An early adopter of the International Maritime Organisation’s Tier III emissions regulations, Artefact features solar panels and a wastewater recycling system, as well as a large battery storage system, which means the yacht can at times operate completely independently of internal combustion engines. Although Artefact is a sizeable yacht measuring 80 metres with a volume of 2,999 GT, the yacht is incredibly silent, extensively soundproofed and equipped with custom six-bladed propellers that minimum noise pollution and vibrations while at sea. Part of what contributes to the yacht's quiet cruising is its hybrid diesel-electric system that integrates lithium batteries and which the builder, ABB, says saves 30% of energy and emissions.
The world's most eco-focused yachts
From hybrid engines to high-tech wastewater treatment, new developments in naval architecture and design are helping superyachts reduce their environmental impact. Such topics are placed under the spotlight each year at the Superyacht Design Festival and this year will be no different with a panel of designers addressing the realities of a fossil-free future. But until then, we take a look at some of the innovative technologies already in action on board the world's most environmentally-conscious boats...
Royal Huisman's 43.5 metre ketch Juliet was relaunched last year following a hybrid conversion that lasted two years. The upgrade saw the Ron Holland-designed yacht fitted with hybrid propulsion and power generation systems, allowing its owners to sail in silent operation with zero emissions and reduced fuel consumption.
The 84 metre White Rabbit is the largest trimaran in the world, a fact that makes her efficiency all the more commendable. Compared to similar-sized steel monohull yachts, White Rabbit requires 40 per cent less power to hit top speeds of up to 18 knots with her hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system. The 2940GT all-aluminium tri-hull is also notably quiet through the waves; in the lower deck master cabin her builder Echo Yachts recorded sound levels of just 40db when the yacht was underway at 13 knots.
Despite measuring 107 metres LOA and with a volume of 5,844 GT, the newly-launched Benetti yacht Luminosity features a unique diesel-electric propulsion system with clean exhausts and a battery bank for up to 12 hours of silent operation at anchor. A considerable engineering feat, Luminosity runs on six 1,000kW generators that power two Azipods to help reduce fuel consumption by as much as 20%.
Black Pearl features controllable pitch propellers that feed power back into the ship via a pair of shaft generators, providing enough power to support the yacht's hotel load. Energy is saved at every turn on board the 106.7m sailing superyacht, from the HVAC system to her advanced DynaRig sails that allow Black Pearl to take advantage of the eco-friendly natural resource of the wind.
The 76.6 metre Piriou explorer yacht Yersin, which has been classified as a Bureau Veritas Clean Ship and boasts a 15,000 nautical mile cruising range, was designed by Pierre-Jacques Kubis for private discovery voyages and has also been chartered for scientific expeditions led by the Monaco Exploration Society. The yacht was constructed from 95% recyclable materials, including recyclable resin decks that substituted wood for a more sustainable alternative. To minimise its impact, Yersin’s ice-classed hull has been coated with a non-biocide silicon antifouling layer while the yacht's dynamic positioning minimises the impact of the anchor when dropped. Additionally, Yersin is equipped with filters on all engines that reduce NOx and SOx emissions by 99.8% and retain 99.8% of soot particles.
Spirit Yachts' 33.9 metre sailing yacht Geist manages to deliver a balance of beauty and eco-focused technology with mesmeric charm and elegance. The British yard's green-mindedness can be seen even in the way they sourced the wood for her construction. For the Douglas fir that makes up Geist's bow and stern, Spirit went to Canada, which it knew had robust regulations when it came to distributing wood. Additionally, the yacht glides through harbours with an electric propulsion system when not under sail.
The 109 metre Bravo Eugenia is highly efficient despite her impressive size. The Oceanco-built superyacht is powered by a hybrid propulsion engine that offers a quiet electric mode and which allows her to consume 30% less fuel than other motor yachts in her size class. She is also equipped with a waste heat recovery system and an integrated battery for optimal operation and performance.
Delivered by Tankoa in 2018, the 72m Solo was one of the first yachts afloat to comply with the International Maritime Organisation’s Tier III regulations that were introduced to limit emissions and water pollution. The eco-friendly superyacht was also awarded the Green Plus Platinum notation, the highest level of environmental certification from the RINA society.
The 49.5 metre explorer yacht Falco Moscata boasts a number of accolades for her design. Among others, this Perini Navi superyacht was honoured with a RINA Green Plus Award upon its launch in 2010. Designed by Vitruvius and naval architect Philippe Briand, the yacht features an all-aluminium hull with a uniquely styled bow that slices through the waves with ease and enhances fuel efficiency by up to 30%.