My thoughts after the release of IPCC 2018 report

The new report from IPCC was published last week. The message was loud and clear – according to 6000 studies we have a need of urgent change of the course.

My opinion is that the key element of the change is behavior of us as consumers. Our everyday choices can form a new direction to the flow. There is no sense to wait for advanced technological solutions to come up to solve the problem, meanwhile we can do a lot.

The reason of writing this post is to point out that the things aren’t black and white. I also want to show few of my own choices towards more sustainable living and maybe inspire others. You don’t have to go to extremes and start to eat raw food and collect your month’s trash to a glass jar. But if you do even something to reduce your carbon footprint, and your neighbor and their neighbors and a whole town will do the same, the effect is significant.

Dreaming of more sustainable future

I also want to reflect my own thinking to Li Yachts, sustainability shouldn’t be only trending terminology, which is used to boost up marketing. Whole project should progress in accordance with the values of people behind it. That forms the base to the goals of the project.

I have asked myself many times that does it make sense to design a new aluminium sailboat to a world where we should fabricate less and consume less. But again things are not black and white.

I think that we should prioritize our purchases and concentrate only to our main ambition and interest. These are the items that you use the most in your free time. Other things that are used rarely, which are just nice to own, can be made available by sharing economy.

What this means to me? I want to sail, so decision is clear. I don’t have a need of dreaming about summer cottage, which would only be used few weeks a year and during winter time just using electricity to keep up basic heat.

We are designing a boat for sustainable way of living for determined and ambitious people who know how they want to live. For me the ideal would be living onboard energy self-sufficient most of the time and the rest of the time in a small apartment on land. We are doing it already, even though old Li would not allow us to live on board in northern climate. We have learned to live last five years in apartment of 30 square meters. For many of us that would be extreme for two people, but in many cases the square meters are needed to store unnecessary items, and without them we could live in smaller space. How about the temperature during the heating season? Anything above 20°C is wasting of energy. Last ten years I have learned to live in 18°C.

When living on board with limited storage, the food can’t be wasted. It needs to be bought with consideration and used effectively. Selection of foodstuff onboard is limited, but it can however be healthy. In our live on land we eat most “red tagged” food that is close to its best before date. By doing that we save a lot of money and the wasting of food is reduced. There is no sense to use energy for producing food for huge selection of the shelves and then waste it. We also have halved the amount of beef that we eat, which means one or two times per week in average. Producing beef causes the highest amount of CO2/kg. Destiny of food rubbish has also its effect. I have composted all organic carbage in last ten years. Rotting organic waste in landfill sites produces methane and carbon dioxide, which are greenhouse gases.

I have burned thousands of liters of fossil fuel in my cars during the last 17 years. Four years ago we moved closer to points of interest and since that I have used only tenth of the diesel than before. As we know traveling by plane makes huge addition to our carbon footprint. To keep the plane in the air huge amount of energy is needed. It’s easy to be selfish – I require this holiday under the sun once in a year. I have a desire to the distant dive sites, which are calling me to fly. But it has been now almost eight years since my last flight voyage.

As you might have noticed we are designing Zero Fossil Fuel prototype of the boat. That was my initial goal. It’s better to do things and try to develop them to more sustainable direction than stop doing anything. In this case towards sustainable sailboat concept – despite the challenges. Dream needs to be kept alive and just continue working determinedly forward to reach it. Some voyages aren’t possible in safety way without diesel engine, that’s true. But for me personally that would be selfish for example to “sail” through The Northwest Passage with a rows of jerry cans on deck. How can we use the term expedition boat then, some have asked? Well, who defines what is an expedition? For me there is no sense to burn diesel on a boat which is meant to be moved by wind propulsion. You just need to accept the possible routes and areas.

I have always lived with little or minimal amount of items. All my furnitures have been bought used with few exceptions, that way it has been also easy to get rid of them when needed. When I purchase something I prefer high quality and long service life. For example this laptop has worked fine last nine years after few upgrades. If some item is showing signs of worn, it doesn’t need to be replaced immediately, few tiny holes in a T-shirt does not matter. Things should be used to an end. I dreamed about new bicycle but then decided to refit the old one from year 1993. As mentioned before when purchasing new items prioritization is needed. And if something new is bought it has to be really needed and within peak point of interests. That is how I have justified the aim to build a new boat, again things are not black and white. If the purchases of useless items will be avoided, lots of resources could be saved.

We want to design a boat so that it will have as long service life as possible. After that major percentage of it can be recycled as effective way as possible. I have recycled all sortable materials whole my adult life, so thinking a new life of building materials is also essential when designing a boat as well as seeking choices of materials that have already high recycled content. We need to move towards circular economy in all sections.

If you get this far, what is the whole point of this? You can grow your business, enjoy your meals, go for holidays and purchase items, but it can be done in more sustainable way. Little changes really matter if we all make them. Stopping won’t give any hope – improving the way of living will.

Aluminium yacht Li 50 years birthday tour

It has been very quiet in here for too long time! Apologies to all followers in here.

As you might have noticed the first set of rendered product images has appeared to website. Producing them wasn’t easy and I almost fell to endless fine tuning of details. The spring was busy.

Then we took a little break of the design project to prepare original Li for her 50 years birthday tour! That would also be my first real summer holiday since 2011, so it was well deserved.

Aluminium yacht Li

There has been so much enjoyable sailing, which is needed to keep this design process for the new boat going! We have visited unique places in The Baltic Sea and soaked energy.

Li’s CapeHorn windvane has been again the most important crew member. Below the dramatic capture of him, which I like most.

When the boat can sail on her own I can concentrate to create these images and video clips by which I hope to inspire others to set sail.

Now we have turned back towards north. Last month was very inspiring. The voyage has been mentally like this beautiful morning after beating against 16 m/s wind with steep waves of The Baltic Sea.

During the voyage we have talked a lot about the first prototype of Li Yachts. We call her in Finnish “Uusi Li”, which means The New Li. The design process is running forward constantly in the background of my mind. When taking a reef to cooking dinner – during everyday life onboard.

We have enough living space with original Li, but we are missing bicycles and full diving gear, which needs more storage. And I don’t mean folding bikes with small diameter wheels.

The best thing that you can do after sailing passage is another form of traveling without fossil fuel – cycling. Combining these two would be perfect.

We met a retired couple on their way from Baltic Sea to Canary Islands to escape dark northern winter. That brought to my mind the need for more speed, which would allow us to be also like migrating birds if some day the situation allows. More speed won’t come from high top speed. What matters is ability to keep high average speed all the time and minimizing the effort to do so.

I would like to end up this post with my thoughts, which I wrote down one morning.

Please find lots more images and video clips about the voyage on my Instagram profile. The site is accessible for anyone to view freely without the registration.

ALL YOU NEED IS OCEAN

Now it’s time to launch the slogan of this project and the story behind it!

We all know where comes the origins of the sentence. Our slogan will remind us the oceans vital role to life on this blue planet.

Famous song, which gave the origins of the slogan, was written to promote world peace. In the near future we will see that climate change will be one of the greatest hazards to sympathy on earth if the actions won’t be fast and effective.

Upcoming problems won’t know borders. Ever green song was performed in Our World television show, which was the first international satellite broadcast in 1967. Modern technology gathered the audience of  at least 400 million people, connecting the continents as the oceans do.

That year happens to be also the year when the original Li was built!

You might hear the first part of the French national anthem in your head and that’s the tribute to many inspirational French sailors through the decades.

The slogan describes our commitment to do something to help protect oceans within this project.

It also tells the self-sufficient goal of our Zero Fossil Fuel concept – ALL YOU NEED IS OCEAN.

Slogan of Li Yachts

Plastic pollution in Baltic Sea

People behind Li Yachts have strong commitment to marine conservation. Focusing to simple straight-forward actions by which we all can be part of the change and start today.

Oceans have plastic garbage patches but in Baltic Sea region we have our own local scale marine plastic pollution problem. Maybe during this coming boating season you can bring to land more trash than you produced yourself?

It’s time to rethink boater’s old principle of neutral impact to nature. As an improvement to manner of leaving zero plastic waste behind – you can leave even a positive impact.

In the picture below our catch during Earth Day 2018 with plastic pollution theme. Collecting plastic trash on an island.

Plastic pollution in Baltic Sea

Spring in Baltic Sea

Just over a week ago we had still ice. Today the harbour was free.

Rushing to all favourite islands before the protection time for nesting seabirds begins.

Here you can see how it was just a week ago. You can hear the sounds of first eiders that have just gathered on nearby islets.

And today a week later.

Season has started – time to breath again. More.

Spring has come to Baltic Sea

Visit to Kemppi to find the solutions and tools for welding the hull of aluminium sailboat

Few weeks ago I had a privilege to visit the headquarters and a factory of our local welding machine brand Kemppi. We had an interesting conversation related to Li Yachts project and of course about welding of aluminium. My visit was also the first milestone on the way of preparations towards construction of prototype boats. We have used Kemppi’s products in underwater welding dive operations and in refit work of our old aluminium yacht. So it was a logical move to contact Kemppi also within this ongoing project.

Founder of the company Martti Kemppi was an electrician and wanted to design a welding machine, which has great welding characteristics but it must be easy to use representing minimalistic design. A joy to weld with. We have the same approach to boat design – as a pioneer aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry has written in 1939 ”Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” 

Kemppi is a Finnish family owned company, which still bears the surname of the founder and the company is still owned by the same family. Kemppi is founded in 1949 during tough times after the war. First products were carts for hauling concrete and milk. To produce these products the welding was needed and soon the clever electrician was building his own welding equipments.

During hectic post-war reconstruction of the country there was a demand of welding machines, which gave the young company the opportunity to grow. The production expanded and as early as 1950s Kemppi started to import welding machines to neighboring countries. Kemppi’s two main manufacturing plants are located in Finland, in addition to which it has one production plant for local Asian products in India. Kemppi has over 600 employees.

Now Kemppi is a globally operating company, which has retained the values of family owned business. The people that I met during my visit were easy to approach and they had time to listen my a story of my little project called Li Yachts and I received encouraging feedback.

Their welding engineer introduced me the new X8 MIG Welder. We were able to go straight to the details about methods how to reach for hight quality welds combined with effective productivity of the welding process. To me that represents the ability to understand demands and challenges of the customer.

With strong forward carrying guts in my mind I already imagined our first hull with the X8 beside her. My head was filled with thoughts how to rig the device to allow easy operation in different building steps of the hull. I also imagined the huge leap of welding technology compared to the machines that the builders of original Li have used fifty years ago.

The new generation of MIG welder allows even small scale manufacturers to exploit the benefits of the new aiding solutions for welding based on industrial Internet of things (IIoT). That’s possible when X8 is combined with Kemppi’s welding management software WeldEye. That ensures the use of optimal welding parameters and a quality control for the every seam. Errors in welding process caused by incorrect parameters are minimized. As-built weld traceability data can be stored as an annex of hull classification.

The wireless control pad of X8 allows the welder the full control of the machine and ability to view digital welding procedure specification (WPS) instructions via WeldEye on the worksite when ever needed. He or she is able to improve personal work process by saving fine tuned settings for further use to match up for the personal touch of welding. As we know, the aluminium boat is as strong as its weakest seam.

Here you can see new X8 in use in the factory of Buster Boats in Finland. Kemppi has also invited the boat manufacturer to take a part to design and development stages of X8 and welders were able to give user feedback of the product.

From sustainable development’s point of view Kemppi’s welding machines have high energy efficient inverter technology. Their products are designed with long service life in mind, but also recycling in the end of product’s life-cycle is taken into account when selecting materials. Machines are repairable and some of them even physically updatable. For example the power source of X8 is upgradeable.

 

Sources:

www.kemppi.com/
http://team.finland.fi/artikkeli/-/asset_publisher/lahes-70-vuotias-hitsauslaiteyritys-kemppi-haluaa-seuraavaksi-valloittaa-aasian