Rolls-Royce reveals hybrid yacht concept Crystal Blue
by Chris Jefferies
British engineering giant Rolls-Royce has revealed its concept for the yacht of the future, the hybrid-powered Crystal Blue.
This cutting edge design would use a combination of battery power and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to propel its 62 metre hull through the water.
Oskar Levander, senior vice-president for concepts and innovation at Rolls-Royce, explains: “Crystal Blue has been designed specifically to show how new technology can meet the yacht sector’s increased demand for higher performance, greater operating ranges and increased levels of guest comfort, without impacting the environment.”
Accommodation is for 12 guests and 12 crewmembers and this design could be built from either aluminium or composites as required.
One particularly notable quirk of the Crystal Blue concept is the decision to locate the superyacht wheelhouse below decks and use Rolls-Royce’s Unified Bridge system to remotely monitor the yacht’s surroundings. This frees up the foredeck and upper deck for a two-level glass-topped atrium, complete with dining, seating and bar areas.
The advantages of LNG have yet to be harnessed by the yachting sector due to the amount of space the tanks take up, Levander added. For this reason it is envisaged that Crystal Blue will be accompanied by a 42 metre superyacht support vessel called Blue Shadow.
As well as carrying a large LNG reserve that would extend the mothership’s range to 4,400 nautical miles, Blue Shadow would also act as a floating toybox, with plenty of room to store a large tender and a helicopter.
Henrik Alpo Sjöblom, project manager in the Rolls-Royce Blue Ocean team, concluded: “Burning LNG has clear advantages over diesel for the yacht sector — there is no smoke, it doesn’t emit any unpleasant odours or fumes, and it meets stringent emissions regulations, allowing yachts to enter otherwise prohibited ecologically sensitive waters."