How its Made: Injection Molded Decks | Cruising World

How its Made: Injection Molded Decks

Dufour Yachts walks us through the process behind injection molding the decks for their fiberglass sailboats.

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At Dufour Yachts, both hulls and decks are built of fiberglass, but they are built in very different ways. Hulls are built from layers of hand laid fiberglass and resin in open molds, whereas decks are injection molded. Injection molding taken place in closed, 2-piece molds. This process allows the finished decks to come out of the molds strong and smooth. The finished product is so smooth that a finished deck won’t need any additional work. In order to ensure that decks are finished properly requires incredible attention to detail.

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Injection molding requires the entire deck to be laid out with specific layers of fiberglass with reinforcing material in high load areas like winch pads and jib tracks.All parts have to be laid up at once on the “bottom” part of the mold.

The first step to injection molding is to spray gelcoat that will form the smooth outer later of the deck (pictured above).

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The “top” is also covered with a layer of cured gelcoat then lowered on to the bottom which has been laid out with the required sandwich material. The two parts are then joined and form an airtight seal and then the magic happens.

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Once the two parts of the mold are sealed, workers can then start injecting the resin into the mold. The resin is pumped in through hoses and the seal ensures complete resin saturation. This is ideal because it results in a strong deck without requiring excess resin.

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Injection molded decks are virtually flawless when they come out of the most, and just need a little clean up.

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Then workers use jigs to cut out the areas for ports and hatches as well as drill all necessary holes to install all the deck hardware.

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Finally, the deck hardware including all trim, witches and blocks, is attached and the deck is the lowered on to the hull.

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