Author Topic: What is VEC and does Glastron still use it on all of their boats ?  (Read 1491 times)

theoldwizard

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I have not found a lot of information online about VEC.  Mostly what I have found is that it is a design/manufacturing process that allows faster and more precise method or producing of molded resin parts.  Seeing as a "plastic" boat is just 2 mold parts fastened together this process should work perfect.

Please tell me where I am WRONG on the following:

The key point seems to be that they use a 2 piece mold for the hull and another 2 piece hull for the top, made to very precise tolerances.  The gap between the upper and lower mold is then injected with resin (no fibers ?) which sets within a few hours.

The video I saw said no wood was used anywhere in the hull.  Reinforcement was accomplished by use of a special cast foam part.  These reinforcement appear to be "cast" in the lower hull section.  How stringer/frame become "cast in" if it is contacting the top or bottom mold (preventing resin from flowing under or over the cast foam part) ?

While building the mold would be expensive, once built the manufacturer process seems to be less labor intense.


Is VEC one of the reason people buy Glastron and is is used on the complete line ?

Any other feedback ?

ffohcyaw

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Re: What is VEC and does Glastron still use it on all of their boats ?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2017, 12:29:29 PM »
I have wondered about this as well; anyone with intimate knowledge of the process out there??

brg7910

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Re: What is VEC and does Glastron still use it on all of their boats ?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 06:27:45 PM »
I know this thread is older, however, I will answer in hopes that others will find my response.

VEC is/was a Genmar technology used for building boat hulls and other components. It's closed moulding concept, a derivation of RTM (resin transfer moulding). The basic concept is that The mould is gel coated, fibreglass weave(s) are placed on top, the mould is closed and resin is injected. There are a ton of videos, articles and other forum posts on the topic. Checkout https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u-2GvhghQA.

Instead of using rigid moulds like in RTM, VEC uses softer, disposable moulds called tools in what they call a "VEC cell". Water is injected between the cell and tool to A) support the weight of items in the tool and B) is heated to assist in curing the resin. This system meant Genmar/VEC could make numerous parts in a VEC cell without spending a ton of cash creating a boat-load (pun intended) of rigid (likely steel or other metal) expensive tools.

From 2001-2006 (I think) Glastron built the lower part of boats in two pieces; the hull and the liner. The hulls are VEC and I don't know how the liners were made. Anyway, as far as I can tell the stringer system was laid up with the liner and then the whole section was attached to the VEC hull in a secondary bonding process.

From 2007-2010 (I think) Glastron went to fully unitized construction. This means they laid up the stringer system AND transom AND hull AND liner in one shot with the VEC system. Gelcoat was applied to the mould, weaves added, stringer system added, more weaves a transom etc. The mould was closed and the entire lower half of the boat was created at once.

In 2010 Genmar went belly up and another company bought Glastron. From that point on I believe they went back to more traditional construction.

Of interest is that in all the documentation I can find Genmar says the top half of the boats were built in traditional open faced moulds. They also refer to the stringer systems as "foam logs" and transom as "high density" foam in at least one article I've read. There is wood in these boats, I know as I own one, but it's not structural. It's backing things like cleats, perhaps under seats and separators in the engine bay in some models.

Hope this dump of my research helps.

EDIT: VEC was only used in smaller boats, up to 20 feet or so maybe 22? More info added.

Here's a marketing video on VEC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzisO_ah008
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 07:37:59 PM by brg7910 »