Can a luxury yacht also be sustainable? Clearly, a sailing yacht compares favourably to a powered one, but even motor yacht companies are seeking ways to be eco-friendly.
The lull in manufacture due to Covid has given many of the top yacht brands the time to look at yacht production methods and develop sustainable strategies that consider the issues of global warming and the problems caused by the ever-increasing pollution of our seas.
Oceanco is renowned for building some of the most incredible superyachts in the world that are also eco-friendly. Take the Black Pearl, one of the largest ecological yachts in the world. She can cross the Atlantic using no fuel at all with her DynaRig sailing system and an innovative propulsion system that collects kinetic energy under sail. Her full capacity of sails can be set in seven minutes at the push of a button, reaching 30kn. Whilst she may look like an old pirate ship she boasts a glass lift, a spa pool, hot tub and a cinema.
Marcel Onkenhout, CEO Oceanco
"Our collective goal is to build the most exciting superyachts possible, to achieve zero impact on the environment, and to create a better world for future generations."
Oceanco’s NXT initiative on sustainability and innovation has created the Kairos, a superyacht with a symmetrical profile that lacks any ‘forward’ direction, more like a floating, living island. Designed in collaboration with that most famous design house, Pininfarina, tapping into the latest developments in technical design and innovative propulsion systems. The e-Hybrid architecture permits extensive operation with no noise, lower vibrations and zero local emissions. Their aim was to create a mobile oasis so you barely care where you are going.
Benetti Yachts, the Italian superyacht builder founded in 1873 in Viareggio, has been developing hybrid diesel-electric engines that will power gigayachts. The yacht Luminosity can sail in electric mode at low speed with diesel engines switched off. The diesel gensets supply energy to the electric motors which are useful for low-speed coastal cruising. They also increase range so even at high speeds they can sail using just 50% of the diesel engines. It also boasts a 3-megawatt battery bank for 12 hours of power with switched-off generators and no emissions. Plus the beginning of Melville’s Moby Dick is gently engraved on the crafted pillars.
The 83.5m Savannah was the first hybrid motoryacht, built by industry leaders Feadship. She is the first superyacht to feature an eco-friendly blend of a single diesel engine, three gensets, batteries, propeller, azimuting thruster and a streamlined hull shape. Further innovation comes in the form of a floating superstructure, an underwater lounge and the ‘open’ aft deck areas. Her lithium-ion battery bank weighs a staggering 30 tonnes and holds a million watts of electricity.
Last but by no means least, the attractive 49.5m Exuma Yacht by Perini Navi was built for exploration and won the prestigious Rina Green Plus award for environmental friendliness. She has a range of over 6000 miles and runs almost silent due to the slender hull and low consumption engines. Amongst her accessories, she counts a 3.7m Hov Pod hovercraft and an amphibious car that can take you to shore, then straight to the nearest hotel without stopping.