THOMAS TISON AND NLCOMP® ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ECOFOILER.
THE HULL OF THE FIRST PROTOTYPE WAS UNVEILED AT THE JEC PARIS 2023.
Thomas Tison Yacht Design & Engineering will bring the America’s Cup expertise to the italian shipyard nlcomp®, proprietary of the rCompositeTM technology that allows for easy recycling of composite material at the end of the boat life. Together, they will develop the ecoFoiler, a 3.80m foiling dinghy made with recyclable materials, with a focus on sustainability and performance.
FOR SERIOUS SAILORS OF ALL LEVELS
The design of the ecoFoiler will make it easy to handle before and after take off, unlike other high performance foiling dinghies that can be challenging to sail and tend to fly very high. This feature makes it an ideal product for serious sailors of all levels, offering a thrilling sailing experience. The ecoFoiler caters to the needs of sailors who value superior design details, ease of use, and environmental sustainability.
Thanks to Thomas Tison’s expertise in designing some of the most advanced racing yachts and in composite engineering, and to NLComp’s expertise in the manufacturing of bio composites, the ecoFoiler weight will be comparable to its non-eco-friendly alternatives.
“While there are several foiling concepts in the market, the ecoFoiler is going to set the bar high. It will be the first production foiling dinghy to be designed with bio-composite materials, offering a refined, fast design that ensures ease of sailing.” said the designer.
SPIRIT OF PROGRESS AND INNOVATION
Last year, the French studio led by Thomas Tison launched a custom sailboat featuring a high-tech wooden hull and conducted research and a Life Cycle Assessment to measure the impact of its design on reducing the boat’s carbon footprint. The partnership with nlcomp® represents an opportunity to drive innovation also in the field of bio-composite materials. This collaboration embodies the same spirit of progress and innovation seen in the America’s Cup, now applied to sustainable construction.
“I’m glad to have the opportunity to work with nlcomp® as they are a passionate team and they are leading the way with their vision for sailing in a sustainable way. I am also looking forward to creating a product that contributes to the foiling movement : ease of use, respect for the environment, and the thrill of foiling on a refined design,” said Thomas Tison.
“Eco-composite and foiling projects are now reaching a wider audience. We will analyse and optimise every phase of the construction and production process to ensure that the ecoFoiler is accessible to a broad spectrum of sailors seeking the thrill of foiling with a minimal carbon footprint. Our goal is to transform this concept into a boat that can provide this unique experience to as many people as possible.”
DESIGNER, BUILDER AND SUPPLIERS WITH THE SAME AIM
The hull of the prototype and the mould (3d printed by Breton, using their Genesi machine and a recyclable thermoplastic polymer) of this project are ready, and were unveiled at the JEC in Paris, the world’s leading trade show for the composites industry. The team led by Thomas Tison will optimise the hull shape, develop the deck, the sailplan, and the foiling system to ensure optimal performance.
“We are really looking forward to collaborating with Thomas on this exciting project. I had been following his work for the past few years, and after meeting him at The Yacht Racing Forum, I immediately knew that he was the perfect partner to help us develop the ecoFoiler”
Said Fabio Bignolini, Co-founder & CEO of nlcomp®.
Nlcomp® previous project, the ecoracer25, already proved to the industry that sustainable performance is possible. In 2022, the world’s first recyclable sportboat won the Italian Sportboat championship held in Lake Garda against a fleet of forty fibreglass competitors.
In addition to the collaboration between Thomas Tison and nlcomp®, the EcoFoiler also benefits from partnerships with leading companies in sustainable materials and manufacturing.
Bcomp, for instance, is supplying Amplitex™ flax fibres, which are eco-friendly and have a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional fibreglass. Meanwhile, Arkema is providing the thermoplastic resins, which are recyclable, further reducing the environmental impact of the project. Breton, on the other hand, has manufactured the world’s first 3D printed recyclable mould for a sailing dinghy, showcasing the cutting-edge technology and innovation behind the ecoFoiler’s sustainable design.
These partnerships underscore the commitment of the ecoFoiler team to promoting sustainable practices and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the sailing industry.