The designers point of view
Francesco Struglia, the Italian designer that has recently signed the Azimut Verve 47, points out that
“From a more stylistic point of view, I believe that shipowners and builders, have evolved in recent years a taste that is perfectly compatible with a clean and sustainable design.
This can facilitate a search for efficiency without being trapped in complex and obsolete aesthetic. I think it is only a matter of going beyond the point beyond which the reliability and effective usability of these technologies will overcome the caution with which shipowners are approaching this world.” A great news: the design evolution is in line with the efficiency improvement required for a greener boating. To understand the point raised by Francesco regarding the inertia of the customers we need to go back to the Truls paper. In the chapted named Consumer Psychology Truls says:
This brings us to the phycological aspect: people tend to want to buy something new but not so new that it is unfamiliar. The term MAYA (Most Advanced Yet Acceptable) say something about this consumer behavior. The man behind this term Raymond Lowey lived by this, and he believed that “The adult public’s taste is not necessarily ready to accept the logical solutions to their requirements if the solution implies too vast a departure from what they have been conditioned into accepting as the norm.” (designbyben, 2012)
The consumer looks to something typical of a product category.When looking back on those products, it reduces the risk of the unknown, but at the same, it is important to overcome boredom. (Hakkert, 2006)
This is linked to the research of the equilibrium mentioned in the precedent chapter.
– sun concept CAT 12.0 –
The green boats are beginning to be noticed in many design awards as well, for example X-shore recently won Peoples’ Choice Award in the Swedish Design Festival and last year they won the German Design Award.
The Portuguese Sun Concept received the Green Good Design Award in 2019 thanks to its CAT 12.0.
The company has been developing and the CAT 12.0 was launched last year in two separete versions ( Cruise and Lounge) following the success of the SunSailer 7.0.
Let’s see another solar-powered boat, conceived in a mono-hull configuration.
– Freepower , solar boat by Bjurtech –
Martin Bjurmalm, CEO of Bjurtech explains
“A common discussion when talking about obstacles or downsides when shifting from fossil fueled boats to electric boats is the lack of infrastructure. It won’t be a major problem to set up charging stations in the big marinas but what about remote or rural areas?
What the debate doesn’t bring up so often is that the root problem stil exist – you are forced to hook up with a physical outlet and stay tied up until batteries are recharged.
The Freepower Solar boat by Bjurtech aims to solve this issue:
One of the unique benefits with the Freepower solution is that the boat charges all the time during daylight.
The boat can operate anywhere on the planet. This eliminates the need of an electric charging infrastructure. The boat suits perfectly in rural and remote areas where even fossil fuel supplies are difficult to find. One nice feature is that we have attached to the hull four lifting lugs so it’s possible to lift it with an helicopter.
Then you have a floating power station that can power up and charge other electronic equipment”
– electric catamaran by Francesco Struglia –
Struglia goes on exploring how a correct design can contribute to the environmental issues: In addition to the researches related to electric and hybrid motorization, it is interesting to notice how in contemporary boats the outdoor spaces are increasing, reducing the cubic volume of closed volumes, thanks to clean and elegant solutions such as manual curtains.
This leads to a significant reduction in the material used to build the boats, and a lower energy consumption for the air conditioning of closed spaces.
Lower energy consumption and less materials required for the construction. But, what happens to the materials used for the construction at the end of the boat life? Going further, which are the new challenges?
A small recap: until now we have seen many leitmotif. The importance of the technical evolution of the battery, the infrastructure, the willingness of the customer to help the environment and the need to correctly educate them on the subject. The eco friendly motorization is a good starting point, but the new challenges towards a greeer boating will be represented by the material chosen for the construction and their recycling or disposal.
The ecological footprint of the electric motors, during the usage, is reduced, but thinking about the end of life of the whole product will become the real challenge for the future. Francesco explains:
I am aware of some experiments related to the application of alternative fibers for the construction of composites, but I fear it is still difficult to dispose most of the construction materials. Until we will find a solution with good performance, affordable cost and good sustainability, I believe that designers can do their part with good design, optimizing the quantities of material used for construction. Even thinking about the modularity of the product can be an excellent contribution to the environmental cause. With this in mind I point out two projects.The first is an interesting proposal called “Kubo”, by Pamela Campioni and Alessia Altamura In this project the molds are optimized in a modular logic.The second is a research I did on the possibility of navigating the Tiber river, for which I had proposed a boat made up of sections derived from the same mold, in order to save materials and contain the investments.This type of solutions can also contribute to greater product longevity in the market, facilitating readjustments or evolutions, even after having used it for a few seasons.
The modularity solution can save materials, reduce costs and extend the lifecycle of the product.
Viktor Norstedt points out the existing difference between the national regulations and the need to find a common standard.
“Regarding the environmental life cycle assessment there is a lot of work to be done in the standardization before boat builders can present reliable and comparable numbers to boat buyers.
There is constant research to reduce the environmental footprint of the materials commonly used today. For example the use of cleaner energy during the production of aluminium and steel, less toxic resins and the use of recycled fibers in glass-fiber boats. Many effort are done in exploring alternative materials like the fully recyclable HDPE.
There are however two factors that makes the environmental lifetime assessment for any vessel complicated, they spell lifetime and recyclability. The lifetime is not linked only to the materials choosed for the construction, but depends on many factors, notably how many time the boat is used, for which purpose, in which condition and how many time it has been maintened. When the boat meets its final destiny, the outcome of the recycling process will depend on which country the scrapping has been performed.“
But, the most important thing is that the market is demanding more eco-friendly boats, and this drives innovation in our industry. This will lead to immediate environmental benefits for today boaters and for many generations of boaters to come!
– Hwila 25 –
Ronald Hagenaar did a lot of research into more sustainable boat building materials the last years. And he has noticed that
“there is not much knowledge about this in boatbuilding, and/or this is forgotten.
I Also pay attention to design and style, to good ergonomics, to efficiency, efficient building and construction, energy independence through solar panels, and carefully selecting the materials and their environmental impact.”
Those issue are relatively new, they have been addressed only in recent times, so “As this is an ongoing process, on one hand there is a lot of development ongoing process, and on the other hand it is a new chapter, which usually means , unfortunately, higher cost. And if a boat becomes too expensive it becomes hard to sell. My goal is to create awareness of every aspects of this process, and guide builders and customers in help them to make good choices. Those are the steps towards a more and more sustainable yachting, and making the owners happy and proud of their beautiful and clean boats.”
– 8,5 m Sloop by Queens Yacht Design –
When we asked Ronald his opinion regarding the end life of the materials he guided us in reframing our perspective.
How green a material is, is not defined by how well it can be recycled, that is only a part of it. It is a common mistake made by a lot of people.
The assestment to be done is an LCA: A Life Cycle Analysis.
That means assessing the ecologic impact of the material for the 3 life stages:
Production/creation, usage/maintenance, and at the end of life. An LCA is not a simple matter. It can have a very different outcome for a small boat or a superyacht, depending on a lot of factors. We tipped into the knowledge of Ronald and he presented us some papers and the conclusion of his reasearches. Comparing different materials he found that the composites scores better than steel and alluminium.
Based on my research and my knowledge, I choose composites.
Present benefits: Light, durable, suitable for series production, and a high freedom-of-form. Suitable for 3D design and 3D manufacturing of moulds by large milling machines.
Future benefits: I am confident that recycling of composites will strongly improve. And this is their weakest point in the LCA, so it makes them even more sustainable then. Also natural and biobased resins and fibres will be developed and improved. At the moment they are more difficult and costly to process than the common composites, unfortunately. But this will improve. Also they have excellent properties, equal or better than the oil-based composites. And last but not least: They are not harmful to the people working with them. Normal composites are.
From what we have seen so far we can say that electric motors will soon be part of our everyday boating. The path has already been undertaken and the technology development will foster the rising popularity of all the EV.
This last chapter wants to suggest where the new challenge lies: The adoption of materials that are greener in every phase of their life-cycle.
Green May, Green boats This has been our Instagram slogan for the past month. We decided it was time to do a full-month special on green boating, represented today by electric and solar powered boats. To underline this we temporary changed the color of our logo and inserted all the pics in a green template. We choosed the one named Pantone green paradise, the name itself is an hommage to our planet. This is the list of the boats featured during this month: – Pehn eVario 660
– Ocean Eco 90 – Alva Yachts & Henn Design
– My-Elégance S – my-electroboat
– Candela Seven – Candela Speed Boat
– Strana 7m electric boat
– Avon Jet eJet 450
– Soel Cuiser 11 – Soel Yachts
– X-Shore EELEX 8000
– Frauscher 740 Mirage Air
– Zin Boat Z2R
– Goldfish 23 eFusion
– Best 6.0 – Barchelettriche
– Hwila 25
– Electric Catamaran – Francesco Struglia Design – Titan W – Titan Yachts
– Luxi 35 – Cantiere Savona
– Caprice Classic – Henley sales and charter
– Bruce e22 – Canadian Eletric Boat
– Darth Craft
– Merione 22 LC
– Xouva 4.90
– Naumatech E-tender 460
– O-Yachts Class 6
– Free Power Solar Boat
– E-Hybrid 36 – Queens Yacht Design
– Electric Voyage – Evoy.no
– Budsin – Telescope 27
– Eco 900 Electric – Ecoline Seatechno
– Silent 55 – Silent Yachts
– Narke Eletrojet
– JP Green – Jp custom ribs
– Duna 6.1 – Duna Hajok
– Czeers Mk1 – Naval DC
– ZenPro 580 – Naviwatt
– Lex 790
– Edorado 8S
– Solar Ferry – Pivot Produckt design AS
– K-650 – Kaiser bootsmanufaktur
– GreenWaves 601
– Atender – Jachthaven Achterbos
– WIA 435 Hard Top – Elektromosyacht
– Flying Shark 5.7 Capri – Vtsboats
– Electric Elegance – Electric Marine
– Q30 – Q Yachts
– Elovation 6.8 – Ganz Boats
– Canard Yacht eMotion 36
Feel free to contact us to be featured in the next edition of the green month, green boats series.