Advanced composites are ease to repair by semi skilled workers and trained crew. Repair materials may be carried on board and used in the field without any requirements for power or other specialist repair facilities.
Once repaired, the structure again retains its homogenous characteristic and the repaired area is effectively as strong and robust as the initial structure.
Aluminium structures require skilled experts to carry out repairs, merely possible in the field. To repair an aluminium structure, power is required to operate TIG or MIG welding equip- ment and so if a repair is required on a vessel remote from any power source then a generating set will be required in addition to the specialist welding equipment.
High stress joints due to material bending or welding are susceptible to fatigue cracking and failure. Experience shows that this can occur very early in the vessel service life and will have to be repaired by welding which itself reduces structural strength and creates a high stress area which can lead to further cracking and failure. This vicious circle of failure and repair can drastically reduce the life of any vessel.