Future Spars

Future Fibres moves into the mast making business

Thursday June 24th 2010, Author: Paul Anniss, Location: Spain

Composite rigging specialist Future Fibres has teamed up with leading mould specialist Persico Spa to design and build carbon masts for high-end customers in the grand prix race and superyacht markets.

The new venture, Future Spars, opens its doors for business this July in a new factory next door to Future Fibres’ rigging facility in Valencia. It will include a 50m autoclave. Founder of Future Fibres, Tom Hutchinson, explained the plans for the new venture. “At Future Fibres we have built a strong reputation for producing the lightest, strongest, most proven and reliable composite rigging in the market, and now we plan to bring that same scientific, evidence-based approach to the design and construction of masts for customers at the top end of the market.”

Future Fibres is going into the new venture with Bergamo-based mould specialist Persico, with over 40 years of experience in moulds, composites and engineering from the aerospace, automotive and marine sectors. CEO of Future Fibres, Ewan McLellan, believes Persico is the perfect partner for this new business. “We wanted a technical partner who could bring in new ideas from outside of the marine industry, and Persico brings a wealth of experience from the automotive and aerospace world.

“I think the marine industry can learn a lot from other sectors, and it’s that wider perspective that we’re looking to bring to Future Spars. Moulds are one of the biggest costs and yet biggest quality and design constraints in mast making. With Persico´s deep understanding of what’s required from their moulds, resulting from their co-design approach in automotive and aerospace, it means that they have a lot of composite experience to bring to Future Spars.”

Pierino Persico, the founder and managing director of Persico, became fascinated with the grand prix racing scene when Luna Rossa commissioned the company to construct its two Version 5 yachts for the 32nd America’s Cup in Valencia 2007. “Pierino enjoyed the Luna Rossa project a lot. He has a passion for design and innovation, and that’s going to be an important part of the Future Spars business.” said Hutchinson.

From Persico´s perspective, Future Fibres provides the grand prix race pedigree they were looking for to develop their marine division. Marcello Persico, Persico´s Business Development Director, explains: “Future Fibres have already proven they have the knowledge, technical skills, drive and determination to shape a market. Their commitment to technical excellence, quality and service is wholly in line with our own philosophy.”

In technical terms, McLellan says Persico’s experience with high-quality moulds will make it possible to design and build carbon masts that are more easily customised to an individual client’s specification. “We have been listening carefully to our customers and what they are looking for when commissioning a composite rig,” he said. “They want to be involved in the design process as partners and our design flexibility will enable us to fulfill their needs.”

Future Spars has spent the last six months attracting some of the most experienced, respected names in the industry to ensure the new business hits the ground running this summer. At the forefront of Future Spars are, Tom Hutchinson, David Barnaby, Tim Meldrum, Mark Webster, and Mark Somerville, supported by, amongst others, Dave Hurley and Bruce Thompson.

Future Spars will be producing its first spar for a leading grand prix race team during the summer.

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