What is the future of hybrid yachts?
Denis Korablev
  • 22.12.2019
  • 354

What is the future of hybrid yachts?

Modern manufacturers are increasingly working on hybrid yacht propulsion systems, combining conventional combustion engines with electric motors and large batteries. Eminent engineers, shipbuilders, designers work on luxury models of eco-yachts who really care about the environment, about the future of the entire planet and are working to preserve the islands of untouched nature, in order to correct the consequences of pollution of water resources and the atmosphere.

Benefits of Hybrid Powertrains

Both the purchase and hybrid yacht rental are gaining popularity lately, as such yachts have a number of advantages, which include: environmental friendliness, low noise level during operation of electric motors, comfort of driving on electric traction in the absence of harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Hybrid yachts can be more economical if solar panels are connected to the engines. Of course, they also have weaknesses, the main of which are the high cost and short range, but the developers are working to improve the performance indicators of eco-yachts.

Interest in hybrid propulsion systems was intensified by the five-deck superyacht Feadship Savannah, presented in 2015, produced by the largest Dutch shipyard Feadship, which won the World Superyacht Awards 2016. Today, it is clear that the introduction of electric motors will continue, although today it is the use of electric motors on ships is not as widespread as on vehicles. The sales volume of the German company Torqeedo, the leader in the production of electric motors, is measured in the amount of 25 million euros, but its main customers are boat owners, not yachts.

However, fans of yachting are in no hurry to acquire ships with electric motors - because if you plan to cross the ocean and you can meet severe weather conditions on the way, the engine will help you avoid danger, and liquid-fuel motors are preferable in this regard. Even the most advanced lithium-ion batteries today are capable of providing a range of tens of miles, not hundreds. Despite the incredibly low efficiency of ICEs, which emit a lot of energy in the form of heat and noise, they remain more "energy intensive" than batteries. Meanwhile, outboard motors from Torqeedo are increasingly appearing on board yachts. Yachtsmen who equip their boats with electric outboard engines are attracted by the lightness of the engine, ease of use and quiet operation. In any case, you can always evaluate a hybrid yacht by renting it using our website 2yachts.

Of course, electric motors are also of interest to yachtsmen, and the best option would be to combine a diesel engine with an electric motor in a hybrid power plant. The Finnish company Oceanvolt recommends the Oceanvolt AXC installation, which is installed in place of a traditional diesel engine. For long journeys, Oceanvolt recommends a hybrid system with a backup generator to ensure continuous movement - the propeller recharges the batteries during rotation, taking about 0.3 knots, and the generator can be used as a backup power source.

In the future, it is possible that yachts with solar panels, batteries, hydro generators, generators and motors will be able to provide the ship with the power of the required power around the clock. In the meantime, we should hope for the development of technologies in the field of increasing battery power and getting better performance when using screws with variable pitch.

Current Hybrid Yacht Models

If you are a supporter of the use of alternative energy sources and care about the environment, then with the help of modern technologies a hybrid version of a yacht of any model can be manufactured for you. "The yacht of the future" was called the 42-meter model "Adastra", released in 2011 at the Australian shipyard "McConaghy Boats" in Hong Kong. Fuel consumption, engine operation and other parameters on this vessel are controlled by an automated control system. Many parts of the eco-yacht are custom made from composite materials to reduce the weight of the boat and achieve high fuel efficiency. Also interesting is the concept of the yacht of the future - "Crystal Blue" from the British manufacturing giant "Rolls-Royce", running on gas.

Examples of current hybrid yachts are also:

  • "Foiler" from the manufacturer "Enata Marine" (UAE) with a carbon fiber hull, equipped with hydrofoils;
  • Sunseeker Manhattan 70 from Sunseeker International, powered by twin 1,250hp MTU engines. M94;
  • Austrian Frauscher Hybrid;
  • Greenline Ocean Class 70 from Slovenian manufacturer Seaway equipped with diesel engine and electric motor and other yacht models from this manufacturer.

It is high time for people to concern themselves with the catastrophic state of the environment and to take measures to introduce technologies for the use of alternative energy sources in the transport and other spheres. It is known that Prince Albert II of Monaco is a fierce supporter of the use of alternative, "green" technologies, which contributes to the introduction of hybrid motors in the future, at least in Monaco. Forward-looking shipbuilding companies have long been working with hybrid propulsion systems, so hybrid yachts are the future.