Eco-friendly boats: why not take to the water?

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Nature and Outdoor Activities

Le Côte d'Argent, catamaran hybride dans le bassin d'Arcachon.
© Union des Bateliers Arcachonnais - Le Côte d'Argent, catamaran hybride dans le bassin d'Arcachon.

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 11 March 2024, updated on 15 April 2024

Electric, flax-fibre or solar-panelled boats, pleasure boating is reinventing itself to offer new experiences to travellers, but also to make a lasting contribution to respect for the environment. Let's take a look at the latest innovations from France before taking to the water!

Sailing on 100% electric boats

Le Sixto Green, embarcation 100% électrique du loueur Nicols.
© Marc Chauvin - Le Sixto Green, embarcation 100% électrique du loueur Nicols.

Fancy trying out a new way of boating that combines comfort with respect for the environment? Two boat hire companies, Nicols and Les Canalous, are pioneers in this field, offering the chance to sail on the Marne-Rhine Canal in a 100% electric boat.

The Nicols "Sixto Green" is in fact the first electric houseboat. It can accommodate up to 8 people for cruises lasting from 2 days to two weeks, without stress, noise or pollution!

The Canalous electric boat is called "La Péniche S". It can also be driven without a licence and has 5 cabins with en-suite bathrooms for maximum comfort.

And to recharge the boats, 10 charging points have been installed along the route. Recharging can be done in 2 hours, giving the boat 6 to 8 hours of autonomy. Some of the charging points can even be used to top up with water at the same time! So why deprive yourself?

Good to know: From 1 January 2022, major marinas will be obliged to reserve a proportion of their berths for electric boats.

Le Sixto Green La Péniche S

Let the sunshine in...

Solar energy is also making its way into cruising. Green River has just launched the "SunWave S4", an atypical boat with a capacity of 13 passengers, including a skipper, and equipped with a solar roof guaranteeing unlimited autonomy at moderate speed for cruises along the Seine. And it's not the only boat in the Green River fleet to go solar. Two other boats with evocative names (Gin Tonic and Cuba Libre) offer groups of 12 people the chance to cruise the Seine without polluting thanks to their electric motors, which are themselves powered by solar panels.

Others are thinking even bigger, like the Solely, an electro-solar pleasure boat that can accommodate up to 120 people for cruises with commentary by the captain on the Canal de Savières and Lac du Bourget.

Lovers of small boats will be tempted by the 'La Coche d'Eau Solaire', the only river catamaran powered by electro-solar energy and available for hire without a licence in France. Discover the Lot in small groups (6 to 12 people) for a weekend or a week.

Green River La Coche d'Eau Solaire

Let yourself be tempted by hybrids

A pinasse, the typical boat of the Arcachon basin, equipped with a hybrid engine? No, you're not dreaming! The transformation of this flat-bottomed boat offers fuel savings of 50% and a range of 3 hours thanks to the totally silent electric motor.

More tempted by hybrid power on a catamaran? No problem! The Côte d'Argent is the largest hybrid passenger catamaran in France, specially designed for organising festive or professional events. From Île aux Oiseaux to the tip of Cap-Ferret, via the Banc d'Arguin, you'll be able to sail along with the sea spray, breathe in the sea air and admire the exceptional landscapes of the Bay of Arcachon.

Le Côte d'Argent

Introduction to electric paddling

Le Blue Way, une sorte de trottinette des mers.
© Next blue tech - Le Blue Way, une sorte de trottinette des mers.

Do you enjoy paddling but are less keen on the effort involved? We've got the solution for you with the BlueWay, the latest invention from a young French company. Standing as you would on a paddle, the pilot steers his craft not with a paddle but with handlebars connected directly to an electric motor, whose speed cannot exceed 7km/h. So you can take your time and enjoy the ride. The BlueWay can be driven without a licence, is autonomous for 8 hours and can accommodate up to three people for an original family outing along the coast or on the water.

The BlueWay

Dare to use flax fibre

Le Virgin Mojito 888, bateau fabriqué à partir de fibre de lin.
© IDBMARINE - Le Virgin Mojito 888, bateau fabriqué à partir de fibre de lin.

Vive le made in France! And the first boat to be made from flax fibre this year is no exception, as the basic material no longer comes from China, but from Normandy, which significantly reduces the carbon footprint. And that's not all. On board the first Virgin Mojito 888, the felt has been replaced by cork and the foam has been made from recycled plastic bottles. Add to that solar panels to recharge the batteries and a tender that runs on an electric motor, and you have a boat that is 100% eco-responsible! Behind the idea for this project is a great name in sailing: Roland Jourdain, two-time winner of the Route du Rhum and fervent defender of the environment.

The Virgin Mojito 888

Recommandations et conseils : Qui dit bateaux écolos dit également respect de la mer et des voies fluviales. Durant vos traversées ou moments de navigation, utilisez toujours des contenants réutilisables pour vos boissons ou en-cas. Veillez également à ce que ces derniers ne passent pas par dessus bord pour éviter toute génération de déchet.

A lire aussi : - Le lin de Normandie, une fibre 100% écolo ! - 6 cocons pour prendre soin de soi et de la nature cet automne

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