The world’s first speedboat made with 100% natural fibres
Belgian start-up ECO2boats is currently building what will be the world’s first circular speedboat, made entirely of natural fibres, and unlike other classic boats, will not contain any fibreglass, plastic or wood.
While larger industrial ships are becoming increasingly more sustainable, in the pleasure boating industry, this is much less the case. In the EU alone, there are more than 5.5 million fibreglass boats. 99 per cent of them end up on the landfill or at the bottom of the sea.
Called the OCEAN 7, the boat will be made of Belgian material Ecomp, a composite that is as strong as plastic or fibreglass, but it only consists of natural materials like flax and basalt. The flax is locally grown, processed and woven locally. Because of these fibres, the bull of the boat only weighs 490 kg, as opposed to 1 ton of a traditional speedboat.
Another major difference between the new boat and traditional ones: typical fibreglass boats are very polluting, while the Ocean 7 is said to take 1 ton of CO2 out of the air thanks to the flax plants.
ECO2boats will also buy back old boats, grind the composite and remelt it into new applications like seats or tables. With a new especially developed epoxy glue, the boat should even be biodegradable in the future after a lifecycle of at least 50 years.
To fund the prototype of the speedboat, ECO2boats launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise 50,000 euros. The start-up aims to cross the English Channel with their boat in 2022.