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Technology and sustainability feature this week - MarineBusinessWorld North America newsletter

by Peter Rendle 23 Aug 2023 14:00 PDT
At the Casper landfill (USA), at least 870 blades are piled up in 30-foot-deep holes for burial © RCA Engineering

Last week, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) hosted the inaugural Boating Technology Day in Sacramento, with staff members of the California legislature and policy makers in attendance. The event kicked off at the March Fong Secretary of State Building with technology and policy presentations followed by on-water boating demonstrations by NMMA members. Full details on the event at the NMMA website.

We have received a report from RCA Engineering regarding the recycling of fiberglass. Composite materials or polymer matrix composites, due to their mechanical and chemical properties, are a type of material in full growth in sectors such as aeronautics, automotive, naval, high-level sports equipment, construction, etc. This has caused exponential growth in the consumption of these materials where it is estimated that by the year 2030 only in the EU, we should be able to recycle more than one million tons of composite materials. In order not to enlarge this problem the EU is legislating to promote a circular management of the waste generated.

We have deceived ourselves by believing in the use of green energies when in fact what we have done is to accumulate more waste. An example of this is the landfills that are being used to bury this type of material and hide it, given that the reality is that we are not getting rid of it. The same effect is happening with disused boats, where they are accumulated in landfills without being able to provide a recycling solution for these materials. It is also estimated that there are 12 million boats registered in the United States and 6 million in Europe, most of them fiberglass.

A 2007 report by the International Council of Marine Industry Associations estimates that a well-maintained fiberglass boat can easily last 50 years, during which time it is likely to change ownership several times. But "even the best-built vessel will someday have to end its life," the report notes.

At the 2023 International BoatBuilders' Exhibition & Conference (IBEX), running October 2-4 at the Tampa Convention Center, will be a special session focused on sustainability, titled The Carbon Conundrum. The program is intended to help marine professionals navigate current boatbuilding trends between more horsepower and efficient, alternative propulsion and hull design.

The session will feature a dynamic discussion with speakers including NMMA's Jeff Wasil, Jeffrey Bowles of DLBA Naval Architects, Marnix Hoekstra of Vripack Yacht Design, Martin Peters of Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit, and Augusto "Kiko" Villalon.

Sunstream® Boat Lifts, the leading manufacturer of high-quality free-standing and free-floating boat lifts and the SwiftShield™ Automatic Boat Cover System, announced today the company has completely reimagined what a cable boat lift should be. The first in a new range of cable boat lifts, the Sunstream Helix line, the new Helix-P piling lift combines unprecedented hydraulic speed with an attractive hidden cable lift structure and a sleek, modular power supply.

Helix delivers a refined aesthetic with easier boarding, increased reliability and safety, reduced noise and launching and lifting speeds as fast as 15 seconds.

From Europe, Swedish spar manufacturer Seldén Mast has launched Seldén Pro, an innovative new app designed to ensure all riggers, sailmakers, boat builders and designers have the most up to date technical information about its products and systems.

"As a manufacturer, communicating with the hands-on riggers, OEM commissioning teams, sailmakers and individuals who specify and install our extensive range of sail handling systems and deck hardware is challenging," says Steve Norbury, Managing Director of Seldén Mast in the UK. "Seldén Pro has been developed to improve communications, making them more inclusive using technology everyone is familiar with."

And finally, expansion news from Cruiser Yachts. Cruisers Yachts expands their global reach with three new international dealers. Martin Motor Sports located in British Columbia, Canada; Narval Marine situated in Panama; and Yucatan Seas in Yucatan, Mexico.

Dan Zenz, Vice President of Sales, comments, "We are very excited to partner with these dealers to help expand our global footprint. Our expansion to global markets these past years is a true testament to our brand and its reach. Together we look forward to providing excellent sales and service while growing the Cruisers Yachts brand in these markets."

Martin Motor Sports is headquartered in central Alberta, its parent company Martin Deerline has been around for more than 50 years, and Martin Motor Sports has been around for almost 20 years. They strive to be their customer's one-stop marine and recreation shop by providing 24-hour parts and service access, with highly trained and certified staff and well-vetted products.

More industry news at

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle -

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