The V Report - High Gear
V Reports

Valhalla 55

Production of our new Valhalla Boatworks flagship – the V-55 – has kicked into high gear. With laser-sharp focus, our shipwrights are working diligently on all aspects of our ground-breaking center console. In this V Report, we take you inside Viglass (our Fiberglass Department) for a close-up look at the build process of Hull. No. 1.

Like all V Series models, the Valhalla 55 is built with a resin-infused structural stringer grid that serves as the boat’s backbone. The grid is an engineered composite structure using a combination of e-glass, carbon fiber and core materials. By using vacuum infusion and vinylester resin, the result is a part with optimized weight, strength and stiffness. The two above images show the early stages of infusion, with the first lines open to initiate the flow of resin into the perimeter. The resin is then drawn upward and inboard, with the actual infusion process taking 22 minutes.

The one-piece structural stringer grid, shown at left being lifted from its mold, is quite intricate, consisting of a series of longitudinal stringers and athwartship bulkheads. At right, you can see that the lazarette and designated area for the Seakeeper 9 is finished with a white molded surface for ease of cleaning, maintenance and increased visibility. The white gelcoat is applied to the mold during the building process of the part.

A methacrylate adhesive bonds the hull and grid. The adhesive is specially formulated for bonding composite materials. Left: Viglass Foreman David Bonilla (red shirt) leads a team of shipwrights (using custom fan-tipped applicators) to apply 144 gallons of adhesive in designated areas. The procedure took under 25 minutes, giving them plenty of time to install the structure for proper bonding.

Left: With the stringer grid installation complete, the hull is prepared to be pulled from its mold using two overhead electric hoists. Right: Hull No. 1, shown rising from the mold, features a Haze Grey gelcoat.

The hoists, mounted to overhead rails, move the hull forward and lower it into a custom cradle. The orange areas forward and aft are the bow thruster and dive door dams, respectively. (There is also a dive door on the port side.) Dams are placed into the mold to provide finished shapes. While still in Viglass, the dams are removed providing the actual openings where the bow thruster and dive door will be installed. The inset image shows that the dam for the bow thruster tunnel has been removed.

This image shows the V-55’s transom bustle moments after it was pulled from its mold. The bustle, with its sleek tumblehome shape, is one of the many aesthetic design traits of the V Series. The molded-in recesses in the swim platform will serve as ports for accessing the mounting bolts for the four 600-hp Mercury Verado outboards. The perimeter of the platform will be trimmed before installation.

Stay tuned for more updates on the build process of the new Valhalla 55. For more information, please visit our website or you can contact your authorized Valhalla Boatworks dealer.

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