What is needed to build a quality boat and why:

State of the art facility:

In order to manufacture a high quality composite boat the environment in which this boat is build is critical. Modern resins are state of the art and the strength to weight ratio has improved tremendously in the last decade. In order to use those materials to their full potential it is critical that temperature, humidity, pollution level etc. surrounding the process are optimal. Where some boat manufacturers do not seam to understand the importance of controlling the building environment , Charger Composites has made extensive investments and when we build our current facility where we moved into in 2008 we spend 25% of the total cost in our air conditioning system. This was in our opinion the first big step to a superior product.

Strong competence:

Another obvious need is strong competence. It is critical that the builders are well educated and experienced. Both practical experience and theoretical understanding of the fibers and chemicals used are critical. And of course the more experience directly related to the product the better. At Charger Composites we build our teams based on product related experience for example the two leading employees in our 2.4 production line have been building over 550 2.4’s and in our kayak production we have several team members that have build over 6000 sea kayaks. We are proud of our builders and they take great pride in their job.

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The best possible materials:

Every product demands its own material choice in order to reach the max potential. We are taking this to an extreme and most of the directional fiber cloths we are using today are custom produced for us. We calculate our lay-ups and then come up with the ideal materials, often these materials are standard not available on the market, in those cases we have it custom produced for us. At this moment 65% of all directional fibers we use are designed by us and custom produced for us. We refuse to cut corners.

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High quality tools:

The quality of the tools and machines used are important to produce any product but in boat building this is even more so. The moulds are an essential part of this. Without superb moulds you cannot build a high end product. This is the reason why we are building all our moulds in-house, we do not trust anyone else with the production of our most important tools. This way we know exactly what we are working with.

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Systematic thinking:

When you build products in bigger series you have the opportunity to build a working system where every single step gets repeated for every boat. By doing things the same way over and over again the risk of mistakes becomes nearly zero. You will also get better at what you do when you do it the same way many times. Of course it has a positive effect on efficiency. We have learned to build systems for production and have become very clever in production planning so every product gets build according to very detailed production manuals. We even use external consultants to make sure we did not miss a thing.

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Extreme Quality Control:

No matter how good your facility, Competence, Tools and systems are mistakes are always made at some stage. In order to make sure that no (or at least nearly non) mistakes will leave through our doors, we have a very strict quality control system where every single product will go through an extensive quality check. We use checklists that will be worked through step by step by our quality surveyor.

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Second mould set 2.4 officially approved by Chief measurer Håkan Kellner

Håkan Kellner and Henrik Johnson visited our Factory on the first weekend of April to do extensive measurements on boats produced in our second mould set, compare it with boats produced from mould set 1 and to inspect the new moulds. They arrived on Friday evening and after a nice dinner with positive discussion about rules, technical solutions, class politics and a good night sleep it was of to the factory where Finnish measurer Esko Hyppä joined us. With a filled water tank, boats from both moulds all measurement tools one can think of and an unlimited supply of coffee, 2 days of scrutinising our 2.4mR’s could start. Both boats where first OD measured followed by a full 2.4mR measurement at all times with all 3 guys searching to find the difference between the two boat. Both the boat fro  mould 1 and from mould 2 measured in with easy and no measurable distance was found. After a lovely dinner on Saturday night it was of to an early sleep. Next day more measurements where done in order to find variations between boats from the 2 different moulds once again no difference was found. Then the new mould set was inspected thoroughly for rigidness and overall quality and Evert explained in detail how the new moulds where produced, what materials processes where used and for what reasons. after that the mould sets where marked as officially approved by the 2.4 ICA . once that was all done and we decided that it would be interesting to do some strength tests on the lifting eyes. We placed a boat on a pallet with 1900 kg lead and strapped it up. after that we put 370 kg on the rear lifting eye followed by 370 kg on the front lifting eye, in both cases there no movement at all and not a sign that the ballast might be to much, only problem was that the pallet starting to make cracking sounds. This means with taking in consideration that the angle of the lifting ropes (estimated angle) that the boat complete with mast and sails can have an extra load about 275 kg without any problem when lifted. we considered that reasonably safe. All in all a good and learn full weekend. A big thanks to Håkan, Henrik and Esko for their time and dedication and a big thanks to Annika for the great food :-)

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