Thanks to an increased recognition for the quality and performance of our boats, Whitecap Composites has had a busy 2014. We refined our already-unique Turbo 420, developed our Turbo FJ and recently became the new International Comet class builder. Several fleets of our Turbo 420’s and Turbo FJ’s were built and delivered across the country to active sailing programs. We are excited to continue this trend in 2015, and would like to start the new year by giving back to the sailing community.
Whitecap’s new 1-for-10 program aims to give more kids access to our newest designs. From now until April 1, if you order ten boats we will be donating one boat to a sailing program of your choice. There has never been a better time to help boost your local sailing program and encourage kids to get back on the water this summer!
To learn more, contact Whitecap Composites today!
Sail1Design would like to welcome our newest team member and sponsor, Whitecap Composites!
By Airwaves Writer Tyler Colvin
On a grey New England day I pulled around the corner of yet another non-descript warehouse building to discover a rack of hulls and plugs and an assortment of familiar bumper stickers. I had arrived at Whitecap Composites, in Peabody, Massachusetts, for a tour and to see what these guys were all about. Partners Ben Parker and Paul Zimmerman have created buzz about their little shop in recent years with their ability to turn out extremely high quality, durable boats for organizations and individuals.
Stepping through the door I was greeted by the familiar fiberglass and resin smell of a boat shop, reggaeton cutting through the hum of a pump and buzz of grinders. Ben came out to meet me with a smile and a handshake, very excited to show someone their operation. We walked through the assembly area, which consisted of boats in several stages of completion, and he explained the process that makes them unique from the slew of dinghy shops in the Northeast. “We take large boat construction and apply it to the dinghy. These are built like a real boat,” explained Ben, “everything about the construction process is repeatable and consistent.”
What Ben was referring to is the construction process they have been using since their shop opened back in 2011. In dinghy construction, there is usually a trade off between weight and durability. Fiberglass is laid up with resin by hand, cured, popped from the mold and put together. Not at Whitecap. Using structural fiberglass around a thin foam core combined with a vacuum bag infusion of resin, they are able to balance weight and stiffness, and are ensured a consistent product and create a bulletproof hull.
“Would you ever take a sledgehammer to one of your boats?” asked Ben, “well you can take one to ours.” He proceeded to tell me a recent story of some Kings Point guys who came up to see the shop and process, were asked the same question and then given a sledgehammer to test it out. Long story short, the sledgehammer lost.
The amount of pride that Ben and Paul put in their work is very apparent from their enthusiasm about the fleets they are building, new projects coming in to them and the thought of expanding. “We are unique in that we are responsive. We are available to our customers,” said Paul. “You see him and I? He is production, I am sales. If someone needs to ask a question on the phone, I cover the mouthpiece and ask him. Eliminates the need to go from department to department.”
Whitecap Composites has worked in conjunction with several college teams, one-design classes and individuals in the past four years. They have built 75 boats that are sitting on MIT’s docks, including the new Turbo FJ, which were purchased by both MIT and Northeastern University. Other schools are ordering from Whitecap as well, recently Christopher Newport University took delivery of 18 Turbo 420s. Eckerd is awaiting a shipment of FJs and 420s from Whitecap and Tufts has a new fleet of Larks in the works as well. Outside the college world they have also produced several other boats on a sub-contract basis, including the custom wakeless coach boats for Community Rowing in Boston and are working with the Comet class to revitalize.
Ben and Paul pride themselves on quality and the ability to accommodate their clients. “Our boats don’t come off the water during your season,” Ben commented, “we value quality over quantity.” Whether it is for a collegiate fleet or a custom build, they want you to feel involved in the process and help you get exactly what you want.
We would like again to give Whitecap Composites a warm welcome to the Sail1Design family as our newest team member. Feel free to stop over to their shop in Peabody to check them out, or just call Ben or Paul, they are sitting ten feet from each other, so if one doesn’t know the answer to your question, chances are the other does.