Working with Kits
Raku Cats are designed to incorporate graceful style and performance with the simplest possible construction methods. Hull bottoms below the waterline are built by strip planking. They can also be purchased fully built.
Above the waterline everything is built from flat panels. This page outlines the options for manufacturing or purchasing panel kits.
1. SELF BUILT KITS
Electronic cutting files are provided with the plans so if you have a CNC or have ready access to one you can manufacture your own panels by machining the PVC foam core to the definition provided and then glassing both sides under vacuum or infusion. Vacuum laminating is a reasonably straight forward process to master. Infusion is a bit more technical and there is a greater risk of wastage if you encounter a problem during the infusing. Composites suppliers such as ATL and VDL Composites provide excellent technical support if you are using their products.
At left;For Raku 44,48 and 52 the topside panels are too long for the container and have to be joined on site. Apart from the wing deck and cabin top all of the panels can be delivered in one piece ready to fit.
2. PURCHASE A KIT FROM ONE OF OUR MANUFACTURERS
Purchase a kit from one of our suppliers. Some suppliers offer a choice of VE or epoxy resin systems, some work in epoxy only.
We only specify PVC foam cores, not balsa.
The panels can be manufactured in lengths up to 12m long suitable for container shipping so unless your boat is more than 12m long there is minimal joining to be done. In the construction process the panels are bonded with glass tapes both side of the panel. Some manufacturers will rebate the panel so the bonding tape is flush with the surface. The standard kitt usually includes the MDF or plywood mould frames and cradles.
This is what a DuFlex kit looks like after the panels have been joined on the long edge with the Z join. The individual parts can now be cut free ready for installation in the boat.
3. DuFlex KITS from ATL and VDL COMPOSITES
DuFLEX panels are PVC foam cored with glass skins laminated under pressure in West System epoxy. The panels are glue joined on the long side with ATL's proprietory Zed Join system which eliminates the need for taping on the long edge. It is effectively a scarf join in the laminate.
ATL and VDL supply a comprehensive kit including ancillary products such as tapes, fillers and peel ply. You cannot purchase the panels separately. To get a price on the kit firstly purchase the project package from Grainger Designs, select your options, and we will source a quote for the kit. You can reduct the cost of the Project Package from the plans price when you purchase the plans regardless whether you purchase the Duflex kit.
The standard Duflex kit is delivered in 2.4m x 1.2 separate panels ready to to be glue joined using the Z join. However for a small additional cost you can purchase the panels already joined up to a maximum of 12m long. This is a "joined kit" as oposed to a standard kit.
For a step by step description of the build process with DuFLEX kits see the catamaran kit build process on the graingerdesigns.net web site.