Northern Light Composites – based in Monfalcone, Italy – have recently introduced a sustainable and recyclable dinghy for sailing schools and young sailors. NL Composites and their Ecoprimus received an honourable mention as part of the Design Innovation Award during the Genoa Boat Show.
Recyclable Dinghy with Sustainable Materials
The Ecoprimus dinghy is made from flax fibre composites and recycled PET core materials. Arkema’s novel Elium resin allows the boat to be easily recyclable at the end of its lifetime. The thermoplastic resin can be separated from the fibres and completely recycled to create new resin. The flax fibres are locally grown in Europe and allow to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the boat when compared to conventional glass or carbon fibres.
Thanks to the innovative construction, the dinghy is completely recyclable at the end of its life and the flax fibres and resin can be reused for the construction of new non-structural parts.
About their honourable mention at the Genoa Boat Show, Fabio Bignolini – Project Manager at nlcomp – says: “It is a truly great feeling to be awarded here at the Boat Show together with shipyards of international standing. It is a great opportunity for our start-up: in the coming weeks we will start a promotional campaign to show the Ecoprimus to sailing clubs and spread awareness for sustainability and respect for the environment with the young people who are approaching sailing.”
A New Circular Yacht Economy
The marine start-up from Italy is looking to change the yacht economy. One of the biggest issues of the nautical sector consists of boats that have reached the end of their life on water. Boat hulls made from glass and carbon fibre composites typically end up being abandoned on construction sites, ship graveyards or in the countryside. Northern Light Composites is looking to introduce a new circular economy to the yacht sector.
The use of 100% flax fibres, recycled core materials and a completely recyclable resin system result in a new and sustainable way to build sailing boats. Not only do these materials result in a reduced CO2 footprint of the boats cradle-to-gate but also allow for completely new end-of-life options.