The Feadship superyacht Savannah is green in more ways than one – not only does she sport an unusual seafoam green paint job, but she also utilises the eco-friendly Breathe propulsion developed by the Dutch builder.
Savannah was first spotted out on the water in March this year when she began making her way from the Royal De Vries yard in Alsmeer to Rotterdam in The Netherlands to begin seven days of sea trials, having to literally squeeze through locks along the way, as seen in the photo below.
Savannah's beam is 12.5 metres, which left just a half-metre on each side for fenders. Savannah was wrapped in white film to protect her from any accidental up close and personal encounters as she travelled through bridges and locks en route to the sea for testing. In order to make this passage easier, Savannah didn’t carry any water, was low on fuel and had no loose furnishings on board so she would float about a foot higher than her typical waterline, which allowed her maximum beam at deck flair to be above seawall structures.
Launched in January, Savannah's metallic paint job, applied in one shot using special spray nozzles and an electrostatic application process, extends seamlessly even to the deck heads.
Savannah's propulsion system was first proposed by Feadship in 2010 with its concept design called Breathe. At the urging of her owner, the system has been optimised to feature five operation modes from diesel to diesel-electric combinations to fully electric – courtesy of a 30-ton lithium-ion battery bank capable of holding a million watts of electricity. Another departure is the installation of a single Wartsilla main diesel engine turning a large variable pitch prop. This single, slow-turning engine (720 to 900 rpm) driving a 40 per cent larger prop on the azimuthing thruster will dramatically reduce vibration-generated noise and lower fuel consumption as well as eliminate drag from a second shaft by as much as seven to eight per cent.
In combination with a dynamic hull shape with a reduced entrance angle and refined buttocks, and the counter-rotating propeller of the inline electric drive motor aft of the azimuthing thruster, fuel savings at 15 knots are predicted to be in the neighbourhood of 30 per cent, according to Ronno Schouten, design director of De Voogt Naval Architects.
Touring the yacht at Feadship with Captain Ted McCumber, it was apparent that Savannah also breaks new ground in use of interior materials, window sizes, sliding doors (50 in total) and lighting. The design is by architect Cristina Gherardi Benardeau of CG Design in France. The sensuous, open-plan layout features curved walls and corridors, rich woods, masterful stonework and a fresh, youthful approach to onboard living.
Speaking of a fresh approach, the first watertight door to the main deck living spaces is unusually placed at the forward end of the main saloon, meaning that the siding glass walls port, starboard and aft can be opened to the elements, blending the interior with the sea and the aft pool deck.