Ocean Family Foundation seeks out existing or start-up conservation projects that have a positive impact on marine life and ocean health across diverse global locations.


Ocean Family Foundation seeks out existing or start-up conservation projects that have a positive impact on marine life and ocean health across diverse global locations.

We welcome all funding proposals. Please contact us via InTouch

Ocean Family Foundation enjoys funding varied initiatives where the work may be hands-on activity out in the field or delivered through a variety of multi-media platforms. As Ocean Family Foundation we enjoy these relationships and witnessing the valuable impact of each endeavour.

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It’s easy to talk the talk. But it means little unless you also walk the walk. That’s why, as part of its #NewWave initiative, Dutch design studio Vripack has partnered with US-based international sailmaker North Sails to upcycle reclaimed sails from sailing yachts and transform them into nifty collapsible beach clean-up bags.

It’s estimated that around 97% of old sails end up in landfill when they come to the end of their life on the water. Pair that with the fact the world still produces more than 380 million tonnes of plastic every year, and the ability to repurpose sails into lifestyle products, such as beach bags, to be used to clean up riverbanks and coastlines has never been more salient.

Thankfully, thousands of volunteers run regular beach cleans all over the world, picking up debris washed up by the sea, as well as picnic food left behind and general debris dumped out of disregard for the planet and each other. Despite these best efforts, it’s often the more hard-to-reach destinations that naturally fall by the wayside. And that’s where yachting steps in.

In support of Ocean Family Foundation (OFF), Vripack is giving away one of its North Sail collapsible beach bags to every superyacht that pledges to #GoBeyond and pair every luxurious beach set up with a concerted beach clean-up.

“We’re not just handing bags out to any yacht that will take them to be cast aside and forgotten,” says Bart Bouwhuis, Vripack’s co-creative director. “We’re asking the crew of any yachts interested in being part of this initiative to make a true ocean pledge in writing, and to state their clean up intentions. That way, we hope to create a network of likeminded yacht owners and crew who will leave the beaches that they find in a better state than they found them.”

Among the yachts to have already taken Vripack’s beach bin pledge are MY Ocean Seven, SY Northstar, SY Marie, MY Blue Bird and newly delivered MY 62m Rio.

The invite for action is international – a mass concerted effort to reverse the damage being done to the land, oceans and world that we live in.

To register your interest in Vripack’s #BeachBin, visit newwave.vripack.com

#beachbin #newwave #gobeyond #worldcleanupday

About Vripack

Vripack is a design studio, made strong through its extensive naval architecture and engineering experience. From the moment it threw open its doors in 1961, Vripack’s approach to design has been governed by the playful interaction between beauty and function. With a portfolio that represents over 7,500 designs, Vripack has evolved its processes to be as efficient and effective as possible. The studio’s unique working structure – providing a holistic approach that considers design in partnership with naval architecture – ensures the team produce better boats in less time. Vripack’s involvement in the entire design process results in the safest, most durable and desirable yachts that clients and their guests feel at home on at sea.



The Ocean Family Foundation is sponsoring Marcelle Hecker, a fourth year PhD student from the EPSRC-funded CoSEM Centre of Doctoral Training (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/composites/cdt/) in the Bristol Composites Institute at the University of Bristol, to carry out her PhD research project in collaboration with North Sails.

As most Kiwis do, she developed a love for sailing and the ocean and got interested in how humans can live on and with the sea. In Bristol, she is focusing on the sustainability of composites in the marine sector and specifically in the yachting industry where vast amounts of composite materials in the form of sails currently go to waste. Marcelle is working on investigating economically feasible and environmentally benign methods to reclaim the high-value carbon fibres from sails and re-manufacture secondary composites from the recovered materials.



The yachting industry currently does not have a waste-management plan for end-of-life sailcloth. While the reuse of some sailcloth is carried out on the small scale with the production of novelty bags and shoes, most sails are simply stored for many years upon reaching the end of their useful life, and then landfilled. This mismanagement of ‘waste’ is detrimental to the environment and also a huge loss of valuable materials, as most sails are now essentially composite materials made up of a combination of valuable synthetic fibres, coatings, adhesives, films, and other chemical additives.

The most advanced sails produced by the world’s largest sailmaker, North Sails, are flexible carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites, and the aim of this project is to investigate economically feasible and environmentally benign methods to reclaim the high-value carbon fibres from North Sails’ “3Di” range of sails and re-manufacture secondary composites from the recovered materials.

Thus far, carbon fibres from an EOL 3Di sail have been reclaimed via two gasification-type processes. One process was conducted in a controlled air atmosphere (carried out by ELG Carbon Fibre (prior to 2022)), and the other in a controlled superheated steam (SHS) atmosphere, while undergoing pressure-swing cycles (carried out by B&M Longworth). The successfully reclaimed carbon fibres have been remanufactured into aligned discontinuous fibre reinforced composites (ADFRCs), using the High-Performance Discontinuous Fibre (HiPerDiF) manufacturing technology, invented at the University of Bristol, to lay out a possible waste-management route for EOL 3Di sails. The mechanical characterisation of this material is currently underway, before a demonstrator will be manufactured to show a complete recycling route, from sail to structure.

Ocean Family Foundation is a registered charity in England & Wales (1174759).
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