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.
The brand new superyacht Olivia O has been recently seen on the French Riviera. Planning and engineering work began on the boat in November 2016 and earlier in 2020 the superyacht was finally delivered to her experienced owner.One of the largest explorer yachts in the world was designed and built by Ulstein Verft, which is known for commercial vessels, ferries, and workboats. Well-known superyacht designer Espen Oeino was chosen by the owner to develop the exterior lines and the general arrangement of Olivia O. The 88.5 m motor yacht is not typical in style, she features a trademarked reverse-bow design called the X-Bow.She is owned by Eyal Ofer, a Monaco based billionaire, active in shipping and real estate. He is not the last man in shipping indeed since in 2014 Eyal was ranked number 7 in Lloyd’s List 100 People in Shipping. With the net worth, which is estimated at US$ 9.4 billion, he definitely can afford this US$ 200 million luxury superyacht. Eyal is Chairman of Ofer Global, Zodiac Group, and Global Holdings. His father Sammy Offer was Israel’s richest man.Some of her impressive highlights are a large swimming pool on the main deck aft and a helicopter deck with a D-value of 16. Olivia O offers accommodation up to 20 guests in 8 cabins, including Pullman bunks while crew accommodation is for 30 people.
July 10, 2020
The 99.95 m superyacht Moonrise, the largest superyacht by waterline length built in the Netherlands to date, has been recently delivered after successful sea trials in the North Sea. Built by the Feadship yard in Makkum, she also has an impressive volume thanks to a 15.50-metre beam.The shipyard described the yacht's key features as “sleek, sensual lines” with a “modern masculine profile”. Some of the highlights of Moonrise are it's a large beach club, a gym, and the huge living space areas.Her stylish details, such as long hull windows, a glorious grey hull, and striking vertical bow add to the elegance of the design by Studio De Voogt. The interior of the boat was created by Remi Tessieir Design.Moonrise has a 15.5-meter beam and is equipped with a pair of MTU engines for a maximum speed of 19.5 knots and a cruising speed of 16 knots.Moonrise equipped with a pair of MTU engines for a top speed of 19.5 knots at top speed and she is designed to cruise comfortably at 16 knots. The dimensions of the yacht are impressive and can accommodate up to 16 guests in 8 staterooms. There are also exceptionally high-end crew accommodations for up to 32 crew members.
July 10, 2020
Lürssen's superyacht Opus, which was previously named Redwood, hit the sea for the first time. The 142m vessel featuring six decks was launched yesterday July 9th. The technical concept was launched in January 2019.The management of project Opus is done by Moran Yacht & Ship, overseeing the construction process. This project sets a new record as the largest project for the company to sell.Moran Yacht & Ship commented:She is feature-rich with high-end amenities to delight and cater to every imaginable whimThe motor yacht can accommodate 36 guests in 20 cabins. Opus was designed by Italian design studio Nuvolari & Lenard. After the sea trials are completed, Opus will be delivered to her owner later this year.
July 10, 2020
Madame Gu is a 99.00 m luxury motor yacht. She was built by Feadship in 2013. This week this majestic superyacht has been seen in Saint Tropez. With a beam of 16.50m and a draft of 4.60m, she has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 2900 tones.Madame Gu is powered by MTU 20V 4000 M73 engines of 4,828hp each, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 24 knots and cruise at 22 knots.She can accommodate 12 guests in 6 cabins including a master stateroom and five guest cabins. Both, an interior and exterior design by Andrew Winch make up one of Holland’s largest yachts ever built. The superyacht a fully enclosed helicopter hangar with a Eurocopter Dauphin AS 365N3, which costs around US$ 9 million. Also, there are two 11-metre tenders and scuba gear as well as a beach club, gym, and jacuzzi on deck.
July 9, 2020
Lürssen shipyard delivered 180 metre superyacht Azzam in 2013. With such an impressive length, she is the largest privately owned superyacht in the world and held its title unchallenged for nearly seven years. With a beam of 20.8 m and a draft of 4.3 m, she has a steel hull and aluminum superstructure. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 13136 tons. Azzam is powered by engines of 23,500 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 30 knots.The all-white motor yacht can accommodate guests in cabins with an interior design by Christophe Leoni and an exterior design by Italian studio Nauta Design.Mario Pedol, co-founder of Nauta Design commented:Azzam features balanced, modern architecture composed of straight lines and proportional volumes, which are some of the main design principles of Nauta Design When we were called to participate in pitching for the exterior styling of this yacht we knew it would be the most demanding work of our career, defined by the strictest and most challenging requests in terms of dimensions, performances, and technology. What made us confident to be able to deal with such a challenge was the interpretation of the client’s brief. The best technology was required in order to obtain the highest performance possible.There is not much information about her interior design, but it’s not a secret that the interior layout includes an open-plan main saloon measuring 29 metres by 18 metres.Pedol said about it:We’ve had a lot of compliments for Azzam. They all talk about elegance and balance, that she doesn’t look as big as she is, and I think this is a good achievement.
July 9, 2020