensive, our tourists said it was worth a trip with family or friends. The bottom line is that if you plan your route well and split costs, it is worth the ride.