Resin infusion at Princess – A world leader in vacuum moulding, Princess builds the world’s lightest, strongest and most durable motor yachts – as well as the most elegant.
Looking more like set decorators on a science fiction movie than craftsmen skilled in the art of modern yachtbuilding, two technicians work to prepare the huge hull mould of the Princess 40M at the shipyard’s South Yard complex.
Pioneered in the aerospace industry, vacuum-moulding brings the combined benefits of increased stiffness and significantly lighter weight, as well as better quality laminates than traditional hand lay-up. Princess Yachts has adopted resin infusion techniques throughout its product range, from the recently introduced V39 sports cruiser to its 132ft flagship.
A lighter and stiffer structure means higher performance, superior handling and longer range – and the benefits are not just structural. By virtually eliminating styrene emissions, it is a system which also brings measurable environmental benefits, both inside and outside the assembly plant. Some 95 per cent of the 40M’s mouldings are produced using this cutting-edge technology and a similar proportion of those on the 105ft 32M motor yacht. Special low-viscosity polyester and vinylester resins are used, along with non-crimp fabrics, laid out according to design blueprints in an open mould, then sealed beneath an air-tight membrane.
An intricate web of pipework leads into every corner of the structure, as resin is drawn through the fibreglass layers by a powerful vacuum. Such is the precision of the process that exact quantities of resin can be matched with the correct volume of fibre in a single, tightly controlled process, to ensure that each lamination – like every other aspect of a Princess – is absolutely flawless.