A LABORATORY-BOAT FOR ECO-INNOVATIONS … IN A NUTSHELL
The innovations allowing recreational crafts to be energy self-sufficient, made out of recyclable materials and to treat wastewater on board, to explore the sea and the coastline, to take part in the knowledge of the oceans…are well under way to becoming a reality. Promising projects already exist. The Eco-Sailboat demonstrator will boost and bring to light the solutions which cannot emerge due to lack of funding.
As a laboratory bringing together fifteen businesses and five research centres along the French Atlantic coast, Eco-Sailboat also carries a message: the solutions which will allow us to live in harmony with the planet are also generators of employment and the key to ecological transition.
A LITTLE HISTORY
In 2010, a team bringing together researchers, industrialists, an architect and a navigator, developed the first craft made out of fully-biosourced composite materials. The NavEcoMat project resulting from the work of Université de Bretagne Sud gave birth to a canoe made of flax fibre and corn resin or potato resin.
The objective was to explore composite materials which could eventually replace the composite fibreglass – polyester resin, a composite used to make 80% of recreational crafts and for which no satisfactory end-of-life solutions exist.
ECO-SAILBOAT, AN INNOVATIVE COLLABORATIVE PROJECT
When they imagined the project Eco-Sailboat, Catherine Chabaud (involved in the NavEcoMat project, in the Oceans Initiative/Grenelle de la Mer, and today a member of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council) and Julian Stone ( co-founder of the EcoNav network, expert in nautical sustainable development), they combined a dream and an industrial approach.
The dream is to create this eco-designed, eco-navigating, eco-exploring laboratory-boat, and to one day see it sail on the sea, proud to boost the dynamics of the nautical sector in developing eco-innovations.
The industrial approach is an innovative, collaborative project bringing together about twenty businesses and research centres, labelled by two Competitiveness Clusters, winner of the Investments for the Future.
The Dream Team of Eco-Sailboat! – For a full list of the consortium members, please see at the bottom of the page.
OUR DEVELOPED INNOVATIONS
For six years, Eco-Sailboat will bring together a consortium of 17 SMEs and 5 research centres, working to develop innovations belonging to seven groups of eco-technologies:
1. An eco-designed sailboat
- end-of-life is planned from the inception,
- end-of-life analysis of each innovation, but also of the boat as a whole
- developing an eco-design tool for recreational crafts
- intuitive and ergonomic design to facilitate and make sailing and walking around the boat safer, especially for persons with reduced mobility.
2. Renewable energies
- a hydrogenerator integrated to the hull to increase the production of energy under sail,
- intelligent system of management and control of onboard energy to maximize consumption depending on the real needs, and to encourage responsible choices,
- cruise- specific battery system to increase storage capacity,
- routing software to maximize sail performance and the energy dedicated to propulsion,
- low-consumption autopilot.
3. Sailboat propulsion
- high-efficiency electric propulsion system,
- innovative wing sail derived from the wings in the America’s Cup, to increase sail efficiency,
- a traction kite adapted to recreational crafts to increase sail performance.
- materials are selected depending on their recyclability (biocomposites, aluminium),
- development of high-performance biocomposites adapted to a sea environment for the deck and interior design, and bio-compostable at end-of-life,
- biocomposite fittings (furlers, pulleys),
- biosourced riggings, recyclable at end-of-life
5. Waste and effluents
- 100% biodegradable antifouling paint,
- onboard package compactor,
- onboard wastewater treatment system.
6. Onboard safety
- man over board detection and geolocation system,
- life jacket of the future, maximising user survival
7. Oceanographic sensor
- autonomous oceanographic data sensor, which allows the collection of quality data without constraints, directly transferred to and exploited by Ifremer (French Institute for Research and Exploitation of the Sea).
Copyright : Marc Van Peteghem
AN AMBASSADOR FOR MARITIME SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Along with the development of these eco-innovations, Eco-Sailboat will be an ambassador for the sustainable development of maritime activities, especially through three missions:
1. Raising awareness of eco-navigation and participative science: in order to promote more respectful navigation and environmental practices, awareness campaigns will be carried out by Eco-Sailboat; oceanographic data collection operations, essential to science, will be undertaken thanks to an autonomous data sensor fixed on the hull. These operations will also promote participative science, applied to the marine environment and will encourage eco-volunteering in this field.
2. Acting to promote eco-innovations: at first during the development of eco-innovations, then thanks to a tour of international trade shows and nautical events to promote the eco-technologies and show both their economic and environmental interests.
3. Sailing trips and scientific missions: in order to promote the sustainable development of maritime activities, Eco-Sailboat will carry out sailing trips around the world (tour of the Protected Marine Areas and tour of the French islands to promote overseas maritime activities development).