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Yachting industry has a long way to go

The first Sustainability Seminar held during the 2024 Palm Beach International Boat Show has sought to inform and educate the yachting industry on environmental steps and initiatives being implemented.

The seminar was hosted jointly by SeaKeepers Society, the Water Revolution Foundation, and Ethical Yacht Wear,

“We have a lot of work to do in this industry,” said Robert van Tol, executive director of the Water Revolution Foundation. “But everything is about collaboration. We all need to collaborate to tackle the environmental impact throughout the entire industry.”

And he said several initiatives are currently underway with leading yacht builders including which include the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index, a joint industry project centred around data sharing and collective research with the goal for effectively measuring the impact that large yachts have on the environment.

One of the boatbuilders taking part includes Heesen Yachts which has developed its BlueNautech program. This focuses on each area of its large yacht construction from the sustainability perspective, from hull and propulsion efficiency to energy savings, sustainable operations like electric-powered tenders, recycling and alternative materials and sustainable production methods.

Technology

The boatbuilder operates on the premise that less weight equals less displacement which lends itself to hull efficiency and forms the foundation of its aluminium construction methods, patented Backbone hull design and other developments including Hull Vane technology.

The Water Revolution Foundation has also established Environmental Crew Guidelines as a checklist for consumption mitigation actions crew can take as well as ocean mapping efforts to track and record marine mammal living and breeding grounds.

Andrew Doole, president of the US Boat Shows division of Informa Markets – manager of the Palm Beach International Boat Show – explained how the show is encouraging sustainability and recycling.

The show has also established a Give-Back Fund to provide grants for environmental programmes.

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