Thanks to a Dutch start-up company and raw materials from Norsk Hydro ASA, a luxury sailing yacht made almost entirely of circular materials will soon be gracing harbors around the world.
The makers of the Vaan R4 catamaran say it is the world’s most sustainable luxury yacht, making it a radical departure from the norm in the boating industry. According to Hydro, each year sees an average of 78,000 boats scrapped in Europe alone, most of which are burned, releasing significant quantities of CO2 in the process. A mere 3 percent of all discarded boats are dismantled and recycled each year.
“One of the biggest industry challenges today is that many of the products designed and produced are too difficult or expensive to take apart and recycle when they are no longer in use,” explained Marijn Rietveld, Hydro’s Director Offshore and Marine. “We are proud to work with a visionary company like Vaan to address these challenges, and to contribute to the first recyclable yacht, which is built with our 75 percent recycled aluminium.”
The Vaan R4 is made almost entirely of circular materials that can be recycled at the end of the boat’s useful life. Among the innovations that made this possible is the use of Hydro’s 75R alloy, which is composed of a minimum of 75 percent recycled aluminium. The R4 represents the first time the 75R alloy has been used for a strictly maritime purpose, with each unit utilizing up to 7,000 kgs of extruded and rolled sheet aluminium.
“The yacht industry is quite a traditional industry where sustainability is not a top priority, which is why we wanted to make a luxury yacht with no negative impact to the environment,” noted Igor Kluin, founder and CEO of Vaan. “Developing a truly circular solution requires collaboration along the entire value chain. Hydro’s expertise has been invaluable in making this a truly circular product with recycled aluminium.”
The R4, which will be available for preorder this month, features several other natural materials, including the silk alternative lyocell, a plant-based leather substitute, cork, linen, and certified wood.