Green Marine delivers the world’s largest-ever composite rudder...

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Green Marine delivers the world’s largest-ever composite rudder...

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The unit is for a Dubois-designed 66m sloop in build at the company’s parent company Vitters Shipyard in Holland.


Vitters Shipyard’s composite moulding specialist subsidiary Green Marine has completed the build of one of the largest composite rudders ever made at its factory in Lymington, Hampshire, UK. The rudder was designed by Dubois Naval Architects for a 66m (216ft) sloop, which is currently in-build at the company’s parent, the Vitters Shipyard, in the Netherlands and is launching in May '11. The 7.5m (25ft) rudder stock was laminated using approximately one tonne of carbon prepreg material, and is, by far, the largest rudder that Green Marine has built during its 28 years of operation.
In conjunction with Lloyds Certification office and Gurit’s SP/High Modulus
division, a specific test programme was created to validate the properties of the chosen materials. Once in service the rudder will see enormous twisting and bending loads; indeed the Dubois team calculates that the reaction load at the lower bearing will reach up to 160 tonnes.
The rudder also features a crash tip that will snap off in the event of the vessel grounding.
“This project was perfect for us,” says Green Marine’s managing director, Marcel Müller. “Having built rudders for other Vitters-built superyachts, including MY Cinderella and MY Sarissa, and for more than 50 racing and cruising yachts ranging from 12-40m (40-130ft), we were the obvious choice to build this innovative rudder... Our company is one of the largest, most experienced and technically advanced large-composite-parts specialists in the world.”
Marcus Attridge, Green Marine’s project manager, explains the complexities of the big-rudder project.
“Building the rudder from carbonfibre prepreg gave us the best possible combination of strength and stiffness at the lowest possible weight, all of which are crucial to performance and reliability,” says Attridge. “The rudder is one of the most critical components on any yacht, and accuracy and structural integrity must be 100 per cent... You can only achieve this when the applied production processes are planned and controlled in every detail.”
Green Marine used 3D measurement equipment during the construction of this rudder and it is said to have played a vital role in the validation of the accuracy of the foil shape and the bearing alignment.

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© Phil Draper