The Cockpit Tub – Integrated into the deck, the cockpit tub is also made from CFRP, which helps reduce the total deck weight and lowers the center of mass of the 515. The cockpit area is tied into a stringer system, which creates smaller panel spans. This allows Cigarette Racing to reduce the core thickness and lighten the cockpit tub without affecting mechanical performance. In addition, it enhances the vessel’s acoustic properties.
The Bulkheads – The bulkheads in front of the longitudinal center of gravity are constructed of CFRP, while those close to the cockpit are made of quadaxial fiberglass for better NVH properties. “The idea is to take the weight savings where it makes the most difference – far forward – then near the cockpit use a material with better acoustic properties so you get a boat that sounds like a heavy luxury boat, yet performs like the agile, light one that it is,” says Braver. All the bulkheads are CNC cut for a perfect fit and machine laminated for higher resin-to-fiber ratio, which increases strength. The bulkheads are tabbed with a hybrid of Kevlar (for durability and toughness) and E-glass (to improve compressive strength).
The Cabin Liner – Constructed from CFRP, the cabin liner tub features integrated seat backs and storage. Integrating these components saves the weight of an additional substrate and avoids the use of adhesives and secondary parts. The carbon fiber weave is exposed on the seat backs for visual appeal, creating a modern aesthetic.
Prepreg exposed-weave carbon fiber with a honeycomb core is also used for the 515’s engine hatch and air intakes. The extremely high fiber-to-resin ratio allows for strong, light parts. For instance, the air intakes are more than 7 feet long and 14 inches wide, yet they weight only 4.4 pounds each.
“We really try to use the best material for the job in the right spot and then take care while building the boat,” says Braver. Cigarette Racing has received numerous orders for the 515. Each one is custom commissioned, with customers selecting design details. Most of the boats will take approximately 14 weeks to build, after which the eye-catching vessels are sure to make a splash upon launch.