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Campion Marine: a builder on the cutting edge

Campion Marine has been building boats for more than 36 years. The Kelowna, British Columbia-based company produces more than 37 models that range from 16 to 30 feet - approximately 1,000 boats a year, including those that it builds for other companies, such as electric-boat builder Infinyte Marine, which is also based in Kelowna.

In addition to using Ashland Inc.'s Envirez polyester resin, Campion is exploring other means to reduce the harmful emissions of building fiberglass boats. It builds hulls and decks from lighter and stronger tri-axial glass mats. That cuts material use and produces lighter, more fuel-efficient boats. It uses a gelcoat that contains half as much styrene as conventional products. It has replaced toxic acetone with a semiaqueous non-flammable composite resin remover that helped reduce solvent use by 80 percent. The polyurethane flotation foam it uses is "VOC-exempt" (exempt from regulation as a volatile organic compound) and does not contribute to ozone depletion, according to the manufacturer.

Starting with the 2011 model year, Campion ( will replace all of the light fixtures on its boats with LEDs to curb energy use. The company also is contemplating a new foam core material that is manufactured from recycled polyethylene bottles.

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce recognized the company last April with a Green Business Award in the manufacturing and construction category.

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This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue.