This summer Open Waters Design and Manufacturing (Open Waters) celebrated the commissioning of their all-electric catamaran. The journey began in 2016 when Simon Angus, owner, Open Waters, decided to create an innovative catamaran that would be environmentally sustainable, high performance and capable of being containerized and shipped anywhere in the world for sailing expeditions.
Two years ago, in November 2019, Angus successfully applied to Northern Development’s Northern Industries Innovation Fund for a $50,000 rebate to support the design and manufacturing of the catamaran prototype. Combining his passion for sailing with his skills as a mechanical engineer, Angus embarked on his mission to create an emissions free, all-electric catamaran.
“This project was filled with learnings and challenges and we’re grateful for the support we received from Northern Development and other funders,” said Angus. “Receiving grants helped secure the capital we required before navigating the design and manufacturing path. In the end, we exceeded our expectations, and we are proud to offer a premiere catamaran to a wide range of sailing enthusiasts.”
The entire project was geared towards producing a high-performance sailing catamaran that could be shipped in a 40-foot container. This goal was surpassed, as Open Waters used advanced manufacturing techniques and innovative design to create what they believe is the world’s first fully sustainable electric drive sailing catamaran.
Open Waters is the only carbon fiber sailboat manufacturer in Canada that uses an advanced infusion process. This economic diversification benefits Northern B.C. by introducing a new product that employs a diverse range of employees with various skillsets while bringing new money into the local economy as most boats will be sold outside of the province. Open Waters’ goal is to employ more than 40 local people within the next five years as production of these unique vessels ramps up.
The Northern Industries Innovation Fund is offered by Northern Development to support businesses as they undertake innovative projects that increase their competitiveness in traditional industries or contribute to economic diversification, such as Open Waters. The funding program is continuously accepting applications and businesses can apply for up to $50,000 in rebate funding.