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New Supreme S202: First Towboat to Achieve Total VIP

November 10, 2016
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Supreme Boats
New Supreme S202: First Towboat to Achieve Total VIP Supreme

The 2017 Supreme S202 is a small but strong towboat that is blazing trails in boater benefits as well as the manufacturing process. The S202 reigns supreme as the first production towboat to be created completely through the vacuum infusion process or “VIP.” Every composite component of the 2017 Supreme Boats S202 is created using vacuum infusion, including the boat’s plugs and molds. VIP creates a stronger, more consistent boat while drastically reducing emissions. The vacuum infusion process requires specific tooling, longer cycle times and higher consumable costs; however, Supreme Boats believes the strength, consistency and environmentally friendly benefits of VIP far outweigh the additional costs. Visit your local dealer to learn about the 2017 S202 and why Supreme Boats are just more fun.

The Vacuum Infusion Process is one of many closed mold processes. It distinguishes itself by being the only process that utilizes only atmospheric pressure to push the resin into the mold cavity. The process is highly controllable, due to it being governed by the principles of D’Arcy’s Law. This means that there are only three variables affecting the flow of the resin: (1) permeability of the laminate, (2) viscosity of the resin, and (3) pressure differential in the cavity in relation to atmospheric pressure. If all three of these variables are unchanged, then the infusion process will consistently flow the same way with every injection for a given part. This process creates a stronger, more consistent boat while drastically reducing emissions.

VIP provides a precise glass-to-resin ratio under vacuum with minimal to no voids in the finished laminate. This level of precision creates the strongest composite laminate and in turn the strongest boat. In addition to the strength created by the vacuum infusion process, the consistency achieved through this precision provides another huge benefit. Each composite part, whether it is the deck, hull, stringers, sub-floor or floor receives an exact amount of resin and fiberglass to create a predictable weight. This is how Supreme Boats was able to create a 20-foot 2-inch wake surf boat that weighs 3450 pounds dry.

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VIP brings huge environmental advantages to the lamination process. With vacuum infusion, styrene emissions are minimized due to the resin curing in a closed environment. VIP is environmentally friendly as well as employee friendly. The working environment for vacuum infusion is far superior to any open molding production. This benefit becomes obvious in team member morale and retention rate.

When asked about the advantages of VIP in towboat construction, Paul Singer, President of Centurion & Supreme Boats, had this to say: “The increased strength of our boats and the consistency of each vacuum infused part are huge benefits. The fact that the S202 is the first towboat ever to be built entirely through VIP is amazing. But the part of this production advancement I am most proud of is the improved working conditions for our employees and the benefits VIP provides to the environment.”

The 2017 Supreme S202 is the first towboat to be completely built though the vacuum infusion process, but it won’t be the last. In designing and tooling this Supreme boat as well as the other Centurions and Supremes being built through VIP, the Engineering Team at Centurion & Supreme Boats has made some great discoveries. They have gained these insights especially when designing a boat for the vacuum infusion process and creating the tools for boats being built with VIP including the plugs and molds. There are many more innovations to come from Centurion & Supreme Boats involving vacuum infusion.

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