Please select your home edition
Coast Guard Foundation LEADERBOARD 1

Back in Black and game-changing 100 percent carbon fibre Game Tower

by Carbon Game Towers 10 Oct 21:16 UTC

A revolution in boat-building spawned by Australian ingenuity has burst onto the scene, unveiled to the strains of AC/DC's "Back in Black" at decibels loud enough to attract global interest.

The perennial quest of building game boats to be light, fast and efficient has challenged designers for decades. Advances in hull design and props made of titanium reduced weight and drag, but still owners demand faster boats.

Levi Duncan and the team at his new venture, Element Composites have devised a solution: a world-first, 100 percent carbon fibre towers, custom designed for game fishing boats; Not just stronger and lighter than aluminium or stainless steel, but foiled with an elliptical frame for aerodynamic advantage.

Levi Duncan and Josh Duke-Yonge, Directors at Ocean Degree Total Yacht Services, lead a team of 30 design and refit specialists. Managed by their highly experienced Production Manager, Mick Chaplain, they apply their considerable skills to some of the most complex superyacht projects in the country.

Ocean Degree Project Managers in partnership with The Boat Works, handle the region's visiting superyachts, charter vessels and privately owned. The Boat Works lifts more than 3,000 vessels per year, with the yard's 300 Tonne travelift, the largest on the Gold Coast, and is the only facility with 60 covered refit sheds including the highest superyacht-specific refit sheds at a height of 20-metres.

A partner at The Boat Works in the Gold Coast Marine Precinct for the past 10 years, and operating Ocean Degree for 15 years, Levi has assembled some of the most talented composite craftspeople drawn from automotive and marine industries for his new enterprise, known as Element Composites - Carbon Game Towers International.

These hand-picked specialists combine many years of experience and the pinnacle of expertise in the fields of boatbuilding and composite design and fabrication. Equipped with 20 years' experience in composites design and fabrication, Rob Sabo heads the Composite Design Department leading the team with both energy and innovation rarely seen before in the marine industry.

A product of two years of R&D in the use of these materials, including rigorous modelling and testing, they have constructed an 8-metre carbon fibre tower for "Back in Black", the 40-foot Black Watch game boat as part of a full refit project, which also included an impressive sound system for celebrating the catch!

An 8-metre tower, if built from aluminium, could weigh as much as a tonne. Carbon composite fibre is known and used for its combination of strength and lightness. It is five times stronger than steel and one third its weight. A 100 percent Carbon Tower is approximately 70 percent lighter than a tower built from traditional materials. A massive saving, as well as being strong and stable, and it looks sexy as hell!

"Our clients tell us they want their towers to be durable and practical, as well as eye-catching," says Levi. "The carbon fibre tower is totally unique and a real head-turner."

Using new generation epoxy resins which won't corrode, fade or discolour, and a complex vacuum infusion process, the team at Element Composites fabricated all component parts of the tower, including hardtops for console, buggy floor and top are all fabricated from a composite integration carbon fibre.

"Back in Black" returned to the water Friday 7 October, accompanied by a huge Back in Black-themed party at The Boat Works, Garage 25 for the boat's owners, contractors and media - its theme song blasting from the JL Audio speakers installed in the cockpit and tower.

With her glossy dark metallic grey hull, and boat name and rego mimicking the carbon fibre look, the 19-year-old boat has benefitted from a complete refit which took around five months.

The three owners, a father and his two sons, are "stoked" with the outcome, and ready and raring to head north to Lizard Island, Port Douglas and Cairns for the world-renowned marlin season, running from September to December when the giant black fish return to this section of the Great Barrier Reef.

"Back in Black's" 100 percent carbon fibre tower is the tallest ever for a Black Watch game boat and is destined to be the first of many, once and his team pitch their Aussie ingenuity to US game boat builders at the 2022 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) in October.

Levi is travelling to the US as part of an Australian delegation that includes Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX) and City of Gold Coast. Following FLIBS, he will visit some of the 30 or so game boat manufacturers, both custom and production, within an hour's drive of Fort Lauderdale, then he will head to North Carolina to network with other interested parties.

"Florida is the epicentre of game boat building," explains Levi. "We've already had a lot of interest and several enquiries from Back in Black's social media which has tracked the refit and the preliminary work on its tower.

"Once owners and boat builders see how superior our carbon fibre towers are, and how easily they can be packed and transported to the US, we're hopeful we'll be shipping a lot of them stateside."

Quick links:

Related Articles

Three generations loving the Grady life
Boats that bring families together It's more than just a boat. For the Kulakowsky family, it's a way to connect, pass down traditions, and instill confidence on the water. Posted on 27 Nov
The thinking behind Grady-White's boat designs
World-class customer satisfaction doesn't just happen From an engineering and design perspective, it's not just about our vision for an exceptional finished product, but also our customer's vision for their overall experience on their new boat. Posted on 25 Nov
The importance of a reliable Graph Mount
Exceptional Trophy Graph Mounts for every tournament angler As a tournament angler, it is very important to have reliable gear and equipment while on and off the water. A ton of time gets dedicated to preparing, traveling to, and practicing for a tournament. Posted on 25 Nov
Running with the Viking 58 Convertible
Rising to the occasion every time you leave the dock Whether you're competing in tournaments off Cabo, hunting for sailfish in South Florida or fishing the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic canyons, the Viking 58 Convertible will rise to the occasion every time you leave the dock. Posted on 24 Nov
Josh Bertrand's three key winter setups
For the Abu Garcia pro, wintertime fishing is about one thing: simplification Watch as Bertrand details what Abu Garcia rods he reaches for during the chilly months and what baits he likes to pair them with. Posted on 23 Nov
Boating in rough seas
Always be weather aware, file a float plan, and review a safety check list While we all prefer to be on the water when the seas are nice and calm, we sometimes find ourselves traveling in rough waters. Conditions can change quickly while you're out on the water, but these handy tips will help you get back to the dock easily. Posted on 23 Nov
Hurricane Ian derelict-vessel salvage help
Waivers available for removal or destruction at no cost; new deadline to apply is end of December Acknowledging the significant challenge facing many recreational boat owners who are unable to pay salvage costs for their Hurricane Ian- wrecked vessels, the FWC extended its Hurricane Ian waiver program through the end of 2022. Posted on 23 Nov
A gathering of epic proportions
Ultimate Grady-White raft up Bill Burleson grew up in Puerto Rico on the small island of Vieques, but like many people born there, he left for professional opportunities when he was young. Posted on 22 Nov
GMAN on earning a living in the fishing industry
Controlling your destiny is focus of NPAA's Conference in Fort Myers, Florida The National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) 2023 Annual Conference kicks off in Fort Myers, Florida, January 6 through 8, and headline speaker Gerald Swindle can't wait to get started. Posted on 19 Nov
Hot as Hell
Have a cold drink nearby because this video is hot as hell. Second set of sea trials of Valhalla 55 Have a cold drink nearby because this video is hot as hell. Second set of sea trials of Valhalla 55 Posted on 18 Nov
Sea Sure 2020 - SHOCK-WBV - FOOTERCoast Guard Foundation FOOTER 2