If you’re like us, you live for clean waters, fresh air, marine life, and wonderful scenery. Regardless of politics, there’s something about all boating people that’s inherently in touch with nature. Here at Agapi, our love of the environment and our commitment to sustainability is deep in our DNA. It runs through everything we do, from the way we design and build our boats through to our business model.
But the paradox of boats getting people in touch with nature is that boats themselves are not inherently environmentally friendly. They definitely can be, but it takes thought and care to make them so. At Agapi, it’s part of our mission to do everything we can to make boats and the boating industry more sustainable – and it takes work on several fronts.
From owning to using
Recent years have seen a growing awareness that the consumerist drive for everyone to own everything is simply not sustainable. There’s just too many people competing for dwindling resources and space. Not only does universal ownership of big assets fail to scale, it also just doesn’t make any economic sense.
Car sharing models have been springing up all the world, spurred on by the understanding that the average car is parked for more than 90 percent of its life. That’s madness. But in the boating world, it’s even worse. In Sweden, pleasure boats get used an average of five days per year.
Now, we love building and selling boats, but do we really want to make 10,000 boats that spend their life bobbing around in a marina? We do what we do because we love seeing people using our boats. We would rather build a smaller number of great boats that get put to work in our fleet, through our club. It’s so much more efficient – the resources we use all go into making and maintaining boats that get used.
The other part of this equation is something that many people find when they consciously act in sustainable ways – that the benefits are not only environmental. By creating an efficient, non-ownership-based model, more people who would otherwise be excluded from boating now get the chance to participate.
Fewer resources – more happiness. It’s truly win-win.
Design and performance
We set ourselves a challenge with our boats – every design decision we make should reduce the environmental impact of our boats without compromising performance and function. But you know what, it turns out that sustainability and performance don’t have to be in conflict. With the right design decisions, these values go hand-in-hand quite naturally.
Take weight, for example. The RIB concept at the heart of Agapi boats uses less (and lighter material) than conventionally hulled boats. By combining RIB-technology with carbon fiber and light-weight sandwich construction, we make boats that deliver high performance and exceptional seaworthiness with a low environmental impact.
There’s a resource saving right there. But even better, a lightweight boat needs a lot less fuel to achieve high performance. Yes, those are big, beautiful V8 Yamahas on the stern, but because the boat is so light, the engines are able to run super efficiently and still give an exhilarating ride.
Speaking of exciting, efficient engines… The products are not quite there yet, but when they are, we can’t wait to start using electric motors in the Agapi fleet.
A less obvious, but equally important, benefit of our lightweight designs is that Agapi boats are easier to get up and onto trailers than other comparable boat. Because we can so easily keep them out the water when they aren’t in use, we can avoid anti-fouling paint.
This is a big benefit. Anti-fouling paint is widely used to stop barnacles and other organisms forming on the hulls of boats that spend long periods in the water. Anti-fouling paint keeps organisms at bay because… well, it’s hostile to life. No one wants to use toxic chemicals in our precious waterways. So, we are proud to work to a model that means we don’t have to.
Setting a new course
The Agapi Club reflects everything we believe. From design to building materials, all the way to our training programs – where we focus on careful driving, respectful to nature and others at sea – we’re building a modern sustainable business model that uses fewer resources to deliver more joy.