The Ultimate Boat Company is racing ahead with its revolutionary sustainable material, DANU, as the composite material of choice for its mixed double-handed offshore keelboat aimed at Paris 2024 Olympics.
Author: Jamie Moran
DANU is the patented and recyclable composite material developed by The Ultimate Boat Company (UBC). Together, with a world-renowned team of naval architects, sailing world champions and elite offshore race winners they have developed the ‘Olympic 32’ sailing yacht for the inaugural double-handed offshore keelboat event. They remain optimistic that it will feature in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants sustainability to be a critical aspect of the Paris 2024 Olympics. The Paris 2024 Olympics will be the first ever carbon neutral games. World Sailing, the governing body of sailing sport worldwide has led the way with its own Sustainability Agenda which will require 90% of the weight of an Olympic boat needs to be recyclable by 2028. If selected, UBC’s ‘Olympic 32’ sailing yacht will be the first composite racing yacht to achieve this stipulation – and it will do it in time for 2024.
UBC has partnered with the internationally renowned French design house, Finot-Conq Architectes, and with world-renowned offshore yachtsman, Mike Golding OBE on this exciting project. UBC, the UK start-up, has invested heavily in the development of its DANU composite material over the last few years to ensure that it can be incorporated into the yacht’s design and engineering ahead of its showcase on the world’s stage of Olympic Sailing.
The concept completely reimagines the standards for double-handed offshore yacht racing and superior performance through innovative design, naval architecture and UBC’s innovative DANU composite material, reinforcing its position as the ultimate low impact and circular boat manufacturer.
This keelboat will feature a scow bow, and David de Prémorel from Finot-Conq said, “This racing yacht has been specifically designed for the inaugural mixed double-handed offshore keelboat event at the Olympics. It has been developed to be super-fast upwind and downwind. Which will make this event as engaging and exciting for spectators to watch as it will be for the competitors to sail.”
Mike Golding OBE said, “One cannot help be excited about a start-up project whose passion is all about being the best. DANU will revolutionise yacht building and indeed all industries that employ composite. Our world urgently needs to find more sustainable and circular solutions, and DANU represents a major step forward. The technical qualities of DANU could only be matched with an equally uncompromising yacht design from Finot- Conq. The ‘Olympic 32’ is a one design yacht that’s 100% dedicated to double-handed offshore sailing, it will appeal to Olympic sailors who demand the best, most exciting equipment as well as the organisers World Sailing and the International Olympic Committee who have huge ambitions to advance sport sustainability. This can be a perfect union – it’s the Olympic Spirit in action!”
This new keelboat will be built from a sustainable, super-tough composite called DANU. Named after the earth-mother goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann, it takes its strength from the earth. It uses the same infusion production method as glass and carbon fibre but is stronger and lighter than glass fibre and less brittle than carbon fibre.
DANU is comprised of a combination of styrene-free resin and sustainable fibres. UBC started the development of DANU when the lack of an ‘end of life’ solution for yachts and powerboats became a growing concern. In response, the DANU composite material has been developed to be sustainable and circular, as well as, being stronger and lighter than conventional glass fibre.
UBC has dedicated considerable effort to ensuring that the production method closely resembles conventional vacuum infusion yacht building. This has the added advantage of reducing production waste and requires less raw material. Plus, switching production to DANU incurs minimal manufacturing process changes and zero incremental labour costs – making it an immediate and affordable alternative.
The core material used in DANU is natural. At end of life, the constituent components can be reversed to their virgin state without losing any technical properties. Most crucially though, this game changing, sustainable composite material maintains its technical properties and strength after each recycle. No other recyclable option currently available on the market can achieve this feat!
This all means that every UBC boat is designed with the circular economy and sustainability without compromise in mind; constructed to last a lifetime; but also built in a way that they can be completely re-cycled, upcycled or re-manufactured should the need arise.
Jeroen Wats, UBC’s Technical and Innovation Director, who has been the driving force behind DANU, said, “Offshore racing is my life, but the ecology of the sea and marine environment is my passion. This project was born out of a desire to make a difference to a growing environmental issue but also to demonstrate that in addition to its sustainability, DANU delivers numerous advantages in performance. DANU is lighter and has much less flexibility that GRP. This translates to less energy lost and higher performance, which remains our ultimate objective on this project.”
UBC has been granted a license to manufacture with DANU by its patent-holder Exo Technologies, the next-gen development and investment company. Rear Admiral Michael Silah (Ret.), Co-Founder of Exo Technologies said, “We are truly excited to partner with The Ultimate Boat Company to create the world’s first circular, low impact racing yacht and to be in a position to put this innovative concept forward to the International Olympic Committee. We share their passion for sustainability and believe that we have come up with the perfect solution for the inaugural double-handed offshore keelboat event.”