The Rise of Fuel-Efficient, Long-Distance Explorers
Producing a yacht in today’s environmentally sensitive era, it would be remiss of any yacht builder to overlook the sustainable qualities of its creations. As superyachts come under media scrutiny during this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, it seems important to emphasise just how the yachting industry is collectively moving towards a more sustainable future. Along with the rise of the eco-conscious owner, a yacht’s green credentials and fuel economy have become a big factor in securing a sale.
A project to entice such an owner is the Hot Lab 67M explorer by Italian shipyard VSY. A company at the forefront of ecologically responsible construction, VSY’s creation has a staggering 5,000 nautical mile range, making it extremely fuel efficient. “Fuel economy is a big factor on owners’ minds - both in terms of cost and environmental implications,” says Richard Gray, the IYC broker attached to the Hot Lab 67M project.
“We’ve had some solid enquiries for the project,” Gray adds. “I believe there’s no other yacht of a similar size that has comparable lines to the Hot Lab 67M.” Gray also revealed that the yacht will comply with the ECO notation from Lloyd’s Register, which is a voluntary standard for environmental ship design, construction and operation beyond normal class requirements. “Owners who are keen to explore the farthest corners of the oceans are generally more environmentally aware and may even contribute to environmental research trips with their own cruising habits,” explains Gray.
The sustainable explorer is a growing class of yacht more tuned in with environmental efficiency, engineered with lowered pollution and emission techniques to provide a guilt-free cruising. Ingrained in the construction ethos is a respect for the far-flung habitats these yachts will visit.
With the huge distances many owners now want to travel comes a natural lean towards fuel efficiency. Another yacht offering an extraordinary 5,000 nautical mile range is Admiral Yacht’s Momentum 50m Explorer, currently in build. Admiral has been a great pioneer of hybrid propulsion technology and is known for its environmental credentials.
The trend is clear and the environmental advances will have ramifications for future yachts in build, whether they are designed for long or short distance cruising. Of course, no-one can argue that the most fuel-efficient yachts are those that exploit the power of the wind and, as Oceanco’s 106.7 metre Black Pearl proves, with the right sail plan - three 70-metre Dynarig carbon masts and 2,900 square metres of sails – fuel can be virtually left out of the equation entirely.
"Along with the rise of the eco-conscious owner, a yacht’s green credentials and fuel economy have become a big factor in securing a sale. "