Grand Soleil Yachts Unveils Zero-Impact Weekender Sailboat

Grand Soleil’s “recyclable” 33-footer is designed to have zero environmental impact while cruising.
Grand Soleil Blue
Grand Soleil’s Blue concept is set to premiere at the 2024 Cannes Yachting Festival. Courtesy Grand Soleil

Grand Soleil Yachts has announced its Blue concept, a 33-foot weekender conceived for sustainability and efficiency underway. Conceived by Cantiere del Pardo, Grand Soleil Blue gets its exterior and interior design by Nauta Design, with naval architecture by Matteo Polli.

Underscoring the builder’s commitment to sustainability and environmentally conscious cruising, Grand Soleil Blue, which is capable of hosting up to four guests overnight, promises both zero environmental impact during sailing and complete recyclability at the culmination of its life cycle.

Grand Soleil Blue exterior
The Grand Soleil Blue will have a lithium battery bank and electric propulsion. Courtesy Grand Soleil

According to the builder, the Blue concept marks a turning point in boat construction by employing thermoplastic resin to address end-of-life recycling, one of the more significant complications in eco-conscious construction methods. Traditionally, composite boats have been built using thermosetting resins, which are very difficult if not impossible to recycle. Thermoplastic resin allows for easier separation of the resin and glass or carbon fibers for re-use or eco-responsible disposal.

This smart design approach allows simpler separation of boat accessories and components, similar to end-of-life practices currently being explored in the automotive industry. The process ensures that every part of the Grand Soleil Blue can be effectively disassembled and recycled, minimizing environmental impact.

Grand Soleil Blue salon
Exterior design, interior design and the G.A. was handled by Nauta Design. Courtesy Grand Soleil

Grand Soleil Blue will feature a lithium battery bank and electric propulsion for zero-emission cruising, contributing to a more sustainable future by reducing emissions. Renewable energy autonomy will be provided through the use of solar panels, which will recharge the battery bank to feed the electric motor. The proposed standard battery pack will allow for a range of approximately 30 nautical miles at around five knots, which translates to six hours of continuous engine operation, or 12 hours with the dual battery pack, in total silence and with zero emissions. The sails are also crafted from thermoplastic materials, further minimizing environmental impact. While underway, the Grand Soleil Blue concept can recharge its batteries through hydrogeneration, converting energy to electricity as the propeller spins in response to the water flow generated by the boat’s speed.

Grand Soleil Blue nav station
The Grand Soleil Blue project was conceived for ultimate sustainable autonomy underway. Courtesy Grand Soleil

The world premiere of the Grand Soleil Blue concept is slated for the 2024 Cannes Yachting Festival.