At the moment in build in Brazil, a custom 70′ catamaran yacht will boast a 35′ carbon fiber furling boom by GMT Composites, their largest PowerFurl boom to date. Designed for the high loads of a catamaran yacht, and currently in the final stages of construction, it is a resin infused, foam core, carbon structure with up to 29 layers of laminate in load sections.
It will be shipped to Brazil via ocean container ship, along with the large carbon mast also built by GMT, in custom made wooden shipping crates. It is an encouraging indicator that foreign built vessels are sourcing custom made, hi-tech composite components from US builders in the marine trade.
GMT Composites released their first carbon furling boom in 2008. They came out with a second smaller version two years later for boats with booms under 21.5′. There has been a steady increase in the use of their booms with both custom and production boats installing them on new commissions and refits.
GMT recently shipped PowerFurl booms to be installed on a new Hylas 56 and Southerly 57 yacht. In a telling refit, GMT just replaced one of their own in-mast furling carbon spars with a standard GMT carbon spar and a PowerFurl boom on an Able 58 yacht. They were able to reduce weight aloft by 220 lbs while incorporating a full batten main sail with a modern roach profile, yet retain the push-button furling convenience.
By mounting the furling motor inside the mandrel, the GMT PowerFurl carbon boom lets you raise, reef, or furl your main on any point of sail. This is an important improvement over in-boom furling systems that use a universal joint and thru-mast shaft because they require the boat to be headed straight into the wind before the sail can be furled. GMT’s design uses a low-profile track with no set-back or cutaway notch required in the mainsail tack, and simplifies line management in the cockpit.
These design features, coupled with GMT’s ability to fully customize their PowerFurl boom’s load requirements and component lay-out brought the Brazilian creators of the 70′ custom catamaran yacht to the Bristol RI company. Everything from the sheeting system, hydraulic or electric motor, down to integrated LED lights is decided on during the design process. The PowerFurl I & II booms have been designed to suit yachts from 45 to 90 feet, with structural engineering completed for even larger yachts.