Abroboard originally made their name creating surfboard blanks and has actually been around for more than 21 years. With increased overseas competition, Abroboard have expanded into model yachts, revolutionising the industry and embracing new technology. The director of Abroboard, Graeme Smith, has been sailing for more than 40 years and definitely knows what makes a good boat.
The creation of model boats is unexpectedly complex, with every model being created from a sheet of Foamular extruded polystyrene that is computer cut to create precision shaping to the nearest mm. Foamular extruded polystyrene, available from Austech External Building Products , is used in the model yacht building process as it is very easy to work with and maintains its ridged shape and lightweight properties long after completion.
The Foamular polystyrene blanks are coated with high impact resistant fibre cloth, similar to carbon fibre, but more cost effective. Abroboard’s technological and material advances have helped dramatically reduce the price of a new boat, helping many newcomers into the sport.
The physical properties that make Foamular extruded polystyrene an ideal material for model boat making are the same properties that make it ideal for insulation. Foamular is a closed-cell extruded polystyrene board, meaning it does not absorb moisture and retains its shape even when wet. Foamular extruded polystyrene also has high compressive strength, so it isn’t misshapen by the odd bump or scrape, meaning the boat will look great for longer.
One problem with creating unique shapes with Foamular extruded polystyrene is the potential waste created from off-cuts. Abroboard helps to minimise this by keeping an eye out for innovative recycling systems. Abroboard regularly donates off-cuts to other model makers or re-uses Foamular polystyrene off-cuts around the workshop to create other items like boat stands.
Foamular extruded polystyrene board has an extensive history in model making and has been used in model railways, model yachts, sculptures and in architectural models.
Abroboard use specialist machines to shape their board, but Foamular extruded polystyrene can be easily shaped by most common woodwork tools and can be shaped into almost everything. Foamular extruded polystyrene is available in thicknesses ranging from 25-100mm.