Ecoracer 769 innovation, performance and environmental sustainability.

Ecoracer 769 by Northern Light Srl wins the second edition of the Design Innovation Award at the 61st Genoa Boat Show, for the category Sailing vessels up to 10 meters.

A boat with an innovative design built with environmental sustainability criteria for these reasons was awarded by the Jury.

Ecoracer769 is a sailboat built with Nl Comp (Northern Light Composites) technology or recyclable material to save the sea and win races in an ecological and sustainable way.

The boat was made from 100% linen fiber and a newly designed resin, all recyclable “green” material that does not produce pollution both in its processing phase and in that of destruction or disposal.

Northern Light Composites, is an Italian company, which has finally found a serious and definitive solution to the fiberglass problem.

It is a startup made up of young people with a passion for sailing and materials technologies who have decided to commit themselves to the defense of the sea.

“This boat is the result of months of work in the laboratory and in the design phase, with infusion tests on the small ecoprimus dinghy, material tests and difficult choices given the uniqueness of the construction technology”. 

The NL Comp managers to which they belong declare: Fabio Bignolini as operational director; head of the financial office Piernicola Paoletti; technical director Andrea Paduano; designer of the water lines Matteo Polli; Mattia Sconocchia and Alessandro Pera engineering personnel of the structures; designer of the deck plan Gianluca Salateo; director of the production phases Roberto Baraccani; optimization of the Roberto Spata project.

In this regard Piernicola Paoletti Head of the financial office and co-founder of the young startup has released the following communication:

“We have studied, tested and developed a composite material with fibers of vegetable origin (mainly linen), made thanks to innovative and sustainable technologies, which allows the recycling of boats. We called it rComposite. It is the seed for a new circular economy in yachting ”.

Over the middle of the last century, the production of boats for pleasure boating was still an artisanal activity that used almost exclusively wood. Fiberglass has revolutionized the production of pleasure boats by transforming an artisanal production into an industrial one.

Fiberglass is definitely a composite material, made up of fiberglass and resin, which has considerable mechanical characteristics, including excellent strength, elasticity and lightness.

For these characteristics, it has been used for over 50 years to build hulls for both sailing and motor boats.

In 1967 Swan with its 36-foot sailboat designed by one of the most famous naval and yacht architecture studios of all time, the American studio Sparkman & Stephens in New York was one of the first shipyards in the world to use this material at the time. innovative for his first Swan that immediately impressed with his skills at sea.

Unfortunately, fiberglass is a material that is difficult to dispose of and recycle and so today we are faced with a serious problem because there are thousands of boats that must be scrapped in full compliance with the rules which is also the most logical and responsible choice towards ‘environment.

Let’s say right away that today the total cost to demolish a fiberglass sailboat with a size between 10 and 12 meters in length in Italy is around 6,500 euros, including taxes, disassembly tax stamps and transport of the fiberglass to the disposal plants. authorized.

First you need to ask the Harbor Master’s Office for authorization for the scrapping of the boat to then obtain the cancellation from the boat register.

Subsequently, the disassembly works will have to begin at a specialized construction site, the cost of which is around 1,100 euros per day. For a 36-foot (11-meter) boat it takes 2 to 3 days for this activity. Excluding wood and metals, at least 4,000 or 5,000 kg of fiberglass remain to be loaded and transported to authorized disposal plants.

Fiberglass is classified as special waste, the cost of disposing of fiberglass today is around 450 euros per ton. This is why to avoid demolition costs, unfortunately, many fiberglass boats are often abandoned in construction sites, in ports or even taken offshore and sunk with negative consequences on marine fauna and flora. However, there is the possibility of reducing costs, for example by selling separately the engine, sails, masts, instruments, and everything that is marketable or by recovering the metals and selling them separately: from a medium-sized boat. you can get from 1,500 to 2,000 euros.

However Ecoracer769 was not built only to be the first sustainable alternative in the world to fiberglass but aims to win races nothing to envy to other similar boats for reliability and performance. The shaft and the fin and rudder structures were made of aluminum and steel, while the motor is electric, these choices were also made in the name of sustainability. Ecoracer769 is 7.69 meters (25 feet) long and 2.80 meters (9 feet) wide and weighs only 1,100 kg (2,445 lbs) has a sail area of ​​42 sq m upwind and 100 sq m downwind, the draft 1.80 meters (6 feet). 

It was designed with a particular reverse bow, already seen on some latest generation superyachts and racers, as well as motorboat-inspired spray rails and with the very advanced position of the rudder, all details studied by the designer Matteo Polli, who comments as follows :

“On this boat we pushed on the accelerator of innovation in different areas from the materials but also in the shapes of the hull and in the lay-out of the appendages”.

In addition to the choice of eco-sustainable construction materials, one of the objectives of Northern Light Composites is to avoid all processes that impact on the health of the builders: it was therefore chosen to make the composite in vacuum infusion and to avoid all painting activities, using films for the external coating. Finally, Ecoracer 769 undertakes to collect the boat at the end of its use, taking care of the recovery activities to create new components with the recycled materials obtained.

Attention to the criteria of sustainability towards the environment must become a collective and distinctive commitment to innovation in all sectors.