Synthetic decking and flooring manufacturer Bolidt is aiming to transform traditional on-board flooring into integrated flooring systems with the use of artificial intelligence and other technologies. One of its latest innovations is a sensor flooring concept, which aims to detect the presence of people around the vessel, adding benefits in terms of on-board safety, security and operational efficiency.

“This is an interesting feature for the yachting industry,” explains Robert van Aarle, sales and business development manager maritime at Bolidt. “The sensors can be turned on in certain areas and used by families to keep track of children at bedtime, used to detect intruders and locate people on board in an emergency and, from an operational perspective, alert crew to the movements of guests to enhance service.”

In order to further ensure on-board flooring systems are utilised in the most optimal way possible, another of Bolidt’s new products incorporates smart LED lighting into decking and flooring. Bolideck® LED (pictured above) programmes lights to illuminate in various patterns and controls the colour of individual LEDs, allowing designers a new level of creativity with flooring and decking on board.

“The idea initially came from requests from clients in the cruise ship industry, and we have since integrated the feature into superyacht projects,” adds van Aarle. “It creates a different atmosphere on board and we have found there is a lot of interest in the feature for both practical and aesthetic reasons within exterior and interior spaces.”

Bolidt Innovation Center

Bolidt also wants to achieve much more in terms of the design and aesthetics of flooring and decking in order to provide more options and show the market that there are alternatives to the typical teak and teak-looking decks. And the company is seeing an increasing demand for these alternatives – one recent client requested flooring to imitate the painting of a favourite artist and many others are experimenting with colours.

“Designers want to make unique designs and we are seeing them increasingly drive for change,” van Aarle concludes. “There will always be teak and teak-looking decking – it is part of the maritime tradition – but some clients are open to other options. We are gradually trying to change the perception of the market about what flooring should look like and do.”

Changing the perception of the market was one of the reasons behind the company’s creation of the Bolidt Innovation Center, due to be officially opened in 2020. The facility will be a dynamic space intended for the research and development of flooring and decking solutions for the superyacht sector and the centrepiece of Bolidt’s efforts to drive technological innovation by engaging the imaginations of owners, architects, designers and builders.

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