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  • Boat building

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    Appledore II under constructionBoat building, one of the oldest branches of engineering, is concerned with constructing the hulls of boats and, for sailboats, the masts, spars and rigging.

  • Alexander Robertson & Sons

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    Alexander Robertson started repairing boats in a small workshop at Sandbank, Argyll in 1876, and went on to become one of the foremost wooden boat-builders on Scotland's River Clyde. The 'golden years' of Robertson's yard were in the early 1900s when they started building some of the first IYRU 12mR & 15mR (Metre Class) racing yachts. Robertson's was well known for the quality of its workmanship and was chosen to build the first 15-metre yacht designed by William Fife III (Shimna, 1907). More than 55 boats were built by Robertson's in preparation for the First World War and the yard remained busy even during the Great Depression in the 1930s, as many wealthy businessmen developed a passion for yacht racing on the Clyde. During World War II the yard was devoted to Admiralty work, producing a wide range of large high speed Fairmile Marine Motor Boats. After the war the yard built the successful one-class Loch Longs and two 12-metre challengers for the America's Cup: Sceptre (1958) and Sovereign (1964). Due to difficult business conditions the Robertson family sold the yard in 1965, and it was turned over to GRP production work until it closed in 1980.

  • Valiant 40

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    The Valiant 40 was one of the first boats designed by naval architect Robert Perry, it was introduced in 1973. The boat is configured as a rear cockpit double-ender, cutter rigged monohull. The boat's design was considered revolutionary at that time by bringing aspects of racing design into open ocean cruising yachts which up to then meant heavy and slow traditional boats. The Valiant 40 is credited with birthing the category of the "performance cruiser". It was the first oceangoing cruising monohull to have a modified keel designed to reduce weight and wetted surface while increasing speed and ease of propulsion of the hull shape by the wind. At least three Valiant 40s were built with centerboards. At some point in 1976, a new type of resin with the trade name "Hetron" was used in the fiberglass layup. The new resin was designed to be fire retardant, and was originally developed to the specifications of the US military late in the Vietnam War. It is widely suspected that the new resin was responsible for extensive non-osmotic blistering of the hulls, deck, and cabin-house structures in boats built between 1976-1981.

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