New Composite Specialist joins the HYS Refit & Repair team.

Meet Jim Walker, new Composite Specialist at HYS RR

With an ever increasing demand for composite boat building and repair we are very pleased to welcome Jim Walker to the HYS RR team to provide expert composite services from our base in Hamble.

Composite Craftsmanship
Using composites in boat building and repair is highly complex and requires expert skills and knowledge to ensure it is carried out correctly. From carefully calculating exactly how much fibre material and resin is required make sure a race yacht is as light as possible without losing any of the structural strength when under load, to carefully feathering in repairs, to creating a smooth neat finish around a mould, composite construction and repair is both a science and a fine art.

With an impressive CV including time working with America’s Cup teams, Volvo Ocean Race, campaigns and numerous TP52’s, Jim is well equipped with vast amounts of experience and knowledge to undertake a whole host of composite repairs, modifications and construction at an extremely high standard.

Jim’s Career Highlights
● Shore Team support for America’s Cup team Victory Challenge and TEAMORIGIN
● Volvo Ocean Race including the build of winning 08/09 boat Ericsson 4 and repair of Delta lloyd
● Construction of the world’s largest ‘in furling boom’ for the 62m superyacht “Athos”
● Restoration of a World Championship and European Cup winning 6 Metre
● Open 60 repairs for Pindar for the Fastnet 2009
● Refit of Team Artemis RC 44
● Multiple TP52 builds, refits and optimisation projects
● Head of Future Fibres Components In the Mast division
● Composite Research Technician at Future Fibres Innovation Centre
● Composite Manager for Alex Thomson Racing – The build and development of a new generation foiling Open 60

What Are Composites?
In the marine industry, composites are used to build new boats, new boat parts and to modify or repair existing hulls, interiors and equipment. The most common composites used are resin combined with e-glass, s-glass, aramid (kevlar) or carbon fibre to create a strong, durable and lightweight material that is incredibly versatile and can be used for many different boat repairs and modifications.

Why Use Composites?
There are many benefits to using composite materials in boat building, refits and repairs. Whichever combination of composite materials you use, you can expect a strong and durable, lightweight material that is very easy to maintain.
Benefits of Composites:

– High Stiffness for the weight
– Low maintenance
– Ability to mould complex structures and shapes
– Less corrosion
– Becoming more affordable

Our Composite Services
Composite Boat Building
Many modern boat hulls are now made entirely from composites. Multiple layers of fibres and a foam or Nomex (honeycomb) core are laid in or on moulds and then bonded together with resins. Composite hulls are strong and very lightweight in comparison to traditional wood or steel structures, and fibreglass has been a popular choice of composite for boat hulls for many years now. However, we are now seeing an increase in carbon composites for new race yacht builds where the weight saving benefits are fundamental to their performance and speed.

Composite Components and Modifications
Composites are becoming the material of choice for boat refits and modifications. A vast array of new structures, components and accessories can be crafted using composites which are lightweight and more affordable than ever before. Whether you need new foils, stanchions, a bracket for your navigation equipment or even just a new saloon table, composite construction provides you with a durable, lightweight option that can be customised to suit your own requirements and fit.

Composite Rig and Spar Building
An improvement in carbon composite techniques and cost has seen and an influx of carbon masts and spars over recent years. A progressive step away from aluminium, carbon spars are stiffer, durable and extremely lightweight making them an essential choice for racing yachts as well as high performance and luxury cruisers.

Composite Boat and Spar Repair
Assessing composite damage is undertaken by means of Non Destructive Testing (NDT). Using NDT tools, the damage can be mapped and evaluated before any physical removal of material. Once the repair site has been established the work can usually be carried out without impacting the rest of the vessel significantly. However, it is a very specialist skill which involves scarfing the original layers and carefully laying in new ones to ensure structural strength is not compromised. If done well, composite repairs can be blended into a near invisible restoration.

Find Out More
If you want to find out more about how our composite services could benefit your yacht or want to have a chat to the team about any custom composite projects, get in touch. Call 02380 454111 or email