Environmental Design

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by gdoug, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. gdoug
    Joined: Mar 2012
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 4, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 51
    Location: Stuart FL

    gdoug GD

    In 2011 US and global carbon emissions hit a record high. Effects of human activity and climate change on the enviornment are grossly obvious. Arctic ice is melting at measurable accelerated rates that exceed any in history (by hundreds of thousands of years). The increase in ocean levels is forcing several small pacific island nations to perminately evacuate and relocate to Fiji. Coral reefs around the globe are are dying at accelerated rates, 30% of sea birds such as albatross have become endangered or extinct whitin tge past 100 years, warmer oceans have allowed jellyfish populations to EXPLODE, which is a threat to fisheries, even our drinking water is killing us due to acid rain, chemical run off from agriculture, and chemicals added at treatment plants.
    As boaters and designers I would hope that most of us are environmentally aware. I would hate for your clients to have cancel a weeks vacation on Nantucket because the harbor flooded.
    Anyway to the point of all this:
    As designers, builders, marketers, and entopeniors in this industry what are you going to do about it? Do you feel a responsibility to do anything? What will it take for boating to go green?
    I'm after bigger fish than 10 square foot of solar panels and tiny windmills can fight. Those are good practices for sailers a and maybe a small electric boat, but they are useless on powerboats. The amount of power they generate is trivial compared to the energy burned.
    My single engine 21' Contender burns 10 gal/ hr at 30mph. That's 3.3 miles/gallon. That's a Mac truck. That's a small single engine boat.
    50-60 footers burn 80-100 gal/hr at cruise.
    I don't see how to physically solve this problem. I see the root cause being our cultures philosophy that bigger & faster is better when really, it's not. Who do we address this?

    Another MAJOR environmental dilemma is construction. The chemicals used and by products of boat building are hazardous. You know that "New Boat Smell"? It's styrene. It's in Gelcoat. It's the sweet smell we all love so much. In 2011 the US government added Styrene to it's list of known carcinogens.
    Vacume bagging cuts down on waste, but chimicals are still pumped into the air.
    Resins, epoxies, close cell foams, and fiberglass don't corrode. At least cars rust can be melted down and recycled. Materials used to build boats are a onetime use item. You ever wonder why boat sales are down? It's not just because of the economy. Since fiberglass doesn't degrade quickly people can own boats that are 20-30 years old. And they do. Your potential clients already have boats. And if they don't they have nowhere to put one if they did because there's a 1988 SeaRay sitting in it's slip. In a way we're killing our own craft.

    How do we recycle a boat?
    How do we make a hull out of recycled materials?
    When are going to focus on the process and the materials, rather then the 1/2 knot adding rocker got us? (carbon fiber is not the answer)
    When will the industry be conscious of these things?
    This is what you need to market as a boat company. This is what has not been done.
    The world is changing and as designers and engineers it is our responsibity to keep up.
  2. J Feenstra
    Joined: Jan 2012
    Posts: 79
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    Location: The Netherlands

    J Feenstra Junior Member

    The problem with boats is that they dont have that much rules as cars. They don't have to go to check ups every years, and every amateur with enough free time and duck tape can mend theyre boats
  3. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The construction process is becoming more environmentally friendly...the marketing and design part is still dominated by heavy powerful wasteful craft.

    Its completely possible to design efficient modern boats...you just need the clients.

    We just upgrade one of our rental berths...When orignally built the 30 meter berth had 32 amp power...then upgraded to 64 amp...now we are upgrading to one hundred amps.

    And its still not enough.

    Most of the mess yachts make is at the dock..house services.
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