Carbon breakthrough to change boatbuilding forever

Making a splash at the 2022 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Queensland company Element Composites unveiled the state-of-the-art sportfishing tower and hooked industry heavyweights with the combination of strength, durability, lightness and speed it offers that has never been seen before.

The carbon fibre tower was constructed for the 40-foot Queensland-based game boat Back in Black and is the tallest tower ever fitted to one of the renowned high-performance fishing craft.

Exhibiting the Back in Black tower to US sportfishing boat builders has catapulted Element Composites and Gold Coast-based Ocean Degree Total Yacht Services to the industry forefront in the quest to build lighter, faster and more efficient game boats.

“So, the product that we knew would benefit the most with our technology was looking straight at us the whole time,” Element Composites Managing Director Levi Duncan said. “With game fishing such a competitive sport, performance is everything. And we can aid the speed, the lightness, the stability of the boats. And make sure you’ve got the best boat on the water.”

Element composites believes the 100 per cent carbon fibre composite tower is a new leap for boat building.

Carbon composite fibre is five times stronger than steel and one-third its weight, making a 100 per cent carbon tower around 70 per cent lighter than a tower built from traditional materials.

“A carbon game tower is six to seven times lighter than any conventional tower. So, we knew we had the lightest tower,” Mr Duncan said. “And then the boys went one step further.

“We knew air drag and wind resistance was an issue with conventional towers, so the boys introduced aerofoil and elliptical shapes in the framework to reduce these resistances. Then we knew we had the lightest, fastest and coolest looking tower ever built.”

“With our in-house technology we have, we’ve been able to overcome all the complicated joins where there’s two or three posts intersecting at the one point,” Senior Composite technician, Rob Sabo, said. “We designed and manufactured the mould, worked out the specific release angles, so the part can be produced from a mould and still be functional and strong.”

Its strength, speed and aerodynamics setting new standards, only one test now remains for the new carbon tower and its performance on Back in Black.

With the craft now heading to marlin season in north Queensland, the final test for the tower will be to see if it can help the owners catch a fish.