At the recent Monaco Yacht Show, a leading British yacht builder Sunseeker has revealed new Sunseeker 133 model. It will operate on a hybrid propulsion system developed jointly with Germany-based engines manufacturer MTU. Yacht Harbour discussed the future of hybrid propulsion engines with Darren Barnett, Marine Manager with MTU UK.
Where does MTU decision to focus on hybrid systems for yachts come from?
MTU has been an engine supplier for many years. The company is around 110 years old. Over that time, we have specialised in manufacturing and supplying light-weight and high-speed diesel engines.
Now the time has come, when we have to be more than just an engine supplier, since the power requirements on-board yachts are getting greater. Owners of yachts want to operate them in a different way. They do not want to travel fast - they want to travel comfortably, economically and efficiently.
Therefore, the best solution to that is to offer the system that can power the vessel in different ways. Thus, it would provide both propulsion and supply of all the consumes on-board, such as air conditioning, stabilisers and other hotel loads.
Is that right, that speed is not the major concern anymore?
Yes, that is what we say. So it is not all about having the largest, most powerful engines. It is about being able to offer better experience on-board, whilst the customers spend their leisure time there.
Sunseeker CEO Andrea Frabetti and Darren Barnett
What makes hybrid propulsion different from other engine systems?
Diesel engines will remain the core of propulsion systems for boats in the future. Nonetheless, what we are doing is offering systems that can power a vessel using batteries, for example. We also deploy generators to provide power for not only propulsion, but also for conventional power needs on-board.
Actually, the way all of that is linked together is a clever part, because the hybrid system itself is greater than the sum of all the components. You cannot just select components and install them into the yacht. Apparently, they need to be integrated together, so that they operate seamlessly. We believe, that there is a great future in yachting for hybrid systems.
Our approach is that we will deliver the whole scope of supply. It means, not just the engine, not just a part of it but the whole system. Thus, we are also taking full responsibility for it. Customers want to have the knowledge that the complete system will be taken care of, because with complicated systems such as this one it can get difficult.
Currently, we are developing a hybrid system jointly with Sunseeker for the Sunseeker 133 yacht. And we are looking into a modular and serialised system, since we want to have a portfolio of components to select from, such as different diesel engines and several types of batteries and generators.
Do you think the hybrid propulsion system you are working on could be installed on other yacht models?
The ideas is, with Sunseeker we have the first or pilot installation. Therefore, at the moment we are working on the scope of supply for the Sunseeker 133. In the future, the basis we have developed with Sunseeker will be available for other yacht builders with different diesel engines, different batteries and different generators. It will be possible to customise the system for any particular yacht.
But is the system ready for installation yet?
We are still in the development phase, but we are close to finalizing the total scope of supply. Hopefully, Sunseeker soon will be able to begin construction of the 133 yacht with the hybrid system.
Then in the future, what do you think could be the largest size of a yacht to operate on hybrid propulsion?
The serialized system we are developing with Sunseeker is aimed more at the production yacht market. Naturally, much larger yachts have much more specific requirements. However, we have done it in the past and that is what we will continue to do in the future.
Operating as a custom service, we would develop a system to meet the customer’s requirements. That could be any size of yachts, up to the very largest ones. For instance, Sailing Yacht A operates on a kind of hybrid system, where MTU have supplied gensets.
Many builders now opt for more eco-friendly engines in general. Have you noticed raising environmental awareness among yachting clients?
Yes, definitely. Owners of yachts have realised that they probably could do something to more environmentally friendly. All the large yachts are the big consumers of power. What they could do, is raising awareness of where they can be more efficient. And it is obvious, that vessels running on diesels create emissions.
Alternatively, with a hybrid system, all those large vessels could operate in harbours using batteries. It is a great benefit, that it is emission-free and completely clean. The only problem with hybrid is that for the moment people do not understand what hybrid is. It is a long process, and we are trying to educate people, what the capabilities of that system are.
What is more, when a yacht is at anchor in a small bay and the owner of the yacht wants to swim around with family, they would not want a generator running with exhaust emissions coming on to the water. The environment would much nicer if there are no diesel engines running. We see it is a great benefit.
Innovations in megayacht eco-design seem endless. One of the first designers to take a step forward in this direction in 2020 was a marine engineer, Philip Briand. From the headquarters of his studio in London, he presents the concept of sailing in superyachts, which puts zero-emission navigation at the center of all decisions.The latest concept from the French designer appeared after he was motivated to create a “zero-emission yacht”. This is the second concept from the new Briand family of self-contained yachts, which is on the heels of the 90-meter SY300. Briand previously described the SY200 as the "younger sister" of the SY300.The SY200 will travel in two ways: boat sails and underwater turbines, with which it will collect electricity for the 20 batteries that it will carry in its hold.According to Briand, the length of the yacht is 75 meters, and the sail is 2,000 meters, it generates more than 2,000 kW at maximum speed. To do this, he designed a helmet inspired by high-class, shorter sailboats. In particular, he emphasizes his inverted nose and central glass capsule.Ketch is equipped with a carbon fiber mast and rigging, as well as the same modern hull and upturned nose as the SY 300. Briand estimates the power of the yacht is 500 kW when sailing at a speed of 15 knots and 200 kW at a power of 12 knots."I believe we need to embrace ‘lateral thinking’ when it comes to the future of sailing yacht design. We want to work alongside owners to create the perfect renewable energy machine, using only wind, water and solar energy to run the yacht and provide an exceptional experience of peace on board and exploration of the sea.” - Briand said.At speeds of 15 and 12 knots, he expects to add 500 kW and 200 kW, respectively, which will allow him to generate enough energy on board to enjoy her 12 cabins.On board the vessel can accommodate up to 10 guests. Master-suite leads to a large terrace with a jacuzzi and four large guest cabins. The dining table with 16 seats in the cab is protected from the sun and boasts panoramic views.
January 24, 2020
Yesterday, at the Boot exhibition in Dusseldorf, Il Cantiere del Pardo presented the new Grand Soleil 44 Performance. This is a project of Matteo Polly, the best designer in the offshore sector, rated, which is designed to become a reference boat in the racing sector ORC. The new Cantiere del Pardo challenge is called Grand Soleil 44. To win this bid, the shipyard turned to a designer who was best able to interpret the concept of a sports building on racetracks around the world in recent years. This new 44-foot kit complements the Grand Soleil Yachts Performance range, designed for more sporty owners looking for a high-performance boat that can deliver results even in a regatta, located between the GS 34, GS 48 and GS 58. As already noted on board the Grand Soleil 48, the GS 44 will also be available in two versions: the layout will be more suitable for cruising, with a different layout of the sail and deck plan to simplify maneuvers, the other will be more Race for the best on the regatta. Style and elegance complement the DNA of this new 44-foot footer, which feels a family of other models in this line. Despite the very light and sporty body, the liveliness of the interior is surprising in how much volume you can use and perceive. Following the trends of the latest Grand Soleil Performance models, even on 44-foot deck places, both for racing and for enjoying a boat on a cruise, they are truly remarkable, the dimensions of the cabin are significantly increased compared to all previous models. Among the distinguishing characteristics of the boat is the location of the mast in a rather opposite direction, which will increase the sail area for bow sails in order to maximize the characteristics taking into account the average Mediterranean conditions. A choice that also allowed the cabin layout to be promoted and thus have a larger cabin than previous models. The interior layout includes three cabins and two bathrooms. The spaces below the deck have a generous beam that offers large and comfortable volumes: the kitchen is located on the left, the dining room consists of a comfortable sofa with a dining table in the center, which can accommodate up to 8 persons. Master-suite, with a comfortable double bed, a sofa and a private bathroom, is really large for a 44-foot case with a sporty character. To make the interior even more comfortable, there is a wonderful natural brightness that penetrates through the various windows of the hull and onto the deck.
January 23, 2020
Abeking & Rasmussen have confirmed the launch of their new 68-meter superyacht, Soaring. The yacht had emerged out of her shed earlier this week and has now been lowered into the water for the first time this morning.Designed by Focus Yacht Design and project managed by Superyacht Technical Services, the yacht, which is set to become available for charter in the summer 2020, comes in at a size of over 1,500 GT.Soaring's upper deck features its master suite with a private owner's aft deck and a library. The yacht's remaining 5 guest cabins will be located on the main deck and catered to by a crew of 17.
January 18, 2020
Jaime Botin, part of the Satander banking dynasty, had been caught transporting a Picasso painting on his 67-meter sailing yacht Adix back in 2015. Now Madrid courts have fined the Spanish billionaire for €52.4 million and sentenced him to 18 months in prison.Botin, an active art collector, purchased Picasso's "Head of a Young Woman" painting back in 1977 for his collection. In February 2013, he tried to sell the painting at a Christies' auction in London but the art work couldn't leave Spain at their culture ministry's decision.Spain has some of the strictest laws when it comes to national heritage. According to them, any work of art over 100 years old that is considered culturally important in the view of their culture ministry can be deemed a national treasure, requiring its owner to get a permit in order to transport it out of Spain. Botin's permit was denied back in 2012.In 2015, Botin, according to Bloomberg, had his driver transport the painting from his Madrid home to Valencia where his 67-meter sailing yacht Adix was docked. When setting sail in June 2015, her captain didn't include the artwork on the list of onboard items. Soon after it set sail for Corsica, from where Botin had chartered a jet to ferry it to Geneva where he intended to keep it according to the publication.Tipped off that Botin's permit for the export of the Picasso hadn't gone through earlier, they inspected the yacht and found the painting in the captain's cabin.Adix itself is currently in Australia, finishing up her refit programme at the yard Brisbane. The yacht is set to remain in the South Pacific up to the America's Cup in Auckland in 2021. The painting found onboard the yacht in 2015 had an estimated value of $27 million, with experts saying it could now be even more. It has since become the property of the Spanish State.With a net worth valued by Forbes at $1.7 billion, Jaime Botin is the largest shareholder of Spanish bank Bankinter and a member of Spain's most prominent banking families. His great grandfather had founded Spain's largest bank, Santander.
January 18, 2020
Richard Matthews, original founder of Oyster Yachts, has returned to its board as a non-executive director. This follows Richard Hadida buying the company in 2018. Matthews had founded the sailing yacht manufacturer back in 1973.Oyster Yachts built its first 32ft sailing boat in 1973. From there it gradually extended its range of sailing yachts finding its sweet spot in 56ft to 125ft units designed by Robert Humphreys. In 2008 the company was sold to private equity firm Balmoral Capital for £70 million, before the firm disposed of it to HTP Investments for £15 million in 2012.Following a failure of the internal hull structure on Polina Star III, an Oyster 825 model, which led to the yacht sinking in 2015. This led to a recall of 4 other units and a dent in the builder's cash flow despite a £83 million order book in 2017. The following year, the company went into administration, before being purchased by Richard Hadida.Hadida is mostly known for founding Evolution Gaming, a company that powers most online casino games and currently trades on the Swedish stock market with a market cap of near €5 billion. His fried, yacht owner and automotive mogul Eddie Jordan was formerly also involved in the takeover bid with Oyster but later backed out."It is hugely important to me personally that the founder of the brand [Richard Matthews] I hold so close to my heart has given it his seal of approval by joining our board." Hadida explained. "Having restored the company to its former glory with the support of a fantastic team – from talented craftsmen to dedicated management – this feels like confirmation that Oyster is once again synonymous with quality and excellence, just as it was when Richard founded it back in 1973".
January 18, 2020