the real first for the Savannah as a superyacht is its ‘eco-friendly’ electro-mechanical propulsion
THE FILTHY rich may love to flaunt their expensive toys, but most of them also like to be politically correct. In this age, where saving the environment has become a badge of honour, Gizmag reports that a Dutch shipbuilding company is building the world’s first hybrid superyacht. The company behind it—Feadship De Voogt Naval Architects—has named it Savannah and the launch last month was a glitzy James Bond-theme for the first owner and the people involved in the yacht’s construction. In the making over the last three years, the Savannah boasts a novel hybrid power plant, but is also the first superyacht to be entirely metallic-painted. The 274-ft yacht can accommodate the owner and companion, and 10 guests, serviced by a 22 to 26-member crew, a ratio of two crew members to each guest.
Its streamlined hull has a superstructure that uses glass, composite panels, polished stainless steel strips, aluminum supports and teak. In addition, the craft owner area and main deck are a single enclosed space sealed with weathertight sliding doors. The Sea Foam metallic green exterior colour scheme required special mixing machines and an electrically-charged spray gun in a climate-controlled tent to lay the metallic flakes properly. But the real first for the Savannah as a superyacht is its ‘eco-friendly’ electro-mechanical propulsion. Unlike more conventional sea craft, Savannah is powered by a Wärtsilä 9L20 four-stroke engine powered by three Caterpillar generators charging banks of lithium-ion batteries running the electrically-powered screws. These consist of a propeller and thruster arrangement never before installed in a yacht.
The company also says that this arrangement produces fuel economies of 30%, allows for quiet cruising at low speeds on battery power, and provides extra speed when going flat out with less demand on the engines. “The possibility to choose between diesel, diesel-electric or fully electric is truly exceptional,” say the manufacturers. The interiors are by CG Design and initial reports suggest that belowdecks, there is an “underwater lounge” with specially-engineered underwater glass ports to view the passing marine life. The good news is that Savannah will be available for charter at an undisclosed price.