Plug Construction – Dutch Solar Challenge 2016


After the victory in the Solar Challenge Brazil 2015, the Solar Team Brazil began preparing for his next challenge: The Dutch Solar Challenge, a global competition of solar boats that will take place in July 2016 in the Netherlands.

Aiming to achieve the best results, innovate and adapt to new trends in competition, the ESB has developed a different design from those previously made by her, presenting a new concept of hull.

On Saturday 06/02, a fundamental step in the development of this project has begun: the construction of the plug, which will originate the mold of the new hull.

The chosen method for the construction of the mold was strip-planking, widely used in the construction of boats in wood and also in the manufacture of plugs. This basically consists in fixing wooden battens (strips) positioned on the beacons, which reproduce the desired shape. Once fixed the strips, the surface gets a treat to start the modeling stage, which is made a precise adjustment of the project, with subsequent application of gel coat for the plug polishing.


Picture 1 – Positioning of the beacons


Picture 2 – Insertion of the strips on the beacons to generate the plug shape


Picture 3- Insertion of the strips on the beacons to generate the plug shape


The main strip-planking advantage is the cost-benefit ratio obtained. Using it, is possible to obtain excellent results in a short time and with a satisfactory cost. The same construction process was used to manufacture the plug Catamaran Polo Nautico in 2015.


Picture 4 – Insertion of flexible plywood for part of the side

With the plug ready, the construction of the mold is started, compared to the manufacture of the plug, it is faster and easier. This step consists in laminating successive fiberglass layers on the gel coat so applied to the plug produced in order to give the mold the resistance required to receive successive laminations without losing its original shape and retain the workmanship obtained in the plug for future cases to be built. The mold production takes into account the fact that numerous prototypes can be made, besides being possible to use modern lamination methods such as vacuum infusion.

modelagem plug

Picture 5 – Modeling of the plug


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