Sunreef’s Francis Lapp Leads the Eco Charge

Founder and President of Sunreef Yachts, Lapp talks about why he was motivated to create the catamaran builder’s Eco range, which today accounts for over half of its orders.

Mar 20, 2024 | By luxuo.ae

Francis Lapp

Why is Sunreef Yachts investing in green boating?

Investing is a keyword here. We’re not only investing our efforts and time. We’re investing our resources. The reason remains always the same. We know that there’s a lot to do and someone has to lead the way.

Not long ago I joined Mike Horn in Greenland during his What’s Left expedition. The changes in this area of the world illustrate how palpable climate issues can be. We understand how pressing the situation is and we understand our responsibilities as boat builders.

Many shipyards are saying what they will do in the future to make yachting cleaner. Our business is making things happen today.

Francis Lapp

How do you respond to the criticism that surrounds the yachting world?

First, Sunreef Yachts is a niche on its own. We are an island in this industry. Our company builds electric, hybrid and hydrogen catamarans. We try our best every day to convince people to switch to sustainable alternatives and today over 50 percent of our demand is for our Eco range.

There will always be criticism, it is natural. I accept it, but I also want to make sure that everyone understands how much effort and money it costs us to push innovation forward. We do almost everything by ourselves.

The full transition can’t happen overnight, but as a company, we feel our responsibilities and do everything possible to make it happen. The interest in alternatives to fossil fuel is massive and we are optimistic.

Lapp in Greenland

What about the superyacht sector?

Changes in the superyacht world are not dynamic enough. Our vision of the superyacht experience is different from what you see in the industry. We are currently building two 43m electric sail yachts (Sunreef 43M Eco) that will rely on solar power, electric engines, hydrogeneration and performance sails. They will prove that superyachts can be energy-efficient and highly autonomous.

What is your vision of the industry’s future?

I think about the future almost every day. I try to imagine scenarios, environmental issues, expectations, trends, and new needs emerging. The industry will keep progressing towards cleaner technologies, but the speed of these changes will depend on our own initiative as industry players. Shipyards must do everything to turn words into actions.


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