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Airplanes vs Boats

July 28, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

Airplanes and boats both float, in a sense. Both depend on the medium they travel through for buoyancy. Airplanes have to be light and aerodynamic and fast boats need to be able to rise more on the surface of the water to plane.

In the early 1980s, Dwight Boyd was on a quest with Clarion boat designs. He was looking for a way to build a unique wooden boat that would be strong, perform well and blend classic lines with the best modern methods of construction. 

Naval architect Steve Killing provided the drawings for the first design that Dwight calls Gold Cup 1. She shares many construction elements that are in common with airplane construction. Dwight explains, “I looked to the aircraft industry and wanted to incorporate the techniques used in wing construction. The framing material of choice was marine grade mahogany plywood, as it is strong in all orientations, and most importantly dimensionally stable producing a framework that is light, strong, stiff and stable. Over this a laminated skin is applied resulting in a completely monocoque structure.”

Dwight ultimately built three edition of this Baby Bootlegger inspired “Gold Cup 1”. I talked with Jeremy Brackley about the challenges in shaping the dramatic curves of Gold Cup 1’s deck, especially near the cut water. The monocoque design permits using thinner materials that could be partially curved and would also required sculpting, thought Jeremy. The bullet-like shape is undoubtedly very strong and has certainly proven itself in the test of time. Brackley Boats will be building new Clarion boat orders.

By Tim Du Vernet

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