In the Jacques Vabre transatlantic race that recently finished in Costa Rica, both the mono and multihull classes were won by boats built with Hexcel (Stamford, Conn., USA) carbon fiber and prepregs.
Crepes Whaou! won the Multi 50 race, skippered by Franck Yves Escoffier and Erwan Leroux, while Safran’s skippers Marc Guillemot and Charles Caudrelier Benac improved on last year’s second place by winning the IMOCA Open 60 monohull class.
HexPly carbon fiber epoxy prepregs are used extensively for hull and deck structures in both boats. The prepreg is made with high-strength HexTow IM7 carbon fiber, impregnated with HexPly M10 epoxy resin to provide a good surface finish and good impact resistance. HexPly prepreg tape with very high strength HexTow IM9 carbon fiber was used for the bow section of the hull, known as the “slamming” zone, which is placed under great stress from wave impact. For the Safran centerboard structure, foils, mast and boom, HexPly carbon prepreg tape was selected, with high and super-high modulus carbon fiber providing strength and rigidity.
HexPly M10 is one of the most frequently selected prepreg resin systems for marine applications, supplied with a wide range of reinforcements. HexPly M10 provides very high resistance to fatigue in aggressive environments such as sea water.