Scots shipyard delivers ‘fully recyclable’ workboat to tidal pioneer

Ultimate Boats' Orbital workboat

Maritime green-tech startup ExoTechnologies has delivered a fully recyclable, high-performance workboat to tidal turbine developers Orbital Marine Power to support its offshore operation.

The workboat has been built at Ultimate Boats, the Glasgow boatyard owned by Isle of Man-based ExoTechnologies.

The vessel, built from ExoTechnologies’ DANUTM composite material technology, will be used to transport engineers to Orbital Marine Power’s O2, a powerful tidal turbine off Orkney.

It is part of Ultimate Boats’ full high-performance workboat range that launched earlier this year. ExoTechnologies says it plans to create 300 jobs at the yard within five years.

The 11-metre O-class Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) can carry eight people and is adapted for the specific operational needs of Orbital Marine Power and the challenging sea conditions around Orkney.

It has a wheelhouse, shock mitigation units, access from the front and has an operating range of 450 nautical miles.

The vessel also features the company’s ExoHullTM technology, designed and developed by Ultimate Boats‘ chief designer John Moxham.

Moxham has reimagined planning hull technology and hydrodynamic performance using principles that were first conceived during the development of the XB-70 Valkyrie supersonic bomber.

ExoTechnologies says the hull design allows the boat to move quicker and more efficiently in the water, creating a more stable movement with less slamming impact and fuel saving.

In 2022, ExoTechnologies delivered its first commercial vessel — billed as the world’s first fully recyclable boat — to Police Scotland. That breakthrough deal represented the culmination of a £7m investment in research and development.

Handling boats at end-of-life is one of the largest issues facing the marine industry — and it’s one the sector needs to tackle fast. Many industry experts believe that if boats are designed to be reused, repaired or remanufactured from the beginning, the industry moves away from trickier end-of-life scenarios. 

“We are very proud to be working with Orbital Marine Power to support its pioneering work in the field of green energy,” says ExoTechnologies‘ CEO Shane Mugan.

He adds: “Innovation and making a positive difference through the development of a renewable marine industry is at the heart of the work of both our operations.

“Our fully recyclable DANUTM composite material technology can tackle the ecological timebomb which sees 250 million kilos of fibreglass and thousands of boats dumped into landfill across Europe each year.

“That shows the potential of our market leading technologies, which we believe are capable of accelerating the green transition to a circular economy across all industries and markets.

“We know we are making a significant breakthrough in transforming boat building, as DANUTM with its superior mechanical strength can replace fibreglass. This latest deal with Orbital Marine Power underlines that.”

He adds: “We are seeing strong interest in our range of innovative and high-performance vessels from commercial and leisure operators. The boat we are delivering for Orbital Marine Power will be a real workhorse, designed and built to operate in challenging waters.”

Orbital Marine Power is headquartered in Orkney and is focused on the development of a tidal energy turbine technology capable of producing a dramatic reduction in the cost of energy from tidal currents.

ExoTechnologies says O2 has the ability to generate enough clean, predictable electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 UK homes and offset approximately 2,200 tonnes of CO2 production per year.

Ultimate Boats’ full high-performance workboat range includes a 13m crew transfer vessel, 11.5m multi-mission workboat and 7.5m support workboat.

One response to “Scots shipyard delivers ‘fully recyclable’ workboat to tidal pioneer”

  1. Peter Jacops says:

    Not sure what you mean by first. HDPE boats that are 100% recyclable have been around for a long time, so what is really the innovation here?