Case Study

Recycled plastic bottles to produce a premium motorboat? You’re looking at the future of the maritime industry.

Leidi 990 a premium motorboat made from recycled plastic bottles

Croatian ship builders Leidi have been designing and manufacturing high-quality boats since 2005. With their latest motorboat model, the Leidi 990, this innovative company wanted to improve sustainability and performance while maintaining a sleek design. Selecting new materials and implementing them in the production process was key. 


21 June 2023 | Timer icon 3 minutes read | Share case study: LinkedIn logo Email icon

The maritime industry covers both shipbuilding and recreational craft – both of which have seen recent trends in shaving off weight from the boats themselves, using more and more sustainable materials in building them, and coming out with new and faster models on the market. So for Leidi, it was important to differentiate themselves from the competition with their latest motorboat model – the Leidi 990 – which is due to hit the market in July 2023.  

Sustainability meets production quality

Aiming to meet circular economy best practices, Leidi’s goal was to innovate on using raw materials from renewable sources. This would not only improve the boat’s sustainability credentials, but also reduce the total weight of the craft. A lighter boat requires a smaller engine, uses less fuel, causes fewer carbon emissions, and is easier to drive. A win-win for both planet and performance. 

The challenge for Leidi was to find the optimum composition of materials, which were also suitable for hand lamination – an important part of their production process that ensures build quality of the hull and deck. In other words, the motorboat needed to be light and sustainable while also maintaining its premium quality.  

Recycled plastic to the rescue

Leidi is a longstanding client of IMCD, having used materials from our portfolio in the past. For this latest project, they approached IMCD with the requirement to source the strongest, lightest, most sustainable materials. The solution? PET resin and PET cores and foams from recycled plastic bottles to create durable, sustainable composite materials. 

Marsel Brkić, owner of Leidi said: “We knew this was the right way for the future of the maritime industry. So it was crucial for us to work with the right supplier: one that’s offering the best-quality product, a reliable supply and a competitive market price. We were very satisfied with the technical support from IMCD, as well as the ability to obtain all the materials we needed from one source.” 

Solid savings

The chosen materials provided a weight saving of 20% compared with traditional solid laminate, which has a considerable impact on performance for a boat like the Leidi 990 of around 5 tonnes. Most of the raw materials were supplied by IMCD, which made the purchasing process easier for Leidi. While all products were stored in the same warehouse, which improved efficiency when it came to time, costs and logistics. 

Damir Vinković, Technical Sales Manager at IMCD Advanced Materials said: “We’re particularly proud of this project as we’ve been involved with Leidi from the concept phase. This boat is unique in its class, and being able to use materials produced from a recyclable source is a big step in the maritime industry.”   

Want to find out how IMCD can help you select the best materials for both sustainability and performance? Contact our Advanced Materials team today!
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Fast facts

The Leidi 990 motorboat is made using PET resin and PET cores and foams derived from recycled plastic bottles, ensuring durability and sustainability.

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