Nimble, durable carbon-fiber boat protects against pirates

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A new boat designed to escort cargo ships through pirate-infested waters is the first vessel of its kind to take advantage of nanocomposite materials.

The LRV-17 is the creation of Zyvex Marine, a division of nanotechnology company Zyvex Technologies. It’s the first crewed boat to be built from Arovex, a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic that’s enhanced with carbon nanotubes. Based on the unmanned Piranha, a similarly constructed boat from Zyvex which debuted in 2010, the LRV-17 is sort of the Crown Vic of the high seas — a spacious mode of transit for law enforcement.

It weighs only 17,900 pounds, has an operating range of more than 1,500 nautical miles and a top sprint speed of more than 40 knots, and features a gyroscopic stabilizer.

The first LRV-17s will be deployed in the waters off the Horn of Africa.

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