Thunder Bay's Allen Barrie is betting on carbon fibre.

Barrie is president of Carbon Marine, a southern Ontario-based company that's developed the world's first boat with a fully-exposed carbon fibre hull.

It's unique in that while other manufacturers use carbon fibre, they use it for only parts - a layer in the hull, or the mast on a sailboat, for example, Barrie said.

"Our entire boat is carbon fibre," he said. "It's a bit of a tough process, it's an expensive process."

The boat, dubbed Paragon, was completed in February and has been touring boat shows in the months since.

"One of our key markets is as a yacht tender," Barrie said. "We're 4,500 pounds with 130 gallons of fuel."

"We're marketing to the yacht guys or the superyacht guys, because they'll either have a garage on their yacht for it, or they'll put it on the deck. And the centre of gravity is not affected versus, say, a boat they've purchased that's 10,000 pounds."

The Paragon is 28 feet long, and an equivalent fibreglass boat would be a minimum of 30 per cent heavier, Barrie said.

"The engine takes less power to push a lighter boat," he said. "Technically, we're pushing a feather, so we'll get a lot better fuel economy."

The Paragon is currently in southern Ontario being marketed to would-be buyers there, Barrie said.

"It's a total head-turner," he said. "We just tried to do the best we could do with fit and finish, and it doesn't matter where you take it, there's a crowd looking at this boat."