Sun Concept's solar boat is the star of the sea Algarve

If in a few months you find a solar boat made in Olhão sailing in the Douro, in silence, with the […]

If in a few months you find a solar boat made in Olhão sailing in the Douro, in silence, with the passengers holding a glass of wine, that is…Sun Concept.

Sun Concept's solar boat is the star of the Mar Algarve fair, which continues this Saturday, March 25, at Portimão Arena.

The innovative company based in Olhão brought two of its boats to the event in Portimo, which attract the eyes of visitors. And towards the end of the year, the new catamaran will be ready to sail, also powered by solar energy, which is the big news from Sun Concept.

Manuel Lázaro Brito, general director and founding partner of the company, revealed to the Sul Informação which has already sold eight solar vessels of the first model, from North to South of the country.

One of the most recent customers is the Herdade do Esporão group, which bought a solar boat for Quinta dos Murças, in the Douro. «It will be a boat for wine tasting, sailing on the waters of the river. It will have tables, a fridge for the wines, a specific cupboard for the glasses», says João Bastos, commercial responsible for the Algarve Sun Concept.

Of the eight boats sold in Portugal, almost all for maritime-tourism activities and companies that put environmental sustainability at the top of their priorities, customers are located in Vila Nova de Cerveira (to navigate the Minho River), Ria de Aveiro, Douro (Herdade dos Murças and Gaia), Castelo de Bode Dam, Abrantes (Tejo), Lisbon and Algarve. In one of the cases, the client is a lady, who bought a solar boat for her recreational use, at the Castelo de Bode dam.

But the Algarve company has already started its internationalization and, in January, as Sul Informação realized, was present at Boot, in Dusseldorf, considered one of the largest nautical fairs in the world. Although the solar boat is even small when compared to some of the yachts and sailboats that were shown there, «Boot's organization included, in the video promoting the fair, images of our vessel».

And in Sun Concept he ended up leaving Germany with «contacts for distribution of our models in several countries, namely the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg and the Caribbean», as well as contacts for possible business in Israel and Hungary.

Bearing in mind that, «with the team we have, we can produce two boats a month», the great interest could force the company to grow. But Manuel Brito guarantees that growth will be “based on financial sustainability”. “If there are orders, we will have to grow”, he admits.

Sun Concept's hopes are now focused on the new model, the 12-meter catamaran, with 40 square meters of solar panels and 6 kwatts of power, as explained by the engineer Júlio Silvestre, responsible for the technical part.

The catamaran had «the design completed a short time ago, we are now going to start building the moulds», explained João Bastos. Even though construction of the new model has not yet started, “there are already two catamarans sold”.

The new boats should be ready there by “October or November”, in time for Boot Dusseldorf, where they will make their international debut, looking to attract more customers.


But Sun Concept is not the only shipbuilding and repair company in the Algarve present at the Mar Algarve fair, in Portimão Arena. Also there are Nauiber, from Vila Real de Santo António or Sopromar, from Lagos.

Another major attraction is the corridor dedicated to maritime-tourist companies, which also come from across the region and even, in addition to promoting their products, are raffling off, during the fair, tours and various experiences along the Algarve coast. So, if you want to know more about coastal walks, dolphin watching, diving, bird watching at sea, go to the Mar Algarve fair.

Also present are the research centers, namely those of the University of Algarve, which present the results of much of their scientific work.

Of course, in Mar Algarve there is also an area dedicated to eating and drinking, where you can find, for example, the Manná preserves, which can be tasted, or the «Maria do Mar» scooter, with its own famous mackerel burger.

This Saturday, March 25, from 10 am, the 30st Congress of Maritime-Tourism will take place in the auditorium of Portimão Arena, where issues related to the management of space and marine resources in the Algarve will be discussed. The theme of Diving and Licensing will also be addressed.

Two photographic exhibitions are also taking place in the Fair: “O Desafio do Mar”, by the Portimão Museum, and “L'Hermione”, a French frigate rebuilt to the scale of the original, dating from the XNUMXth century, in which the Marquis de Lafayette sailed to America to help the American insurgents in the war for independence against England, this ship having become a symbol of brotherhood and friendship among peoples. It is organized by the French community (UFE).

Visitors to Mar Algarve – Feira do Mar'17 may also qualify for the draw for entries to the VIP area and visits paddock of the F1 World Championship in Power Boating – Grand Prix of Portugal, which will take place from 21 to 23 April in the riverside area of ​​Portimão.

Yesterday morning, the Minister of the Sea was supposed to visit the fair. But what was officially called a flu by Ana Paula Vitorino prevented her from complying with the program. And so she did not have to face the protests of protesters against hydrocarbon exploration in the Algarve and Alentejo, who were waiting for her at the door.

Outside the fairgrounds, the highlight goes to the open doors of two navy vessels, berthed at the Marinha wharf, between Portimão and Praia da Rocha. These are the training vessel “Creoula” and the speed boat “Argos”, which can only be visited, this Saturday, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 13:30 pm to 17:00 pm.


Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues|Sul Informação