More and more yacht owners are now looking for ways to ensure that their yacht is as operationally green as possible, with minimal impact on the environments they cruise in and a motor yacht with hybrid propulsion is an appealing choice for this reason. With the majority of superyachts powered by motor rather than sail, addressing the carbon footprint of a superyacht is inevitable and huge leaps have been made in the research and development of impressive hybrid systems for superyachts, without any compromise on speed and performance.
So what exactly is a hybrid yacht? In a nutshell it is a yacht with the option of being propelled by more than one power source. Blending advanced hybrid technologies and fuel efficient performance, hybrid yachts make use of hybrid propulsion systems, combining electric battery and engine power, for lower-impact cruising. The first ever truly hybrid superyacht is widely regarded as Ethereal, built by Royal Huisman in 2008 for passionate owners who sought to create something special in their quest for a ‘green’ yacht.
Able to switch between modes – operating in electric, diesel/electric, or full diesel mode, with the battery available to give an added boost of speed if needed – these yachts allow their owners to use them in the most efficient way. Other benefits of hybrid systems include reduced engine noise, less transmissions and lower fuel consumption – a winning combination! This is especially suited for overnight passages, without the noise of a traditional propulsion system, or for low emissions when in harbour or a pristine spot. The appeal of enjoying a quiet bay without any engine noise is clear. A bonus is that the electric system can be used as and when required, ensuring that the full diesel propulsion system is available should it be needed.