Weight Control and Lightweight Construction

Definition: Tracking weights and vessel C of G during design and construction plus the selection of light weight materials and equipment to optimize performance and speed.

Optimized, lightweight construction is uncommonly used in pleasure boat construction but found regularly in aerospace and larger yacht building projects. The process involves a detailed tracking of the weight and positioning of all components and materials by physically weighing them and determining what effect their placement will have on the boats overall weight and C of G.

With the NAVA 38 this process includes a strict examination of all opportunities for lightening. With the selection of all materials, construction methods, and components weight savings is a priority. If a suitable part is not available or easily modified then the piece will be produced in house to meet the requirements.    

The procedure involves establishing an estimated weight and C of G in the boats initial planning for each and every component and all materials, with certain margins for error. This data is recorded on a computer spread sheet program, which allows up dating of the data, and instantly recalculates the effects of any changes. Throughout construction before materials and components are installed, they are physically weighed on an electronic digital scale so to be confirmed against the original estimate. These weights and their placement on their X, Y, Z, axis (horizontal, vertical, transverse) are recorded on the spreadsheet, and the subsequent calculations assure the plan is staying on track, and notify of the occurrence of any undesirable trends, that will need to be compensated for.

Some believe that additional weight in a vessel provides a smooth solid ride. This is true to a point, but a smooth ride has much to do with the hulls design. Carrying extra weight in a planing boat has a tremendous cost associated with getting it up and moving. Interestingly this heavy weight, smooth ride scenario was also said about automobiles in the 1960s. 

 The bottom line is upon completion the boat is nimble, floats on its designed water line, is stable, and efficient.