We are back at the factory with Grant with some very exciting news: We have completed the first SeaPod roof prototype! After nearly a year of work on the plug, two months to make the molds, and then another week or two to create the actual product, we have our first roof. As we continue working on the process, we will be able to make the production move faster and faster so we will eventually need less than a week to create these roof sections.
This is our first prototype so there are still a few imperfections that we need to work on. For example, we have a visible seam that is about 3mm wide but we should be able to sand it down fairly easily and after a new layer of gel-coat, you will never know it was there. As we move forward, we can make small adjustments to the molds to prevent these issues, but since this is our first prototype, perfection is not necessarily our main goal.
We built the roof upside-down sort of like a bowl so we will obviously need to flip it over. One of the problems with that is that the fiberglass can have quite a bit of flex and flipping over something this big while it is flexing and flopping can be a struggle and also risk damaging the product. Our solution was to create the ribbed structure that you can see inside of the “bowl”
This ribbed structure gives the roof section enough rigidity to withstand the flip and anything else that we should need to do to the roof. We needed this entire structure to be lightweight so we had to get creative with the materials. The ribs that you see here are actually made of pool noodles which are covered in a few layers of fiberglass. This creates an incredibly rigid and strong rib structure that will give the roof all of the support that it needs without adding too much extra weight.
Here you can see a time lapse video of us building this roof section here in the factory. This work took place over about two weeks and shows the different steps that went into the production. This is an important step as we inch closer and closer to getting that first SeaPod prototype in the water. Things are coming together nicely and we hope you are as excited as we are!