Sioen at Waterfront event

In 2017, the Province of West Flanders asked the direction of Industrial Product Design of Howest (Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen), to elaborate a number of proposals for a boat for a major memorial event on world war '14 -'18. Various groups of students started to work on the project and came up with various designs for the day. These designs had to be developed in consultation with a company. One of the groups designed a boat based on PVC coated textile and contacted Coatex, part of the Sioen Industries group for the practical development.

The concept, based on the origami principle, has the shape of a boat and gets a 'second life' as a beanbag. The rough shape was good, the finish could still be upgraded. The Sioen experts and engineers played an important role there. Throughout the various consultation moments, the definitive model came ever closer and was finally proposed at the beginning of March.

After completing an official tendering procedure, we received the order for 3,234 boats and sails in 6 different colors.

The Waterfront event aims to commemorate the victims who lost their lives in the spring of 1918 around both ports. During this commemoration 6,000 participants will receive per 2 persons a package that they can tinker into a boat. They will write a message of peace on the sail. As from 19 hours the boats will be launched in one long cycle between Ostend and Zeebrugge. After the event, the participants can take the boat home, where it can serve as a seat cushion, a toy boat or as a souvenir. More information can be found on The event will be broadcasted live on Canvas, and many prominent people will be present.

The Waterfront event takes place on 29 June between Ostend and Zeebrugge. Do you wish to participate in this unique event? Sign up directly at

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