Marine business and the environment: MarineCork, the ethical decking for boats
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 10:27 AM
The goal is to build more eco-friendly boats and yachts. This is nowadays the new challange for the nautical shipbuilding sector. Yatching activities have a minor impact on the marine environment, compared to other highly polluting and devastating sources, such as the sea dumping; however, if we wish to leave behind a still livable and enjoyable environment for future generations, we should all aim at reducing and minimizing the bad effects of human interventions in the environment, including the construction and the use of boats.
Ship owners and the whole chain of nautical construction ranging from designers to architects are aware of the issue and are adopting an ethical approach to tackle the problem; not only they talk about “green” marine business but they are also thinking of innovative solutions and they are carrying out eco-friendly projects so that it is already possible to see some more eco-friendly yachts on the market.
With regard to the boat decking, the maritime tradition has teak wood as the most used material; today however the elegant wood teak coating (which however presents some drawbacks in the use), has been replaced by highly-developed technological materials: later on however, it will be a problem to dispose of these end-of-life synthetic materials as they are highly polluting.
MarineCork offers the only sustainable green and ecological alternative to teak wood; the material used is cork which is totally recycable and provides better technological results than teak wood; at the same time boat guests enjoy the feeling of walking on a natural surface similar to teak wood in color nuances and touch.
MarineCork respects the environment and this stands out from the use of cork as raw material; cork production cycle is tradition-bound and safeguards the trees which are never cut down. Trees are shelled cyclically every ten years or more by expert barkers whose traditional craftsmanship dates back to 1800. Another ecological factor is represented by the higher thermal insulation coefficient of the MarineCork decking compared to the one provided by teak wood. This material prevents the overheating of the external surface, thus allowing to walk on it barefoot even under the blazing sun. In addition Cork acts as an insulating barrier for the below deck spaces which remain fresher during the summer and warmer during the winter thus limiting the use of air conditioning and consequently reducing harmful emissions.
An additional feature of MarineCork is its weight (only 2,7Kg/mq) which makes it the lightest decking on the market. This is a very important factor that boat engineers take into consideration since by means of a careful reduction of the boat displacement, they aim at obtaining a greater efficiency in navigation, with less fuel consumption and less pollution.
For this reason MarineCork was the coating chosen for the external decks of the Amer 94 Twin, a yacht awarded at the recent Amsterdam METS with the Environmental Initiative Award, thanks to the implementation of new standards of weight and consumption control.
A further property of MarineCork is that it does not absorb liquids nor it gets stained. In order to clean it, don’t use solvents or detergents, but just brush it regularly and wash with water, if coffee, wine or dyes spill on it. If paint spills on it, a simple sanding would make it new.