UITWELLINGERGA, July 2017 ~ Leonardo Yachts of the Netherlands worked closely with designer Andre Hoek on the Eagle-54. When it came to selecting a composite hull builder, they settled on Paul Dijkstra, a specialist in all kinds of composite structures.
In March, the Eagle-54 molds arrived at Paul Dijkstra Composites, a company with extensive experience in tricky constructions. “We use the vacuum-infusion technique,” says Dijkstra. “It is a challenging process but we are good at it. We are very familiar with the technique.”
In vacuum infusion, dry glass fiber sheets are placed into a mold. They are covered by PVC foam and another layer of glass fiber sheeting. This will form the hull and deck and is covered by peel-ply, perforated foil and a mesh that guarantee proper ventilation and surface protection. The entire construction is then covered by a vacuum bag. The vacuum pressure drives the resin into the laminate.
“It’s key to place resin entry and extraction points in the right locations so the entire construction is filled evenly,” says Dijkstra. Vacuum infusion can be done in all air-tight molds and different fibers can be used. “One-off sail or motor boats, tenders, touring boats, runabouts,” says Dijkstra. “We make them all. We use vinylester, epoxy, glass fiber, carbon, vacuum infusion or Prepreg.”
Recently, Dijkstra acquired a CNC lathe to make female molds. It also uses an oven for Prepreg operations to make hulls of up to 13 meters. And when it uses a mobile heating system, Dijkstra can build to 30m.
His portfolio includes, hulls, biminis, a 70ft deck, steering consoles, carbon profiles, booms, masts etc. Dijkstra pays special attention to one-piece construction for the sake of keeping materials lightweight.