Feadship's 84.2-metre superyacht Obsidian has been delivered after outperforming expectations on sea trials in the North Sea. The project is the newest hybrid vessel to emerge from the Dutch shipyard and the first in a new generation of reduced-emission vessels.
Formerly known as Project 710, the yacht has a futuristic exterior look designed by RWD in collaboration with MONK Design and is equipped with biofuel generators. As part of Feadship's mission to produce more sustainably-focused yachts, the new project uses second-generation biodiesel (HVO) in its generators, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by up to 90 per cent compared to conventional yachts operating on fossil fuels.
The brief for Obsidian was to be more energy efficient and emit less carbon than Feadship’s first hybrid yacht, Savannah, which launched in 2015. Obsidian has 4.5 times more electrical storage capacity than Savannah with no drive shafts and no rudders, which means a significant reduction in drag. Electric drive and steering are through a pair of electric Veth contra-rotating thrusters that have been optimised for maximum efficiency and minimal vibration, dampening vibration being another key component of the brief.
One of the coolest design features is an "Aqua Lounge" with large windows below sea level, similar to the Nemo lounge on Savannah, and an asymmetrical atrium staircase leading to a lower deck dining saloon, where a wall opens to reveal a terrace that sits just 75 centimetres above sea level.
According to the shipyard, "most of the corridors and many of the rooms, as well as all of the al fresco living spaces, are not oriented on a fore and aft or athwartships axis. In fact, except for staterooms, none of the interior rooms have any 90-degree angles." This is evident by looking at the asymmetric stern where a swimming pool sits diagonally behind smoked glass.
The use of submarine anchors eliminates the need for a mooring deck forward and allows Obsidian to have a bow observation lounge with double curved glass floor-to-ceiling windows.
Powering it all is a 4.5 MWh battery bank that is charged by four generators — two larger and two smaller variable speed units based on tweaked CatC32 engines with permanent magnet alternators that deliver power as needed. Where Savannah and Lonian operated on 560 volts, the DC system on Obsidian has a 1,000-volt system because the yacht is fully powered by electricity. Obsidian should be able to cruise for 35 nautical miles at 10 knots on batteries alone and at anchor, the batteries will provide silent operation for 10-15 hours.
In testing, it was revealed that 60 per cent of the energy goes to the hotel load, which was corrected through peak load shaving, reducing HVAC demand and an improved waste heat recovery system that captures heat from the generators and AC chillers through a newly engineered heat pump system. “There are so many points of energy savings integrated on this yacht that it is hard to count,” said project manager Mark Jansen.
Using the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI) for guidance, it is estimated that Obsidian will operate with 27 per cent less total environmental impact than a yacht of similar size launched only five years ago if run on fossil fuel, and 60 per cent less when using HVO.
Beyond the technology, weight saving was a key component. For example, the louvred aft deck overhangs might at first appear a styling choice but they are all carbon fibre attached to the aluminium superstructure and require no support pillars. The results are threefold with a reduction in weight, the ability to offer new deck layout possibilities and unimpeded views.
Both of the yacht’s primary tenders are electric-powered and custom-made by Tenderworks. Four fast charging stations will allow them to be charged in the water or in the tender garage.
Construction on the new build began in 2020 she is now the 17th largest yacht delivered by the shipyard and the 17th collaboration between RWD and Feadship, following work on the 96.5-metre Faith and 71.1-metre Juice.
The delivery of Obsidian marks a significant step towards the shipyard's goal of carbon-neutral superyachts by 2030.
According to BOATPro, Feadship has 16 projects in build, including its future flagship 118-metre Project 1010, which was seen on sea trials last year. Including 1010 and 710, the yard is also expected to deliver Project 822 and Project 823 this year.