Boat-Building Technique


Boat-Building Technique



      This is a high-speed manufacturing technique invented by Steve Hines in 1968 for making thin parts, boat hulls, airplane fuselages, car body panels, etc. by spraying liquid epoxy resin and hardener together to intersect in the cross section of the part.  The construction technique requires a virtually weightless environment.

      Above, the top and side views of the boat hull being formed at the intersection of epoxy resin and hardener sprayed to intersect in the cross section of the hull.


    The shape of the epoxy resin and hardener are controlled by flexible rubber nozzles which are shaped by computer-controlled solenoid plungers.  Boat-Construction-04-Nozzle-anim

      Conventional boat building requires time to assemble many carefully cut pieces of frame and skin material, or to spray fiberglass into a mold.  

      Described here is a tower and boat-building technique where the shape is formed at the intersection of sprayed liquid epoxy hardener and resin, which chemically react to solidify in the shape of the intersection.  To accelerate the hardening process, ultraviolet lights are directed at both sides of the newly formed boat hull as the hull falls.  The technique involves construction in weightless space on the ISS (International Space Station) or in an elevator descending at the rate of gravity.  

      It is important that the resin and hardner be sprayed in a smooth laminar flow (glassy sheets) from the flexible nozzles, rather than turbulent flow of droplets.  Laminar flow is achieved by buffering any pulsing in the pressure of the liquids from the pumping equipment.  An electrical anology would be rectifying alternating current (AC), where each stage of the rectifier reduces AC ripples to create pure DC as if from a battery.  

      The elevator-support tower is attached to a cliff, mountain or other natural landform or building, to reduce the length of the surrounding support structure for the tower.  Because of the vertical travel distance used as the elevator falls, and the difficulty and expense of constructing a support tower, it is important that the two parts of epoxy set quickly.  Ten seconds of construction time is provided by a 1,610-ft. tower, less than the height of the Canadian National Tower in Toronto.  


      The distance traveled by the boat shed falling at the speed of gravity: 

∆y = (1/2) g (t2)  =  (1/2) 32.2 (t2)

y = distance traveled
g = gravity of 32.2 ft./sec. 2
t = time, in seconds


      The boat hull and the elevator fall together, as the hull is being formed, guided by the track on the elevator tower.  Just before the elevator stops at the bottom of travel, doors on the bottom open allowing the boat hull to continue to fall with a soft landing in the water and for the elevator to stop safely at the end of travel.  The water dissipates the heat in the epoxy caused by the chemical reaction, and the boat hulls float to the surface where they are harvested for the finishing process where the deck and hardware are installed. 

      This process uses a lot of material that must be replenished.  To accomplish this, the elevator remains temporarily at the bottom of its travel where the battery is recharged (used for the computer, epoxy pumps and ultraviolet curing lights) and to resupply the epoxy tanks.  Then the elevator is pulled to the top of the tower with a cable or linear-induction motor.  

      This technique, while requiring a commitment of money, could be justified if there is sufficient commercial demand mass producing cars, or in a time of war.

Steve Hines’ p. 55 notebook entry:



       HinesLab is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology.  This is not a product being offered for sale to end users.  To discuss licensing, please contact Steve Hines at:

HinesLab, Inc.

Glendale, California, USA


ph. 818-507-5812