A Manx company, ExoTechnologies, has delivered the world’s first fully recyclable boat for the Scottish police force.

It is made from a ground-breaking new boat-building material, DANU, which can replace fibreglass and carbon fibre in boat manufacture.

Castletown-based Jeroen Wats, founder and chief innovation officer at ExoTechnologies, said: ‘Although it has been patented, I can’t say exactly what DANU is, but it’s a sustainable fibre that is fully and repeatedly recyclable. There are no toxic materials – you can even eat it – and the resins are free from styrene.’

Why is this important? As Jeroen explained to Working Week last year: ‘As an example between 2002 and 2012, just in Florida, 1.5 million boats ended up in landfill, just thrown away.

‘In Europe 250 million kilos of glass fibre ends up in landfill every year: not just boats but wind turbine blades are made from glass fibre and you can do nothing else with it.’

DANU went through some fairly extreme testing to determine its suitability as a law enforcement vessel, as Jeroen explained: ‘We did a lot of work on its ballistics properties. We made panels, 12mm thick, and we sent them to the United States where they were tested by the National Institute of Justice [the research, development and evaluation agency of the United States Department of Justice]. With a Magnum 44 they shot from 16 feet, five shots, and there was no penetration at all.’

It also has a top speed of 50 knots and operating range of 400 nautical miles.

The boat is the first of a new range being built at Ultimate Boats, the Glasgow boatyard owned by ExoTechnologies. The company says it plans to create 300 jobs at the yard within five years.

ExoTechnologies chief executive officer Shane Mugan said: ‘We are proud that this pioneering and internationally significant project is being delivered in Scotland, by our talented Clyde-based workforce, in partnership with Police Scotland.

‘To witness the world’s first ever fully recyclable boat in action is incredibly rewarding after years of research and development.’

ExoTechnologies approached Police Scotland in July 2020 with an opportunity to co-design a purpose-built boat which would be offered on a research and development loan for operational use. It will be loaned to Police Scotland for a three-year period with an agreement in place which covers the cost of insurance, maintenance and servicing.

Police Scotland’s assistant chief constable, Mark Williams, lead for Operational Support, said: ‘This unique opportunity should allow us to benefit from a high performing asset that will make a positive difference to our capability.’

ExoTechnologies is now seeking to raise capital to scale its recyclable DANU technology worldwide.