The Dubai Boat Show has just kicked off this week after two years of hiatus and many renowned brands are attending, including Faroboats.
Boatim has recently interviewed Tomás Costa Lima, the successful naval designer of Faroboats to learn more about a new manufacturer that combines classic-boat design with modern technology and innovation.
Tomás Costa Lima and the Faro5 at the Cannes Yachting Festival 2021
Discover everything about Faroboats and how they are revolutionizing the electric boat sector.
How Did Your Connection to Boats Start?
"It started at an early age. When I was 18, I started practicing sailing, one of my greatest passions until this day, which led me to take part in many regattas. From then on, my life’s journey has been deeply connected to the sea.
After a successful career in design (product and equipment design above all), my second greatest passion, I tried to figure out a way of joining them together. Then, by chance, I was invited to develop several products that combined design with the marine industry. A friend who, at the time, had founded a maritime-touristic company asked me to create a catamaran to fill a market void for his charter company that operated on the Tagus river, in Lisbon (Portugal). This led me to design a boat that ended up having excellent product acceptance and was a great success on the Tagus river. Afterward, I designed 4 new boats for them, as well as a 50 ft. catamaran for private use. Then, I also designed a sailing boat, and it was then that I really started working on a project that combined my two greatest passions. On all these projects, I’ve always tried to be up to date with the latest trends either by attending events, following other designers and their projects, as well as technology and sustainability novelties, so that I could apply these insights to my work."
What's the Story Behind Faroboats?
"It all started when I redesigned a small electric boat, which had been created to be used in maritime touristic companies, and transformed it into a piece of design that embodied an innovation and sustainable solution that the market lacked and met the needs of owners of 5-meter boats.
The Faro5 Solar Set
First, I designed an electric boat, then a solar charging dock (the Faro5 Solar Set) in which the boat could be charged, protected, and stored outside of the water, preventing it from contaminating the water with anti-fouling paints as well as lowering the maintenance costs.
After designing the product, I held conversations with a potential investor, Jose Antonio Melo e Faro, a friend of mine, who was interested in investing in this project and quickly came on board as a partner along with his wife, Sofia Melo e Faro. That was when Faroboats was born: we kept on developing our product, always having innovation in the production process in mind.
We also had the support of EEA Grants, an international fund provided by Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. Sometime later, we were joined by two other partners with complementary sales and communication knowledge and skills."
How About the Brand’s Name? What’s the Origin?
"After brainstorming several different brand names and selecting two that we would have liked to adopt, we weren’t able to register them. They were already taken by other companies. We considered adopting the name of our investors (Melo e Faro).
Besides, Faro in Spanish means “lighthouse” and it’s a word deeply connected to the sea. There is also a Portuguese city called Faro, even though we’re a Lisbon-based company. This word connected the brand with Portugal, the sea, the lighthouse imaginary, and our investors on top of being phonetically beautiful and easily pronounceable."
The Faro5 by Faroboats
What Sets You Apart From Other Brands?
"The creation of the Faro5 Solar Set ended up creating a unique product in the world, with an interesting commercial potential since it solves problems people with lake houses have; the ones that live in canals, and even charter companies that to comply with new laws aren’t allowed to use fuel boats in certain areas.
The solution to this problem is electricity; however, charging an electric boat can still be challenging. Faroboats' charging dock enables boaters to charge their vessels anywhere with 100% clean solar or wind energy, which is particularly significant since it isn't produced by nuclear power plants or thermoelectric power stations. With this set, boaters no longer need an energy connection to the peer where they have their boats and this makes their vessels always ready to use, solving a lot of problems boat owners have. Besides, it’s a sustainable product.
The Faro5 can be purchased separately in case boat owners already have a charging place for it or in a pack (with a charging dock) if they lack a charging solution. Within an hour and a half, it is possible to charge the boat's batteries with a fast charger."
Why This Interest in Developing a Sustainable Product?
"It was important for us that not only product production was sustainable, but also the materials used were environmentally friendly. Thus, even though boat modules and the prototype itself are currently developed in Poland, all remaining production stages are carried out in Portugal in the most environmentally friendly process possible.
The Faro5 by Faroboats is a sustainable boating solution
For example, to envelop the boat’s deck and give it a more sophisticated, elegant, and premium look, I found a solution with the help of another friend of mine (laughs) who developed a new method to create better performance endurable surfboards using Cryptomeria, a light type of wood from the Portuguese Atlantic islands of the Azores, where it is sustainably produced.
By doing so, we ensured that our product was not only Made in Portugal, but also had a deep connection to nature and the sea."
What About Your Plans for the Future: Will You Launch New Boat Models?
I’ve already started to ideate the Faro8 that will also bring more edgy solutions to the market including technical, innovation, and design features. I believe it will be replicated by other boat brands since it will bring a great environmental and sustainable solution to the market that still doesn’t exist and thus will meet current boat owners' needs. But I still can’t reveal much about it. (laughs)." -Tomás Costa Lima
Faroboats is known for its "Luxury can be green" mentality. Their mission statement, "Bringing self-renewable boating solutions to the world" is demonstrated through their "eco-friendly, self-renewable, and sustainable" boating solutions that limit the impact on the environment and set the standard for sustainable boating worldwide. The Faro Boat5 is a perfect example of these ideals, as the boat utilizes an autonomous solar-powered charging station. Faroboats and their constant pursuit of new, innovative solutions will hopefully allow fellow boaters to continue enjoying our beautiful planet without further damaging it and spark a new wave of self-sustainable solutions for leisure and exploration boating.