D-Day 6 June for Cutting Team Britannia Metal
6th June 2016 is D-Day for Team Britannia’s record breaking eco boat as work starts on cutting out the framing and wheelhouse that will be used to construct the vessel.
The Aluminium Boatbuilding Company (ABC) will fire the starting gun for giant laser cutting machines to start work on the 12.5 km of framing that makes up the internal structure of the innovative vessel.
Alan Priddy, the Team Principal commented, ‘We have spent years working on and refining the design of our boat. Just a couple of weeks ago we were still tweaking the design of the exhausts to minimise their weight. Every drawing, calculation and model has been checked and signed off. So this really is D-Day for the project. Once the metal has been cut, there is no turning back. We are committed to Professor Bob Cripps’ revolutionary design, that will save fuel and help us break the world record.’
The aluminium will be cut by Aalco Metals, in Southampton, which is home of Europe’s largest computer controlled router cutting facility. Alongside the framing, work will start on the distinctive wheelhouse, which will be cut out from sheets of aluminium. The whole process of cutting out the metal will take less than two weeks.
The individual parts will then be transported to the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company’s headquarters on Hayling Island in Hampshire where they will be assembled and welded together.
Once on Hayling Island the recycled marine grade aluminium will be set into a special upside down jig, by master boat-builder Paul Johnson and his team. The six 5833 litre fuel tanks will be slid into place and the 30 frames fixed together.
At the same time a separate team led by Steve Mason, the team’s chief engineer, will be assembling the wheelhouse and checking the engines, water jets and navigation equipment that will be used during the record attempt.
Mr Priddy continued, ‘Over the coming couple of months my whole team will be working flat out. Aalco Metals will cut the aluminium, ABC will put it together, while our chief engineer and I will start to lay out the bridge and where some of the high tech equipment we will be using needs to go.’
Paul Johnson, the Managing Director of the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company added, ‘We are using Aalco to produce the framing and wheelhouse, because they are local, home to Europe’s largest computer controlled cutting facility and have years of experience at the type of precision cutting that will help us reduce waste and the need for further cutting when all the parts are in situ. This is the culmination of months of preparation, drafting and redrafting detailed designs, extending our own facilities and hard work. My whole team and our contractors are delighted to be part of Team Britannia and their record attempt.’
Once the frame has been welded into place the hull will covered with its aluminium skin and the engines installed. When this has been completed the hull will be turned 180 degrees and the completed wheelhouse will be dropped into place.
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