TURN THE SOUND DOWN,
AND THE ENJOYMENT UP
Noise leaks like water through any tiny opening, making it
devilishly hard to make open structures like a boat quiet.
The solution: Build the sound dampening right into the hull
NOISE AND VIBRATION SEEM PART AND PARCEL of boating, particularly for those of us who grew up with loud two-stroke outboards, or
click-clanking mechanically injected diesels aboard. But Sea Ray believes
it doesn’t have to be that way. Their engineers took on the difficult task
of reducing the volume of noise produced when running their 25- and
27-foot bowriders, the 250SLX and 270SLX. But they began, not in the
engine compartment, but in the lay-up of the hull itself.
©2012 MIRTO ART STUDIO
any twin-outboard setup. While it’s hard to
describe how weird it is to see outboard
motors pointing completely different directions on the same transom, the result is an
outboard-powered boat that can walk sideways, spin like a top, or move diagonally, all
with the same simple joystick as the big boys.
Ride fiberglass, it landed with a dull thud, and
didn’t bounce nearly as high.
The boats are built with a patented, tuned
transom, licensed from Omni Products, and
Sea Ray designed the boats with full-width
bulkheads belowdecks where possible to offer
extra barriers to sound. Finally, improving
the fit and finish of hatches, doors, and all
the assorted latches reduced the rattles and
bangs produced when underway. The result is
a 10-decibel reduction in sound at key areas
aboard, and an average of 6. 8 decibels overall
— or roughly half as loud.
Many boaters don’t realize the toll sound and
vibration take during a long day on the water,
but they’re major contributors to fatigue, which, beyond being a comfort
issue, can become a safety issue. Many manufacturers have taken steps to
reduce noise and vibration, particularly by using newer engine-mounting
technologies, and increasing the insulation and sound-attenuating materials in engine compartments. But Sea Ray is the first to build those technologies right into the hull, and for that they won a 2012 Innovation Award
from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
Workers add sound-absorbing fabric to
the hull lay-up.
KEEPING COOL WITH HOT NEW FABRICS By Zuzana Prochazka
SITTING DOWN IN A SWIMSUIt on a dark cushion on a sunny day usually results in a quick jump and a yowl. Burnt buns from hot vinyl is nothing new whether in your car or on your boat, but help is on the way in the form of a new material from Syntec Industries. Cool Touch is the brand name
for a special vinyl technology that has a reflective pigment to help dark colors stay cooler even when in
Cool Touch can be used with many base products including regular vinyl or even on Syntec’s
NanoBlock vinyl which resists abrasions, ink marks, and mildew, because it is a special additive. Price will
vary with the base product it is applied to, but is estimated to
be $30-$50 per yard. It doesn’t change the weight of the fabric,
which is still in the range of 26 to 35 ounces per linear yard, but
it will stay 10 degrees cooler than other vinyl and leather. It is
available in limited colors. Today, navy, brown, burgundy, black, or
charcoal colors can be created with Cool Touch technology, and
the material retains its original luster so it doesn’t get shiny just
because there is a reflective pigment added.
You can’t buy this at your local canvas shop just yet because
currently, it is only available in the industry’s OEM market. That
means certain boat manufacturers will be offering it on some
new models as an option. But keep an eye out as this product
is expected to be available aftermarket within a year and that
means you may be able to revamp your cushions with hot colors
that will keep you cool.