HPDE • New Boat Building Material / Technique
... to debut in Thailand
Industry experts have joined forces to introduce a relatively new boatbuilding material/technique to Thailand , namely Sirikorn (Toi) Sang-in , boatyard owner GT boat yard Paklok/Phuket, Claude Petit , Marine Designer from Luxemburg, Peter Jacops Marine Surveyor from Belgium and Jelmer Wijma Naval architect from the Netherlands, introducing HDPE.
What is HDPE ?
HDPE is a high density polyethylene thermoplastic , used in variety of industries , relatively new to the boating world , there are already many countries where HDPE is used for boat construction , mainly for workboats , ranging from pilot boats to oil and gas , as well as military fish-farm support boats , etc.
In Asia they are already in use in Vietnam and Indonesia as patrol boats and even small ferries. other country s where the use of this material is already well used for boats include , the Netherlands , Germany , France , Spain , Turkey , Brazil to name a few , but Thailand is yet to be added to this list .
Why use HDPE ?
The advantages are obvious, cost-savings for commercial operators can be substantial, compared to the more classic materials like fiberglass and aluminum but also strength as Claude points out, hit it as strong as you can with a sledge hammer, there will be no harm done, neither sharp rocks or hitting a reef will do any damage to it, apart from few scratches. The density of HDPE is .94-.96 so it floats in water.
The first HDPE boat the « Pioneers » are about to start constructing at G&T boatyard will be a 5 meter RIB style boat , which will be used as a demo boat and also serve as support-vessel for Disabled Sailing Thailand , many more models are on the drawing board, amongst other a beach wheelchair and a coastal cleaning boat.
All of the boats will be inspected and certified by Peter Jacops of Blue Peter Marine in Phuket, an accredited CE inspector and expert in ISO regulations for boats (also known as the founder of Disabled Sailing Thailand); this will ensure full compliance with the strictest applicable International standards on safety. Also to fully ascertain that the construction and the stability of the boat is sufficient for the designed area of operation, Jelmer Wijma an accredited Dutch naval architect with years of experience in designing HDPE boats will overview the calculations.
The range is called Wawa boats the name is derived from the Wawa tree The seed of the Wawa tree (Entada Gigas) is extremely hard. It is a symbol of someone who is tough and strong, able to overcome great adversity. From this comes the expression, “He is as tough as the seed of a Wawa tree.”
The construction process may be easier compared to that of aluminium , all parts are CNC cut , and extrusion weld together , so compared to fiberglass boat-construction no mold is needed , this means that high grade of customization is relatively easy achieved and the boats can be designed and build to each customer’s needs and specification. The use of CNC equipment add to the quality and makes sure all parts fit together like a puzzle.
In the next stage they are planning to offer kit-boats as well as HDPE welding courses, this way the boats can be exported as flat-pack and assembled and welded worldwide.
one big plus point for HDPE is that its carbon footprint is 5 times better than that of aluminium , the life expectancy of a HDPE boat can easily exceed 40 years , and should the end come it can be 100 percent recycled, HDPE is classified as a class 2 recycling material.
Should you be interested or have any questions do not hesitate to contact the HDPE G&T Boatyard, they will be happy to answer any questions you may have.