Superyachts, regardless of their size, generally have a significant amount of wood onboard, from panelling to flooring and decking. A new initiative, Yachting for Forests, is urging designers, builders, suppliers, and ultimately owners to be more mindful of responsible sourcing. It aims to encourage the industry to not only set standards but also to demonstrate to the broader maritime world how it can follow suit.
Alternatives to Illegal Teak
As reported in Mega Yacht News, the campaign is an initiative led by FSC. Some yachting stakeholders already avoid controversial or illegal products, such as teak from Myanmar. The United States and European Union have both banned teak imports from there, as it is a major income source for the country’s military regime. Yachting for Forests wants the industry to ensure it knows the origin of the wood and whether it is sustainable. Otherwise, the supply chain could negatively impact not only the forests but also the people living and working there.
The luxurious maritime look with its oil-finished brown or silvery-grey patina teak is very much an eye-catcher for the yachting industry.
On natural teak, Kristian Jørgensen, technical advisor at FSC Denmark, states: “We cannot talk about this industry without talking about the sector’s historical dependence on teak from Myanmar. Yacht decking has shown itself to be the Achilles’ heel of the industry. The use of natural teak is not just justified by the luxurious look of the timber, but by the extreme technical quality of the wood.”
Forest based products used in boat building
Timber is often found in masts, booms, luxurious yacht decking, and the structure itself, as well as the yacht’s interiors, floors, and fine details on rudders.
According to FSC, when the source of wood is known and verified as sustainable, using timber becomes a responsible and climate-positive choice. However, if the wood’s origin is uncertain, the timber value chain may negatively impact forests and the livelihoods of those living and working within them. That’s why it’s crucial to emphasise the industry’s immense potential for making a positive difference.
FSC hopes that the luxury yachts initiative will spread throughout the industry, reaching the fleet of over six million commercial ships and leisure craft found in European ports. All FSC-certified businesses offering materials or services for yacht building are invited to participate with a supplier’s profile on the website.
Yachting for Forests: spearheaded by builders, designers, and owners
Driven by key industry players such as yacht builders, designers, and owners, Yachting for Forests focuses on the significance of protecting global forests and encourages the yachting sector to contribute to sustainable practices. Though still in its infancy, the initiative seeks extensive adoption in the near future, enabling the yachting industry to have a positive environmental influence while maintaining the luxury experiences clients desire.