Composites Manufacturing - Fall 2023

CompositesManufacturing 10 When people think of the marine industry, they typically envision pleasure yachts. While recreational boats dominate the market, there’s a less heralded segment that’s worthy of attention – workboats. The global industrial workboats market reached $2.5 billion in 2022 and is forecast to exceed $4.6 billion by 2032, according to an analysis by market research firm Fact.MR. The report attributes several factors to anticipated growth, including: • The push to minimize the carbon footprint of shipping fleets, aided by developments in hybrid technology and electric vessels. • Increased demand for floating offshore wind energy, which will require workboats to complete construction projects. • The drive to design workboats that are versatile and efficient, employing advanced technology and materials. Companies involved in the market are motivated by the potential, while recognizing the unique needs of working boats. “When a boat has to go to work, it needs to be functional and last a long time. It needs to make a business case,” says Eric Jambor, lead project engineer at Janicki Industries, an engineering and manufacturing firm in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. “For a long time, the marine industry played it safe, but we’re now starting to push the envelope of what can be done for the cost invested. That’s very exciting.” There are many kinds of boats laboring on the water, several of which are noted in the sidebar on page 11. In this article, we share stories about two of them – electric ferries and autonomous vessels. Both highlighted applications rely on composite materials to promote environmentally friendly vehicles powered by electricity, solar panels or wind energy. Electric Shuttles to Replace Diesel Ferries Candela, a manufacturer of hydrofoil electric boats based in Sweden, is trialing an innovative ferry from the Stockholm suburb Ekerö to the city center that cuts travel times from 55 minutes to 25 minutes. The 30-passenger Candela P-12 Shuttle can travel up to 60 nautical miles at 25 knots on one charge thanks, in part, to three computer-guided CFRP hydrofoils that extend from under the hull, lifting the boat out of the water and decreasing drag. Candela developed the P-12 Shuttle as an alternative to conventional, large diesel ferries. “The average passenger load factor in Stockholm is 17%, meaning that a 350-passenger vessel carries on average 50 persons,” says Mikael Mahlberg, head of public relations and communications at Candela. “Our proposition is to replace these few and inefficient polluting shuttle ferries with a greater number of P-12s, which would lead to more frequent departures and faster travel times while cutting operational costs.” Working on the Water These sustainable vessels get the job done while reducing the carbon footprint of maritime activities. By Susan Keen Flynn All the structural components on the electric Candela P-12 Shuttle, including its trademark hydrofoils, are made from CFRP. Photo Credit: Candela