Sustainable Yachting – The Benefits Of A Hybrid System

As we sail towards a greener future, many of the world’s industries look towards more sustainable practices and the yachting industry is no different. This year, Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) will again be pushing the boundaries and promoting the advancements and innovations that will shape the future of yachting. From emission-reducing propulsion systems to advanced weather-routing navigation, together, we can lessen our impact on the environment.

Before fossil fuels, ships travelled the world with wind and whilst some yachts still sport rigging and sails, many use diesel motors and generators. Out in the ocean, the wind, the sun and the sea can all provide cleaner energy, and with hybrid systems, a more sustainable approach is possible.

What is a Hybrid System?

During the last 20 years, the advances in lithium-ion battery technology has seen many combustion-powered vehicles and vessels switch to hybrid, or even purely electric drive.

For yachting, a significant breakthrough was realised in 2015, when e-Motion, after nearly a decade of research and development, installed a hybrid system onboard a 31metre Sanlorenzo. Combining diesel and electric, the yacht’s propulsion system could switch seamlessly between electric and diesel power.

As with hybrid cars, the system works using batteries to power the yacht’s motors and generators when the supply is switched. Combining a hybrid battery and combustion engine improves efficiency, boosts power and reduces emissions.

James Roy, Managing Director of industry specialists Lateral Naval Architects, said in a 2021 interview: “Clients are already asking us to engineer, design and build yachts which can ‘leave no trace.’ Perhaps even operate in a way that leaves a positive impact on the environment. There is a real opportunity here for our industry to be at the forefront of future tech development and lead the way.”

What are the Benefits of a Hybrid System?

With the use of a hybrid system, the yacht sees a reduction in fuel consumption of around 30%. The trickledown effect of this reduction in fuel usage, however, brings around further advantages. By switching to electric, the vessels Co2 emissions are greatly reduced, as well as exhaust fumes which contribute to water pollution. By taking strain off the combustion engine, the overall life expectancy of the motor increases.

Aside from the propulsion of the yacht, hybrid systems also help maintain the power for the ‘hotel’ load of the vessel. With less noise, vibrations and fumes usually produced by the onboard generators, time on the yacht is a much more tranquil experience.

Green Energy

Out on the ocean, with the sun beaming down on the deck, solar panels assist in the charging of the batteries. Thanks to the advancements in battery technology, some yachts boast batteries that can hold a million watts of electricity. Taking charge from the running of the diesel engine as well as the sun and even wind, lithium-ion batteries provide greater efficiency whilst vastly reducing the environmental impact of the vessel.

Sustainability in Energy Maintenance & Operation

Ship builders are continually looking for more efficient practices in the construction of their boats. Improving efficiency on the water helps take the strain away from the combustion engines. Optimising the ship’s ballast ensures that the engines are running at maximum efficiency. Likewise, keeping the hull well maintained, glossed and free of growth improves the vessel’s ability in the water by reducing friction.

Weather routing, auto pilot and auto steering can also maximise the efficiency of the yacht. Finding the quickest and safest routes, maintaining speed and capitalising on overnight cruising, fuel consumption is again reduced.

At this year’s Dubai International Boat Show you can explore, learn and see the innovations and technologies that are shaping the future of the industry. From inspirational speakers to tech displays and superyacht tours, we offer unprecedented access to the industry, the lifestyle and the benefits to be found in a life on the ocean.

See sustainable yachting in action down at the dockside, where you can take tours of some of the latest yachting innovations put to work, onboard of some of the world’s most advanced yachts and superyachts.

Register your interest here.

Yachting And The Metaverse – Virtual Reality & Practicality

The metaverse is revolutionising how we communicate, as we live, play, and work in a new virtual environment, which has become an umbrella that encapsulates many digital advancements, cryptocurrencies and NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens). These digital currencies and artifacts hold real world value that the maritime industry can benefit from.

So, how does a 3D virtual universe incorporate yachting, or more importantly, how can the yachting industry incorporate the metaverse?

Design and Development

Incorporating CAD design into a virtual world and using variables to recreate conditions at sea, superyachts can be designed and sailed, without ever picking up a pencil, screwdriver or even touching water. Virtual reality offers a safe space to build and test developments.

From the conceptualisation to the creation, augmented reality gives yacht builders an immersive, to-scale showroom, in which they can see how a design will look and feel when it is brought to life. Not only that, but they can set sail on a virtual sea with variable conditions putting the ship through its paces and optimising efficiency, aesthetics and functionality.

For prospective clients, regardless of their location, seeing your vision before construction has even begun, can be a huge benefit. A handful of yacht builders have incorporated VR into every step of their process, updating clients at each stage of the build with the immersive technology.

The Virtual Boardroom

With sustainability high on everyone’s agenda, the metaverse offers a solution in bringing people together.

For yachts, this could mean seafarers can meet virtually before they travel together, and once onboard, can host important meetings from the middle of the ocean, attending events sat on deck or visiting any corner of the globe, or even the universe, from the comfort of your cabin.

Holding such activities in this way can be greatly beneficial to the environment, reducing the carbon footprint of bringing people together by traditional means.

NFTs & Project Metaverse

Despite the 2022 crypotcrash, NFTs are by no means lost at sea. A non-fungible token is essentially a digital asset. They are traded on the blockchain, which is essentially the Fort Knox of the digital world and have accrued some hefty price tags.

For the maritime industry, NFTs and blockchain provide an exciting new technology that has been adapted to provide efficient tracking for the 90% of goods transportation that’s seaborne.

Seeing the digital assets for business as well as pleasure, digital yacht builders are drafting in some of the world’s most renowned yacht builders and designers to create a series of NFT collections, featuring some truly extravagant digital superyachts.

The ultimate VR superyacht comes in the (virtual) form of Project Metaverse. Designed by Gregory C Marshall, Project Metaverse is a 63-metre superyacht NFT with a price tag of $95,000,000. If the NFT sells, it will become the most expensive NFT ever sold, but will also see the design become a real-world asset.

With the world’s leading yachting industry players descending on Dubai for this year’s Dubai International Boat Show, you can expect to see some of the latest technologies and developments amongst our fantastic line up of designers, speakers, fin and blue tech companies and perhaps even grab your chance to explore the metaverse.

For more information and to book your place, follow this link.