eco sailing design atelier eco conception

Eco Sailing Design ®: the ships of tomorrow designed in a workshop where ideas emerge4 min de lecture

As part of the Eco Sailing Design ® collaborative project aimed at transforming competitive sailing, skills-building days have been set up for players in the industry. At the latest workshop, focusing on eco-design, held on 12 May 2023, participants were able to draw inspiration from the choices they have made and the policies they have already put in place to design the boats of tomorrow.


A participative and interactive workshop to take the mystery out of eco-design

On Friday 12 May, over thirty people involved in competitive sailing gathered at La Colloc d’en Face to take part in a workshop dedicated to eco-design as applied to their field. What are the prerequisites? What strategic approach should be applied? What tools should be used? How does it contribute to the economic, social and environmental improvement of the company? Many questions were answered during the morning session, which was led by Régis Courtin, co-founder and director of Donnons du Sens, a consultancy and engineering firm specialising in eco-design solutions.

Régis Courtin has chosen to draw parallels and apply this approach to other industries, such as the food industry, in order to get his audience on board. “We need to step outside our own framework and the reference system in which we work, to get some perspective, he explains. The food industry is a subject that affects everyone, and it shows that eco-design can be applied in a variety of fields.”

Once the theory part of the presentation was over, the ideas started to take shape. Divided into two groups, the participants came up with ways of designing tomorrow’s racing boats in an ethical and ecological way, with the reuse of materials and raw materials and the upgrading of parts at the heart of the discussions.


Upgrading skills to build on existing initiatives

Two of the players present have already introduced manufacturing or design processes. Imogen Dinham-Price, sustainable development consultant for the IMOCA class, and Adrien Marchandise, co-founder of Avel Robotics, were able to gain support for the choices made by their organisations in relation to the ecological transition.

In the IMOCA class, life cycle analyses (LCA) of ships have been introduced since 2021 at the instigation of the skippers ”LCA is part of eco-design, but the workshop confirms that we are on the right track in this reflection to find the way to eco-design within the class and brings us an additional creative side and lessons on the logic of eco-design while remaining in phase with our structures,” confirms Imogen Dinham-Price. Adrien Marchandise is on the same wavelength: “The workshop enabled us to formalise and theorise things that we had already grasped at Avel. I’m quite happy with the positions we took. We also saw that ideas that we had abandoned were taken up by others and succeeded. The workshop also encourages us to question ourselves. We also need to identify less obvious elements, and to do that we need to increase our skills and training.”


Eco Sailing Design ®: progress report one year after launch

The eco-design workshop is one of a list of actions proposed to the entire competitive sailing sector (Fresque du climat, industrial and territorial ecology workshop, etc.) and integrated into the Eco Sailing Design ® project.

The aim of this research and development programme is to support and accelerate the ecological transition of companies in Brittany’s competitive sailing technology sector. Eleven companies (Avel Robotics, Gsea Design, Guelt Nautic, Ino Rope, Karver Systems, Lorima, Nautix, North Sails, Pixel sur mer, SMM, VPLP) have signed up to the project, which is led by a consortium comprising ENS Rennes, UBS and Bretagne Développement Innovation.

Ultimately, the aim is to develop tools to characterise and model the environmental impact of the competitive sailing sector, with a view to designing ever more efficient vessels that are also in tune with ecological issues.

One year after its launch in 2022, an initial benchmark was carried out on the various life cycle analysis (LCA) tools. Ten LCA software packages have been screened, including SimaPro, Open LCA, Marine Shift 360, etc. The results of this benchmark will be published shortly. Work will soon be carried out on carbon fibre, the idea being to guide companies in their choice of environmental data for carbon fibre. The members of the project are also working on a collaborative design method that should see the light of day in 2024.