You may have read my first article on this matter, the idea behind the Feynman Boat which derives from a Van driven by physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman. This is a Beneteau First 18 SE – essentially a Seascape 18 – which has been recently bought by one of our clients. He himself is a physicist and keen sailor who had previously owned a Seascape 27 (LINK) and a small 14 feet from the same breed.
I found it really refreshing to talk to this guy. A lot of sailing experience on the one hand (which I find very interesting as I myself am a freshmen in Seascape-sailing as I bought a First 27 SE as my new boat recently) but also because I am a fan and interested in physics, cosmology and everything connected to understanding – well, at least get a small grasp – of what makes up this universe in a nutshell. Now, the Feynman Boat has been finished and re-delivered by our professional partners and I´d like to show you the outcome.
Finding the right service provider
Now, if you think of maybe getting a custom made design for your sailboat as well the first thing you might want to check is the quality of your service provider. There are many shops and businesses offering film wrapping and foiling services. Check beforehand if these companies are specialized in this service. You may want to go for a service which is operating for quite some time and offers a variety of different products. Our partner is specialized in outdoor foilings and film wrapping of trucks and other large moving objects. Why you want to do this? Because sticking foil to a boat starts at choosing the right material.
After a thorough cleansing of the boat our partners applied a degreasing agent to the Gelcoat. This is an elaborate step and very important because the better the film wrapping sticks to the surface the longer you may enjoy the design. After cleaning the colleages took out a laser to mark the waterline and all other relevant lines. This is again something that has to be done with caution and is mastered only by the best and experienced. As for the material, they chose high quality film by 3M that was ordered directly from the factory. It´s a UV-rays resistant and saltwater-enduring industry-standard foil. Then the two basic layers of the background colors are applied – according to the Feynman Boat-design sketch that I did for the client and the craftsmen. It was then the job of the guys to cut it accurantely, coating it with a doctor knife to push out all air-bubbles underneath the film.
Then the Feynman diagrams, which are the main features of the boat, had been plotted out and laminated to application foil, placed at the right positions by checking distance and effect and transferred onto the orange/copper-colored background foil. Pre-production of the boat´s material took nearly two full working days, application of the film another full day in the shed by two persons. In this, custom made film wrapping designs come with a certain price tag: Where the standard film wrapping of these boats offered by the yard clocks in at 1.400 Euros exVAT, this whole project needs more than a tripled budget.
The finished Feynman-Boat: Exemplary
The last step of the job was a sealing of all edges of the foil with a glossy paint. This was done of course by hand and took a couple of hours as well. After one night of letting the boat “settle down” and the adhesive powers of the industry standard glue of the foil to find a proper bond with the boat the Feynman Boat First 18 SE was ready to be towed back to our showroom.
Our client is ready to pick up the boat end of this month and I am really excited how he will react to seeing his idea having become reality. Another custom design will join the ever growing Seascape/First-fleed with this boat – christened THE LAST WALTZ – absolutely sticking out of the mainstream being one of the most recognizable sailboats in this class. Do you think that Richard Feynman himself would be proud of this boat? I for myself have learned a lot.
I will start collaborating with our partners on the custom design of my own new sailboat soon. GEKKO will receive a very nice greenish design, a lot less elaborate than the Feynman Boat but nevertheless catchy and beautiful. Let´s see if I can have a look over their shoulders when they film wrap my own boat to catch some secrets of bubble-free foiling and high-quality film.
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