TALKING POINT on IBISustainability or boating?
“Navigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse” was probably proclaimed by Pompeius Magnus before Christ - and he is, of course, still right. What would life be without boats!
During the lifetime of this wisdom, however, the horizon of the seafarer and thus also of the boating enthusiast has broadened considerably. Magnus argued more with Caesar on domestic policy than he did about sustainability. In ancient times there were virtually no alternatives to wooden vehicles.
Nevertheless, we should realise that today’s customers of the boating industry have a choice when it comes to the sustainability of our passions. Furthermore, our industry has a considerable influence on skilfully influencing the wishes of our customers to our mutual benefit.
Motor or wind propulsion, combustion engine or electric drive, plastic or wood, steel or better aluminium, planing or displacement, one-way racer or durable construction – there is a lot to be decided, both by the consumer and the industry.
Unfortunately, the decisions to be made are usually quite digital, as there are hardly any alternative solutions to the problem.
My observation is that the consumer is currently more advanced in terms of sustainability than the boating industry itself. In everyday life, sustainability is becoming a maxim for more and more people and is consequently penetrating our sector more and more. The authorities, for their part, are contributing to the issue through the EU recreational craft directive and other legislation.
Certainly, there are already good approaches. For example, mineral or hemp fibres are used in composite products. Pretty sophisticated electric drives are on their way from the combustion engine to hydrogen propulsion as an interim solution on the market.
Wastewater treatment systems are available that release almost clear water into the environment. Marinas are increasingly focusing on the environment and its preservation. There are several efforts to either dispose of or, at least partially, recycle boats and yachts at the end of their useful life.
That’s all well and good, but can’t we do much more?
The consumer is already looking for it! The tarnished image of our industry would be improved.
New groups of buyers can be found