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Schoenbohm created a cockpit design in which safety for the occupants is the top priority (click image to enlarge). Courtesy/copyright Smart Marine Service.

In addition to the Variable Speed 11/10 Running Surface on the new Phoenix 32 catamaran, Smart Marine has a developed a new cockpit construction concept intended to increase safety for the occupants in the event of a crash.

Calling it the Diamond Safety Barrier, Smart Marine Service president Chris Schoenbohm explained that the driver and throttleman sit midline inside a cockpit shaped like the gem that is structurally built into the hull in one piece. It’s fabricated outside of the boat and installed as a single piece, similar to the safety pods in a dragboat that are designed to break away from the hull and remain in tact after a crash.

Picture diamond-shaped bulkheads around the driver and throttleman.

“If you hit a buoy or take a blow to the side, the diamond is designed to deflect the object away from the occupants,” explained Schoenbohm. “If you go in backwards, it deflects the water and any objects from coming in.”

The Diamond Safety Barrier and the boat itself will be made out of structural core, carbon fiber a special Kevlar blend fabric that allows enough flex to bend, but not break. All the Smart Marine boats will be resin infused and the manufacturer is creating cooling and heating lines for the molds to eliminate hot spots. This allows a more uniform lamination and a more consistent chemical bond for all the materials.

Finally, Smart Marine takes an extra step, using 45-degree fillets where the bulkheads transition to the hull and deck. This creates a stronger joint and eliminates the hard spots that often cause stress cracks in the deck above a bulkhead.

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