• NauticExpo e-Magazine - #20 - Recovering Waste - NauticExpo e-Magazine
    April 19, 2018

    Your Monthly Dose of Nautical and Maritime Innovation


    Slashing Plastic Pollution

    Reinventing the Houseboat

    La Grande Motte is Back!

    Reducing Waste

    Dear readers,


    Did you know that by 2050, the oceans could contain more plastic than fish in the oceans? In order to raise awareness and offer solutions to prevent such a catastrophe, the vessel Race for Water, powered by a solar-hydrogen-wind energy mix, is on a bold five-year global circumnavigation.

    In this issue, you’ll read about the concept of houseboats which has been completely revisited with cutting-edge contemporary design, innovative eco features and an exceptional level of comfort. We also tested the more than pleasant Leopard 45 catamaran for you. And we went to La Grande Motte, where Europe’s largest multihull boat show is currently taking place, to find out about the latest trends and models. Enjoy!


    Celia Sampol, Editor-in-Chief


    Hot Topic
    Around eight million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the ocean annually. By 2050, they could contain more plastic than fish.
    The Race for ​Water vessel will raise awareness and offer solutions to prevent plastic waste from reaching waterways. (Courtesy of Race for Water)


    Unlike any other vessel afloat, and powered by a solar-hydrogen-wind energy mix, Race for Water is on a bold five-year global circumnavigation, backed by UN Environment, to raise awareness about the urgent need to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans.   Owned by the Swiss Race for Water Foundation (RWF), an...

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    Hot Topic
    These pioneering new models combine aesthetic appeal with high technology to meet the demands of modern lifestyle and leisure.
    Boathome has rethought the concept of the houseboat. (Courtesy of Boathome)

    Cutting-edge contemporary design, innovative eco features and exceptional levels of comfort—the houseboat has been reinvented for the 21st century.


    Much more than simply floating homes, these pioneering new models are on the water combining aesthetic appeal with high technology to meet the demands of modern lifestyle and leisure.

    Based in Portugal, nautical innovation company Friday has launched its striking Floatwing for those seeking an alternative to traditional on-board living. CEO Professor Fernando Seabra Santos explained: “It came from a desire to meet a growing need in people to move away from the day-to-day life of big cities and their willingness to engage in leisure activities, enjoy the weekend spirit and approach nature without giving up comfort.”

    Floatwing Portugal (Courtesy of Friday)

    The result was an electric motorized houseboat—6 m wide and 10 m to 18 m long—providing modularity, comfort, eco-consciousness, transportability, mobility and autonomy. 

    “Although separately these concepts are not new, taken together they result in a very innovative product: a floating house that produces up to 80% of all the energy it requires and reduces by 90% the organic load of its waste water.”

    Across the Globe

    Floatwing has a compact sludge wastewater treatment plant, equipped kitchen, heat pump and AC generator, barbecue, wine cellar and pellet stove. It has two small outboard motors and moves at a speed of five knots; when fully charged, it is self-sufficient for at least seven days.


    Although manufactured in Portugal, its modular design means its components can be stored in two standard containers and shipped across the world. “So far, we have completed six Floatwings—one in Portugal and the rest in Zanzibar (Tanzania), Beijing (China) and central France,” he said.

    “Each project is very different as the product is very customized. Costs depend on specific equipment and dimensions, but prices start at about €70,000 and can go up to €260,000 (plus about 20% for assembly).”

    Floatwing China (Courtesy of Friday)

    Based in Grosbliederstroff, France, newly launched Boathome has also rethought the concept of the houseboat. CEO Sarah Zins explained that her father, Guy Zins, a mechanical engineer with expertise in steel, and architect Tristan Fuhs put their prototype on the water 12 months ago.

    “Our goal was to find the perfect marriage between the freedom offered by a boat and the comfort offered by a house while proving it could also look beautiful and be sustainable and autonomous,” she said.

    Technology and Comfort

    Boathome’s electric boats can be inhabited all year round; they are made from recyclable materials and include features such as solar panels as well as marine heating and air conditioning systems functioning with water, pellet stoves and high-density insulation.

    Marriage between the freedom offered by a boat and the comfort offered by a house. (Courtesy of Boathome)

    There are also energy-saving household appliances and water purification and sewage treatment systems that leave waterways clean. Batteries can be recharged by solar panels, as well as on-shore power outlets, but the boats have an electrical 18 kW generator as a backup.

    “The boats are 100% autonomous with energy and water,” she said. “Technology and comfort are important, but so are aesthetics. What makes us different from other manufacturers is the contemporary look, with lots of space, high ceilings and natural light.”

    “Our architect pays attention to every single detail to make the boats look beautiful, on the outside and on the inside.”

    Floating New Ideas

    Boathome offers four different models: from 44 sq m to 71 sq m for the motorized version, and up to 135 sq m for floating houses without motors. Costs range from about €180,000 up to about €400,000 (including 20% TVA tax), depending on the specification of the finish.



    Boathome is working on several projects with potential clients, including floating houses in France and Germany; a floating co-working space in Nantes and a floating restaurant in Dubai.

    “Boathome is a big project and each big project takes time—but I think we are on the right track and that we will sign our first orders within the coming months,” Ms. Zins said. “If we can help people to realize their dream to live on the water then that is all we ask for.”


    Read more about Houseboats on NauticExpo website.

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    Boat Trials
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    Leopard 45 sailing (Courtesy of Leopard Catamarans)

    Cruising catamarans are the fastest growth category because of their general liveability. The Leopard 45 is a good example of this.   Leopard catamarans are prolific boats with more than 1,500 launched during the 26-year history of the South Africa-based company. A major reason for their prolificacy is the charter...

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    Monica Hutchings

    Monica Hutchings is a Canadian writer and translator who has worked on everything from technical descriptions to academic journals. She is also our in-house English translator.

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    Abigail Saltmarsh

    Abigail Saltmarsh is a freelance journalist with 25 years’ experience for national magazines (The New York Times, International Herald Tribune).

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    Kevin Green

    Kevin Green is a Sydney-based yachting journalist who contributes to international boating publications.


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    Celia Sampol

    Celia Sampol has been a journalist for 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national medias (Agence France Presse, Liberation). She’s the editor-in-chief of NauticExpo e-magazine.

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    Tony Slinn

    Formerly editor-in-chief of IHS Maritime, Tony Slinn is an independent maritime journalist.

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