on 26 Feb 2019
Dan Lenard of Nuvolari Lenard design studio is on a solo trip from Cadiz, Spain to Fort Lauderdale, USA in a sailboat without instruments to promote marine preservation, in a project called Vela-Code
Dan Lenard of the renowned superyacht design firm Nuvolari Lenard is on a daring adventure called Vela-Code. This transatlantic crossing began with his departure on January 20 from Cadiz, Spain with plans to arrive in Fort Lauderdale, USA by the end of February. This voyage is a non-profit project with a mission; a call to action for marine conservation.
The challenge: being alone on a 33ft (10m) sailboat constructed with no instruments – no engine, no electronics, no GPS, log, compass or even autopilot, and not even a sextant (used by ancient navigators). Lenard left Cadiz and reached Antigua on February 20, having lost a lot of weight and having travelled almost 4,000 miles (6437 km), following the route of Christopher Columbus’ second voyage.
Lenard’s goal was to reach the coast of Florida for the Miami Boat Show (February 14-18), but a lack of winds (12 days of 2-5kts) quashed those plans. He ended up spending the night in Falmouth Marina in Antigua. At the moment, he is on his way to Miami and will arrive in the next few days.
His solo transatlantic crossing is being made to promote the beauty and pure simplicity of sailing, and also to signal to the yachting community the need for immediate action in terms of marine environment preservation. Lenard says, “I want to invite everybody that loves and is passionate about the sea to spread awareness of sea and ocean conservation”.
Vela-Code’s SCIA is a reset button in sailing technology to highlight the need to reset the way we treat our environment. The intention is to inspire focused initiatives for both prevention and cure. Prevention, firstly, through intelligent design of yachts and secondly, through education on the activities and behavior that cause damage. Then, cure, by taking responsibility for what we have done and devoting resources to repair the damage.
Lenard has been sailing all his life, from early years with a simple Flying Junior sailing dinghy and then moving up to Laser Class. He designed his first 50 ft (15m) sailing yacht at the age of 19. In 25 years, the studio Nuvolari Lenard has designed 350 boats, among which are also sailboats, such as the 64m Perini Navi ketchThe Spirit of the C’s (formerly Felicità West), and last year, the Oceanco 106m megayacht Black Pearl.
SCIA, which means “wake” in Italian, is a 33ft (10m) sloop with a 2ft (0.6m) bowsprit. It is a patchwork of existing boat parts, the newest being 8 years old but previously unused. The intention was to create a “pure” sailing yacht to accomplish the objective of crossing the Atlantic, as a beacon to the yacht industry. This was as far as possible from the superbly sophisticated superyachts that have shaped Lenard’s career.
“With the help and enthusiasm of friends at the shipyard in Prelog [ecologically acceptable waste management re-use centre], we recycled boat parts that were in various states of construction and we coupled hull and deck of different ten year old boats. The mast is from a Bavaria Match 35 and the rudder is from another boat. To create SCIA, we used 100 kilos of resin for the various couplings. As designers, we made it aesthetically pleasing form without using so much as a single design sheet”, says Lenard.
SCIA is equipped with a tracker/beacon that signals Lenard’s position every hour throughout the voyage. While Lenard can’t chart his progress via this device, his audience can. The shore team is responsible for updating social media, and the website will display his progress from data received via the beacon. From January 20 until he reaches the Caribbean, Lenard will be cut off from the rest of the world.
One of the charities this project is raising awareness for is the Water Revolution Foundation, recently established by leaders of the superyacht industry who recognised the urgent need to accelerate the shift towards a more sustainable industry. As well as future-proofing the superyacht industry for the next generation, the founders understand our obligation to look after the world’s precious oceans, the crucial natural resource that yachting relies upon.