Please select your home edition
Edition
Lloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px1 TOP

Northern Light Composites presents the first eco-sustainable dinghy

by Fabio Bignolini 9 May 2020 23:49 PDT
ecoPrimus © Fabio Bignolini

Sustainability and innovation are at the heart of Northern Light Composites (nlcomp) project, an Italian startup born from the passion for the sea and sailing of the three founders - Fabio Bignolini, Chief Operations Officer, Piernicola Paoletti in the role of Chief Financial Officer, and Andrea Paduano, Chief Technical Officer. The company, which puts a lot of efforts in research and development of natural fibers and recycled materials for the construction of pleasure yachts, was created as a spinoff of Northern Light Sailing Team, a sailing association based in Trieste with notable results in international offshore regattas (among others, they won the ORC European Championship in 2016 and podium at ORC Worlds 2018). Their sailing skills merge perfectly with the know-how of ex-university students, already involved in the construction of sustainable skiffs within the 1001 Vela Cup, a challenge between universities from all over Italy.

Given the emergency situation that Italy is experiencing, nlcomp has decided to make an online presentation for its first project: the construction of an eco-sustainable dinghy called "ecoPrimus". The small 'optimist-like' boat, designed in 2016 by Hungarian designer David Bereczki for sailing schools and the first racing steps of young sailors, offers nlcomp team a great platform to work with: the design meets their requirements, the moulds are ready-made and immediately available.

Their new dinghy proudly stands on the shoulders of its gigantically successful ancestor, the Optimist - while providing some modern new features and a new generation recycling concept. The 2.42 meters long boat is 100% built with natural fibers, has a recycled core and a new type resin that allows the boat to be fully recycled. The concept is giving life to a brand-new circular economy in the nautical sector. Furthermore, the technology behind the project aims to solve one of its biggest problems - the abandoned fiberglass boats at the end of their lives lying around on construction sites, in ports or in the countryside. Thanks to natural fibers and eco-sustainable resins, the startup therefore aims to revolutionize the nautical pleasure sector with technological innovations, reuse of raw materials and reduction of waste.

The members of nlcomp team are the designer Matteo Polli, who takes care of the water lines, Matteo Sconocchia and Alessandro Pera are responsible for the structure engineering, Gianluca Salateo is the head of the deck plan and Roberto Baraccani follows the production phases with his experience.

While waiting for the times in Italy to allow the first dinghy tests, the team is already working on their next prototype, belonging to the "ecoracer" series. More information about this first full natural fiber sportboat will be released in mid May.

"It is a truly unique technological and entrepreneurial challenge," says Fabio Bignolini, COO. "We are looking forward to testing the first prototypes at sea, as soon as the situation allows. We are working with great commitment, both in the laboratory for the eco-dinghy construction, as well as on the planning phase of our first "ecoracer" sportboat, which will be signed by one of the best naval designers in offshore sailing, Matteo Polli."

"Our goal is to bring new innovative and eco-sustainable solutions to pleasure boating," says Piernicola Paoletti, CFO of the project. "We have put together a young, commited and very competent team that is putting all-in in this fundamental start-up phase."

"This is a truly unique project that requires lots of material testing and technologies development," says Andrea Paduano, CTO. "The university experiences allow us to start with good data and I am sure that, together with the team of engineers, we will succeed in developing new composites that are revolutionary and very interesting for the market. The first dinghy prototype has already been successfully built in our laboratory and we're now waiting to perform the sea trials, hopefully in June."

Related Articles

2022 GKA preliminary event schedule
We're stoked to have some awesome events lined up We're stoked to have some awesome events on the schedule in 2022. Despite ever-evolving global challenges, the GKA celebrated an awesome 2021 season. Posted today at 10:12 am
C-foils to be fitted to Nexans - Art & Fenêtres
In refit since December with foils acquired from Alex Thomson Racing In refit since December, Fabrice Amedeo's monohull is undergoing a complete transformation as she's equipped with C-shaped foils. Posted today at 7:42 am
49th BVI Spring Regatta - Charter and race
Sailors from around the world are looking to come back to the British Virgin Island and race Many of sailors from around the world are looking to come back to the British Virgin Island and race. For those who don't own their own boat, there is a wide selection of race boats to charter depending on what crews are looking for. Posted on 21 Jan
Ryan Finn sets off on solo journey to San Fran
The current record for this trip is 81 days, and Ryan plans on making it in just 70 days! Ryan began his solo journey to San Francisco via Cape Horn on Tuesday, January 18th. He will be attempting the word record for the fastest single handed route to San Francisco. Posted on 21 Jan
RORC Transatlantic Race Day 14
The 15 teams still racing have seen a rapid rise in boat speed The latest teams to finish the RORC Transatlantic Race are Volvo 70 HYPR (ESP) skippered by Jens Lindner and Halvard Mabire's ORC50 GDD (FRA) racing Two-Handed with Miranda Merron. Posted on 21 Jan
Winter favourites the Zhik Team rely on
The Full Zip Fleece jacket is a must have mid-layer Made from 100% recycled polyester fibres, the Full Zip Fleece jacket is a must have mid-layer for all Dee Caffari's sailing and outdoor activities. Posted on 21 Jan
RORC Transatlantic Race - I Love Poland video
The VO70 team is composed of young talented Polish sailors Skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski, the team is composed of young talented Polish sailors. OBR Robert Hadjuk's great imagery shows what it's really like to race across the Atlantic in a Volvo 70. Posted on 21 Jan
Entries open for Cowes Week 2022
The team are excited about plans for this year's event Cowes Week Ltd (CWL) is delighted to announce that entries for Cowes Week 2022 will open at noon today, with Super Early Bird discounts available until 18 February. Posted on 21 Jan
ILCA NZ Nationals - Day 2: Saunders and Armit lead
Three races were sailed on Day 2 of the ILCA 6 and 7 NZ Championships from the Queen Charlotte YC Three races were sailed on Day 2 of the ILCA 6 and 7 NZ Championships from the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club, Picton. There was no change to the ILCA7 overnight leaderboard, with current World Champion Tom Saunders, posting two wins and a second. Posted on 21 Jan
West Marine US Open Series heads to Miami
49er, 49erFX, Open 470, Nacra 17, iQFoil, Open Windfoil and Finn classes competing The second stop of the West Marine US Open Sailing Series opens this weekend, January 21-23, at US Sailing Center Miami. Current and former Olympic class boats will be on display, including 49er, 49erFX, 470, Nacra 17, iQFoil, Open Windfoil and Finn. Posted on 21 Jan
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERCoast Guard Foundation FOOTER 2Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 004 gif Bottom