Dan Lenard crosses Atlantic on the world’s greenest sailboat.

January 28, 2019

  • Photos by Tom van Oossanen.
  • Renderings by Vela
  • Rendering by Vela
  • Provided by Vela
  • Provided by Vela
  • Photos by Tom van Oossanen.

  • Renderings by Vela

  • Rendering by Vela

  • Provided by Vela

  • Provided by Vela

Like another Italian explorer who set sail from Spain to discover a new world, Christopher Columbus, renowned superyacht designer Dan Lenard is making the same journey. However, Lenard is creating a whole, new world as he personally tries to change the marine industry, embarking upon a solo, transatlantic crossing using no hydrocarbons or electronics in his prototype sailboat, Vela 33.

Without any technology - no GPS, no compass, no autopilot, no fuel, no engine, no battery and no generator -  Lenard will navigate the Atlantic solely by sight, stars and sun. The 40 day voyage culminates with Lenard sailing into the Miami International Boat Show on February 14, making the greenest statement in nautical world to the whole yachting industry.

Nuvolari Lenard, winner of numerous, world superyacht awards, designed the world’s most spectacular superyachts for pedigree builders like Lurssen and Oceanco. However, Lenard’s passion for Vela’s mission uses only her sail to cross the Atlantic; he departed Cadiz, Spain on January 20.

Vela translates to sailboat in Italian. Lenard is putting the “sail” back into sailing by setting a personal example on the issue of plastics and pollution produced by recreational boaters and the marine industry. He intends to produce zero emissions and absolutely no garbage, nothing pitched into the water.

While he is sailing the boat alone, he is constantly followed, virtually, by over 200,000 followers on social media.

“Sailing is the only true, sustainable mode of transportation,” said Lenard in a statement. “It exists for 7,500 years. But, in the last century we started to combine what was originally sustainable with dirty technology, there is no sailing without a diesel engine today. If you add to that improper food commissioning, trash disposal, sailing becomes a huge polluter. We want to inspire a change….Think of this as making history right for the first time.”

As a non-commercial project raising awareness for environmental protection by the marine industry and boaters everywhere, Lenard self-funded the project, although Ulysses Nardin is named as a sponsor on the boat’s hull.

“As pollution keeps exponentially growing, we feel the need to partner up strategically with one or many exclusive companies who will back our work, and help us spread the message…until we have jointly made the world a better place.”

The “Vela sailing code” is sailing purism. Using only sails to sail, Lenard’s instincts are beyond patient and practical whenever mother nature foils his journey by producing absolutely no wind. Lenard simply plans to take his time and enjoy those moments.

Making special provisions for packaging food with lots of Spanish ham onboard, Lenard is following one of Columbus’s ideal routes. On January 28, his course passes parallel to the Western Saharan coast.

AtlanticelectronicsOceanco