With assistance from the NASA-funded Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP), Mosca Custom Boats found critical resources needed for constructing their boats, thereby reducing manufacturing costs and increasing production.

SATOP, administered through the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, provides free engineering assistance to small businesses with technical challenges through the expertise of the program’s 50 Alliance Partners, made up of aerospace companies, universities and NASA field centers involved in the U.S. Space Program.

In 2004 Cesar White experienced frustration when purchasing a new boat. “I couldn’t find a craft that had all the standard features I wanted,” White said. “After adding additional options, I ended up spending a small fortune. Because my boat purchase was disappointing – I still didn't have the boat I really wanted – I decided I wanted to design my own.” So in late 2004, White started Mosca Boats and is now the President and Owner.

White takes pride in designing quality boats with simple layouts, quiet hulls and many standard options. Promising attention to detail and proven quality, Mosca Boats are built of composite materials for strength and buoyancy.

Searching for the strongest and most cost effective materials to bond fiberglass shells to the hull of his boats, White realized his company needed guidance. “We knew we needed the best adhesives and bonding materials for our boats. Using trial and error, we’d try different adhesives and they still wouldn’t work to our specifications,” he said.

Seeking a solution, White turned to SATOP after hearing about the program from the Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. White decided to ask the program for help by filing a Request for Technical Assistance (RTA).

SATOP Texas Project Engineer David Braun paired White’s RTA with Ed Marin, engineering and programs manager at Composite Factory, Inc. (CFI), a SATOP Bronze level Alliance Partner.

Marin examined the materials used by Mosca Boats and researched adhesive options that would have utilized different bonding mechanisms. “During their assembly process, Mosca Boats was bonding several fiberglass composite parts together with the resin used to make the parts,” Marin said. “The challenge was to recommend an adhesive replacement that was strong, cost effective and timely.”

Understanding White’s need to control costs, Marin helped Mosca Boats gather research on the best suppliers of the adhesives they needed to use. “I first identified the polymer base, which allowed me to select two suppliers’ adhesive chemistries that would do the trick,” Marin said. “The adhesives were strong enough, but also had a variety of cure times that would meet Mosca Boats’ production goals.”

The suppliers identified the most appropriate adhesives, as well as provided the processes and procedures specific to their products. “This allowed everything to be tailored to Mosca Boats’ manufacturing process,” said Marin.

With SATOP’s assistance, Mosca Boats was able to contact the appropriate manufacturers and locate the proper materials needed to increase production and reduce manufacturing time.

“We’re very grateful for SATOP. If we hadn’t received their help, we would have been doing many tests and a lot of research on our own,” White said. “The program saved us valuable time and helped us speed up production. It’s wonderful how small companies can receive this type of assistance at no charge.”