Superyacht Design - the Eco-Friendly Approach

By B. Roberts

Eco-friendly superyacht design serves to inspire designers and clients to turn toward reducing the carbon footprint. We have yet to see how the more experimental designs would fare on the water, however new technology allows for the construction of superyachts with lightweight materials, as well as greener ways of generating energy.

Eco-Friendly Designs

Eco-friendly superyachts have been receiving increasing attention from yachting professionals and the press alike. In an effort to lower carbon emissions new designs have emerged holding both subtle and radical design characteristics.

An example of new a 'green design' is the Formula Zero superyacht concept: a solar hybrid design from Sauter Design. The recently unveiled Formula Zero is created to offer a faster, ergonomic and greener power sailing yacht, with an advertised 75% - 100% reduction in emissions. The design features 800+ square metres of light concentrating wingsails, making it one of the more radical eco-friendly designs available.

Soliloquy by Alastair Callender of Callender Designs received world-wide attention from the press following the model’s unveiling at the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show. A finalist in the World Superyacht Awards 2010 for Young Designer of the Year, Alastair Callender created the 58m eco-friendly yacht in order to bring a greener edge to superyacht design.

“It’s something very close to my heart ... I very much hope that in the future people will care about the environment and leave the water ways clean for the next generation ... I’ll always try and design with my green hat on; I think the amount of interest in the global media has been tremendous,” says Callender.

Green Solutions

In addition to revolutionary eco-friendly yacht designs, progressing technology allows for the construction of superyachts with lightweight composite materials both inside and out, which allow a yacht to reduce vessel mass overall and render it more stable and easy to navigate. Greener ways of generating energy are also available, such as the hybrid propulsion systems incorporated by renowned shipyards such as Benetti and Oceanco.

There are already some green superyachts on the water: superyacht Candyscape II, which launched from Viareggio Superyachts in 2009, meets the highest standards of environmental performance and energy efficiency through yacht carbon offset. The superyacht holds the accolade of being the first hull to receive RINA Green Plus classification. The 62m superyacht RoMA built by Viareggio Superyachts and the Rodriquez built 41m Ocean Emerald also meet RINA Green Plus standards through their minimized impact on the environment.

Italian ship classification company RINA is dedicated to environmentally friendly shipping and introduced the Green Star and Green Plus notation granted to yachts that make a significant investment to contribute to environmental performance beyond the levels required by regulation.

Ugo Salerno, CEO of Rina, stated: "Yacht owners seek the ultimate in performance using the most modern materials and technological innovations, and they are prepared to invest in the most innovative green technologies to ensure their yachts achieve the highest levels of efficiency and the lowest possible environmental impact. This will encourage the introduction of new technologies, which RINA experts will evaluate on a case by case basis. That is where RINA’s Green Plus standards come in.”

Mixing innovative design with green solutions, the world’s largest solar powered boat, PlanetSolar, was unveiled recently in Germany. The 30m PlanetSolar Catamaran, conceptualised by Swiss designer Raphael Domjan, is preparing to circumnavigate the globe in April 2011. The creators of PlanetSolar stated: “we want to show that we can change, that solutions exist and that it isn’t too late. Future generations are looking to us; our choices will mark the future of humanity.”
Take a look at the latest superyacht concepts.

By B. Roberts
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