Luxury automakers like Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have already made their cars more environmentally friendly with touches like vegan leather and fabric made from upcycled plastic bottles. It was just a matter of time before boat makers followed suit.
UK-based Arksen is leading the yachting industry with a new wave of marine exploration vessels made from recycled aluminum and plastic bottles. Arksen’s new Explorer Series includes a 45-footer, a 60-footer, a 75-footer and its most ambitious long-range vessel — an 85-footer known as Project Ocean, and are all designed to encourage true off-grid adventures while pushing the boundaries of marine design.
Currently under construction at the Wight Shipyard Company in the UK and designed by world-renowned naval architecture and yacht design studio, Humphreys Yacht Design, Project Ocean is “the right product at the right time,” said Tom Humphreys, co-director of Humphreys Yacht Design in a press release. Both the design firm and Arksen view the Explorer series as part of their longstanding goal to “research and understand our impact on the environment” and “re-shape the development of leisure-vessel production in the motor yacht sector,” he noted. “To have the first Arksen 85 vessel in production is a big milestone in our journey,” noted Arksen’s founder Jasper Smith.
Project Ocean succeeds on every count. Sleek and sturdy, the vessel features an efficient, stable hull design aided by active fin stabilizers and optional gyro stabilizers that help lower both running costs and emissions. The hull and superstructure are built-in low carbon, recycled aluminium from Hydro, which may be recycled again at the end of the vessel’s life.
What’s more, Project Ocean packs full hybrid propulsion, offering a top speed of 14 knots, a cruising speed of between 9 and 11 knots, and a maximum range of up to 7,000 nautical miles. For serious explorers and adventure seekers, that means no destination is off-limits! Even better, you can travel the world completely off the grid, thanks to zero discharge capable through the latest
waste management hardware and solar power generation providing up to 7kW of zero-carbon electrical power. Additionally, onboard heating and ventilation systems employ thermal reclaim to further improve efficiency.
When it’s time to relax and capture the stunning scenery onboard, you’ll have multiple seating areas from which to soak up your surroundings. There is the aft deck dining area that’s reversible and when at port, you can enjoy a BBQ/grill, fridge and sink. There are also forward seating areas on the bridge deck for panoramic views, plus a large lounging area with a coffee table.
Meanwhile, the visionaries at Design Unlimited carried Project Ocean’s sustainability story into the interiors by sourcing durable, environmentally friendly products and fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles.
The layout encompasses the bridge deck, saloon and sociable open galley kitchen, which is meant to provide easy access to multiple dining areas in the saloon, bridge deck, aft and forward decks. There are four generous cabins that can sleep up to 12 explorers, including the primary suite, which features an ensuite bath and shower plus a multipurpose space that can be used as a library, study, nursery or home theater.
Arksen is forecasting an 18-month build for Project Ocean, with sea trials planned for spring 2022. When the vessel does eventually hit the sea, she will be routinely used to conduct research and conservation projects through the Arksen Foundation.
Beyond Project Ocean and the other smaller Explorer vessels, Arksen offers a unique shared ownership program through their Arksen Adventure Syndicate, which is “intended to open up more opportunities for families to embark on life-enhancing adventures, but without the hassle and frustration of paying to own all of a boat that you may not be able to make full use of,” added Smith. The syndicate allows members to enjoy shared ownership of an Arksen 75 or 85 plus full access to the experiences offered through the Arksen Explorers’ Club — which blends the benefits of an owners club, voyage planner/designer and adventure concierge service.
Learn more about Arksen’s Explorer opportunities here.
See Project Ocean under construction.