Rolls-Royce Hybrid Yacht Concept a Glimpse into the Future

By Paul Joseph

Iconic British carmakers Rolls-Royce have unveiled a 62-metre concept superyacht designed to offer a glimpse into the future of high-tech ‘smart’ yachts.

Named the Crystal Blue, the concept yacht has a hybrid propulsion system and features several cutting edge digital solutions that have only ever been seen on commercial vessels until now.

Able to accommodate up to 12 guests and 12 crewmembers, it uses a combination of battery power and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for propulsion and the body could be built from either aluminium or composites as required to keep the overall weight down.

“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,” says Oscar Levander, vice president of Innovation at Rolls-Royce.

The decision to locate the yacht’s wheelhouse below decks and to use Rolls-Royce’s Unified Bridge system to remotely monitor the yacht’s surroundings is fairly standard for vessels of this scale. It frees up the foredeck and upper deck for a two-level glass-topped atrium, complete with dining, seating and bar areas.

Other notable features include an intelligent dynamic positioning system, which automatically controls two azimuth thrusters – marine propellers that rotate 360° around the vertical axis for a better manoeuvrability than a fixed propeller and a rudder system can provide – and a TT1100 bow thruster.

This technology is usually found on offshore support vessels that must maintain their positions next to oil rigs to within a couple of metres.

In addition to all these smart features, Rolls-Royce has also incorporated a number of safety features in the form of a “safe room” where guests and crew members can seek refuge in the event of attack. Once inside, the crew can override the controls and navigate the yacht remotely or authorise a shore-based centre to pilot the vessel.

By Paul Joseph