Debuting with a Flash
When a passionate owner commits to developing the fastest possible racing monohull in its class, you can be assured that every detail is considered to make the boat as fast and technologically superior as possible. After owner George David commissioned the Rambler 88 with Juan Yacht Design and New England Boatworks, the team turned to ALEXSEAL for their coatings needs due to the strong reputation of the ALEXSEAL coatings system and their metallic topcoat designed specifically for the marine environment. Having previously used ALEXSEAL on a variety of projects, New England Boatworks was already familiar with the quality and application of the products, but had never applied the ALEXSEAL metallic system, especially on a new construction project of this size or magnitude.
As one of the largest and most ambitious monohull builds of its kind, no stone was left unturned during the project’s preparation and vendor selection. Led by General Manager Scotty Murray and applicator Craig Mello, the New England Boatworks paint team worked with owner representative Mick Harvey to perform extensive research and testing. This included coverage and weight studies as well as spraying test panels of several competing paint systems for thorough comparisons. As ALEXSEAL representative Alastair Smith recounts, “the team concluded that the ALEXSEAL system, including any use of fairing compound and primers in addition to the metallic topcoat, could be executed in fewer steps, finer style and provide more weight savings than competing metallic paint options.” Finishing the Rambler 88’s expansive carbon fiber surfaces included the striking Anniversary Silver hull with additional metallic graphics and a Kingston Gray deck. In addition, ALEXSEAL Clear Gloss Topcoat was applied directly over the carbon fiber throughout the interior and on major running gear such as the canting keel, dual rudders and the boat’s massive telescoping dagger boards. ALEXSEAL Clear Gloss was also applied on finer details such as the broad twin steering wheels and many other carbon fiber parts—all to a gorgeous result.
Designed for IRC-rated ocean racing, Rambler 88 was launched in December 2014 with the specific targets of participating in the 2015 Transatlantic Race as well as the Rolex Fastnet, Middle Sea and Sydney-Hobart races. She quickly took line honors in the RORC Caribbean 600 race and won the prestigious Voiles de St. Barth’s regatta before winning her class in the Transatlantic Race over her new rival maxi yacht, the 100’ Comanche. With over 5,000 nautical miles already behind her transom, Rambler 88 has been raced hard and the team couldn’t be happier with the durability, toughness and ease of repair that the hull paint has exhibited throughout some of the challenges they’ve faced.
Back in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the New England Boatworks team should be proud of their exceptional work on this highly advanced project. ALEXSEAL’s Alastair Smith adds, “Craig and the paint crew really did a great job to apply what was a fairly complex color scheme.” Up next on the docket for New England Boatworks is a slightly smaller, but similarly advanced, 63’ carbon yacht which is expected to also feature a metallic ALEXSEAL finish. With such a tight-knit and competitive offshore racing community, everyone involved looks forward to witnessing more owners and builders specifying ALEXSEAL products for these exciting classes of racing yachts.