Thinking Ahead – Azimut Yachts aims for eco-sustainability

From the successes of today, a contribution for tomorrow’s world. Azimut Yachts illustrates the results of its environmental responsibility plan and presents the Magellano 50, the motor yacht with the highest level of eco- compatibility ever reached.

Paolo Vitelli, President of the Azimut Benetti Group, today presented the results of the environmental sustainability programme that Azimut Yachts has put into action as an integral part of its development plan. The sustainability plan passes through a multiplicity of actions. Azimut Yachts obtained ISO 14001 certification, the first amongst the boatyards building large leisure craft, by virtue of a coherent and effective management system addressed to reducing the environmental impact of its activities. Furthermore, since 2004 it utilises the Core Infusion lamination system and in 2007 the research was started into the use of paints and resins with low environmental impact.

In fact, Azimut Yachts has the most important research centre in the world in the nautical sector, committed to the study of innovations and immediate application in favour of the end user. Sensitive to eco-compatibility for several years now, as demonstrated by the installation of photovoltaic panels on the Azimut 55 in 2004, or the development of the Electric Diesel Motor for the Benetti’s Ambrosia in 2006, the Azimut Benetti R&D Centre has intensified the level of attention on these themes in the last few seasons.

“We have made extraordinary steps forward regarding production processing and product”, underlines Vitelli, “If we can present a motor yacht now on the market that reaches the maximum level of eco-compatibility and built in low environmental impact boatyards, most of the merit must go to investments in research”.

Amongst the most interesting research frontiers investigated by Azimut’s R&D Centre is certainly the development of hybrid propulsion engines that actually permit navigation with an almost total lack of noise and a reduction of consumption on short day trips. The revolutionary Easy Hybrid system unites these extraordinary potentials with the maximum facility of use. In fact, you can shift from the traditional system to the electrical system and vice versa, either manually or automatically, which effectively permits the use of electric motors during slow navigation, including manoeuvres and the phases of entry and exit from marinas.

A yacht is a complex system and the engine is only one of the elements to be taken into consideration. To maximise the level of eco-compatibility, it is necessary to intervene on all aspects; from the hull to the finishes. The strategy adopted by Azimut Yachts has been to follow the principles dictated by RINA and to apply the objective of the RINA Green Plus Notation, which has meant the research and introduction of an extraordinary packet of innovative solutions; high performance propellers, LED lighting, and the use of new anti-UV films applied to the windows to improve thermal efficiency. Furthermore, more eco-sustainable materials have been introduced; the most recent FSC woods, FSC green teak with structural and aesthetic qualities that are comparable or superior to solid wood.

Experimentation was driven even to the introduction of nanotechnology to develop a longer lasting anti-fouling product with a lower impact on the marine environment. The addition of “nano-structured” products based on antibacterial and ionised mineral salts allows increasing the anti-fouling protection, both in terms of effectiveness and duration over a period of time.

Azimut has gone further than the requirements of the RINA Green Plus. In fact, design planning attention was addressed to the respect for the environment, such as research into textiles using natural fibres, the use of leather treated without using chromium, as well as the use of handles finished by bio-chroming.

The research continues towards new frontiers with the investigation of an innovative composite material to reduce environmental impact during product processing and during their final disposal. The first application can be found on the Magellano 50; the dashboard is manufactured in a bio-sandwich material derived from biodegradable linen fibre with the core in FSC cork and ecological resin with 55% of natural substances.

The Magellano Collection, which last year launched a new, more-attentive navigation philosophy towards the environment, restoring value to the experience of travelling by sea, was the natural candidate to receive all these solutions. Only one year after the launch of the Magellano 74, the Magellano 50 was previewed at the International Boat Show in Genoa, the only motor yacht under 60’ to attain the RINA Green Plus notation.

This goes to show how important results can be produced by a company sustainability plan rooted along the whole value chain; from the development of concepts for alternative low environmental impact boats and passing through “clean” production processes.

Magellano 50 raises the bar of eco-compatibility in the area of motor yachts to levels that have never been reached before. Designed to navigate long distances and in all weather conditions, the Magellano 50 is an ecological project right from its concept, in as much as it suggests to boat owners a new ideal of navigation; efficient and pleasant at various speeds.

“Azimut Yachts represents excellence,” says Paolo Vitelli, “we intend to remain the sector leader for a long time yet. As we see it, this means we must be the leader in sustainability. Our strength lies in the ability to look to the future, to keep our thoughts and ideas one step ahead: “thinking ahead”. The environment and the sea are part of our heritage and as such they must be defended and protected. In the interests of everybody”.