We are delighted to see that the use of basalt volcanic rock composite fiber has been included in the construction specifications of the 36th America’s Cup AC75 Class Yacht.
The AC75 Class Yacht is a 75 foot high performance monohull that will “permit technological development to spearhead the development of sailing and maintain the America’s Cup as the world’s premier sailing event;”
Reading section 7.8 – Construction Methods – there is a specific reference to basalt as one possible criteria.
7.8 Construction of a hull must meet at least two of the following criteria (where the mould refers to the mould or moulds for at least 80% of the outside skin of the hull surface):
(a) the mould plug is constructed of recyclable material (e.g. PET), with that plug being delivered to a recycling plant by 1st January 2021;
(b) the mould plug is constructed of recycled material;
(c) the mould plug is constructed of sustainably sourced material (e.g. timber);
(d) at least 10% of the carbon reinforcement used in the mould is from recycled sources;
(e) the mould is constructed from fibres with low embodied energy (e.g. basalt);
(f) a life-cycle analysis is performed on the hull to the satisfaction of the Measurement Committee
We would like to point out, not only does basalt fiber meet the criteria for (e) low embodied energy, it is also recyclable (b), and a sustainably sourced material as it is naturally made from volcanic lava rock (c).