The ultimate car topper
If you are the adventurous type, boldly steering into the wilderness, chances are you are already familiar with the car topper concept. It is a small fishing boat, traditionally made in aluminum, which you easily can put on top of your car or camper. Aluminum structures offer excellent corrosion resistance and can last for decades without paint protection. They are also very strong durable. Still, weight can be a concern, especially if you have a smaller car or a van.
That is why John Hall, Managing Director at Enlightened Boating, based in Queensland, Australia, started to manufacture fiberglass over sandwich core hulls. Enlightened Boating offers two different brands of lightweight infused core boats – the smaller EzyTopper and the slightly larger CrossXCountry, which requires a trailer. The EzyTopper is available in four sizes: 3.0 and 3.7 meter Barra as well as 3.7 & 4.1 Vee hull design. The 3-meter boat weighs only 40 kg, so it is possible for just one person to load it on top of a vehicle.
Low weight, low production cost
The bearable lightness of EzyTopper is the result of a state-of-the-art infusion process.
–We use Divinycell H, says John Hall at Enlightened Boating. Diab offers the best core finishes for infusion and we need the lightest patterns. That saves us not only weight but also cost, as we minimize the use of resin.
–We have tried other cores, he adds, but they used too much flow medium or were too heavy.
The many benefits of sandwich composite
The composite construction brings other advantages as well. As fishing rig, the EzyTopper can do anything a similar sized aluminum boat might do, yet with the advantage of being totally unsinkable, thanks to the sealed construction. It also offers incredible performance with low horsepower, which means substantial fuel savings and benefits the environment. The sandwich core used throughout the hull makes the boat very quiet at rest and under way and the ride is quite exceptional. Not to mention that if you need to repair one of these boats, all you need is a surfboard repair kit.
John Hall has been working with Diab from day one and he hasn’t seen any better structural core for strength performance and weight savings.
–Those who have tested the EzyToppers are astonished, says John Hall. With highly favorable power to weight ratios and super slick wetted surfaces, these boats nearly fly. The 3.7m Barra, powered by a 9.9hp Suzuki four-stroke outboard, tops out at a full 40 km/h. As this craft has engine ratings to 15hp, you need to keep a strong grip on your hat.