The Blue Ocean project is run with the support of the Eco Sail the World Association based in La Rochelle, France. The team's vision is to construct a catamaran in response to the challenges of the twenty-first century using the latest eco technologies. The catamaran will be the equal of bluewater sailing yachts and will set sail on a world tour in autumn 2018, whereafter it will be used as a platform for sailing and environmental education.
The project has been thought through with great attention to detail and pragmatism by its two leaders, Sabine Vanabelle and Joerg Victor Weber, who have worked in the eco-tourism sector for several decades and are passionate about environmentalism and protecting the oceans. They recruited the specialist help of renowned yacht designer Michel Joubert to work on the Blue Ocean's design, and following his death, the construction was overseen by Bernard Nivelt.
The materials used in the boat are recyclable or biodegrable, as far as possible, whilst the electric motor will have an energy recovery system. Solar panels will heat water on board and generate electricity.
The project has been nominated for the Aviva La Fabrique award which recognises and supports innovative and sustainable projects of benefit to the wider community. Of 400 nominated projects, the 140 with the most votes will be guaranteed financial support from Aviva, whilst 35 Final Winners will be awarded between €15,000 and €85,000 each.
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