Cold breeze by the ocean and a salty scent. At RAND Boats, it’s all about life on the water. An easy-going lifestyle mixed with an inherent respect for nature are both important elements for this Danish boat company, which designs and produces boats at its own yard in Denmark.
“Respect for nature is a core value for us, and we want to contribute to sustainable living by making sustainable choices. We include the product lifecycle in our production, which affects our design process and serves as a guideline we use to make the right decisions. We feel responsible for pushing things in the right direction,” says Carl Kai Rand, owner and architect at RAND Boats.
RAND Boats is a fairly new company. It has existed for four years, but it has only been selling boats for a year and a half. For the first couple of years, the team members at this small business spent all their time developing and fine-tuning their future boats at their own shipyard in North Zealand – and their work shows in their final boat designs, which are thoroughly thought out.
The boats are built with one-third of the material used for similar boats, as part of the company’s sustainable approach. In general, RAND Boats constantly pushes the boundaries of sustainable production methods by using recycled plastic bottles and testing organic composites and sustainable forestry wood. Furthermore, RAND Boats has been working in collaboration with Danish wind power company Vestas to reuse fiberglass from old blades in the hull construction.
“Our boats truly represent Danish craftsmanship from fore to aft, and Danish craftsmanship is a seal of approval when we talk about design. Many of our rival companies use plenty of things and gadgets, but we don’t. Our products are cleared of any unnecessary details, so the things we have need to be in order,” Rand says.
Carl Kai Rand talks about attention to detail. Each boat in RAND Boat’s product line has its own respective function. The Picnic boat encourages social interaction, the Play boat is all about having fun, and the Sport boat is made to provide a luxurious, laid-back experience. Having one purpose per boat is a deliberate choice.
“Normally, boats are complex, multifunctional and not that good for one specific thing, so our philosophy is to focus on doing one thing and doing it in the best possible way. The experience on the water gets so much stronger when the functionality of the boat fits the purpose and need,” explains Rand.
Rand does not compromise when it comes to materials, sustainability or cost, and sometimes that brings him trouble.
“The tactile experience, whether it’s conscious or unconscious, is so important. The touch, the look, the feel. Those parameters weigh heavily on me when I’m choosing materials. I’m aware of the fact that our finance department isn’t always thrilled about my decisions, but I won’t compromise,” Rand says with a laugh. He continues:
“We want to prove that the sustainable choice is the best choice. If we want to defend our Scandinavian values, we and our clients must show respect for our nature, and that isn’t free.”
RAND Boats currently has three boats in its product line with more to come. The company also has the world’s first circumnavigating off-grid solar-powered motorboat on the draft board. It’s definitely a company to watch.