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2009 promisses to be a year of changes and mutations. May be have we reached the end of certain systems and models. The yachting industry will take part to those mutations.
Following the well-known quote “The chance always smiles to those who dare”, some shipyards and architects were not scared by putting electricity in the water!
One find for example the Ferretti Group, with its prestigious lobster brand Mochi Craft, which developped a hybrid yacht of 23 m long! The Long Range 23, with a laden displacement of 77 tons, did a noticed entry during the last Genoa Boat Show, where it received the innovation price thanks to its ZEM system (Zero Emission Mode) and the Fer.Wey hull (Ferretti Wave Efficient Yacht: which at low speeds reduces hydrodynamic hull drag by 20%).
The Tech Specs of the Mochi Craft Long Range 23 are showing a fuel consumption of 70 l/h for a range of 1500 Nm… which is, for such a unit, simply unreal with classical propulsion systems.
The Long Range 23 allows the craft to be managed in 5 different modes:
Diesel propulsion and Energy Storing – where the diesel engines, as well as handling normal propulsion, operate the electric motors. In this way, they work as generators, rapidly recharging the propulsion battery pack.
Diesel -Electric – where the electric motors, disengaged from the diesel, drive the propellers and are powered by on-board generators and the propulsion battery pack.
ZEM Propulsion – where the propellers are powered by the electric motors, disengaged from the diesel, and operated exclusively by the propulsion battery pack, providing totally silence and zero emission operations.
ZEM Function – where the on-board utilities (including air conditionning, boiler and ARG) are powered by the propulsion battery pack.
Plug-in – where the propulsion battery pack is charged during stays in port, through a dedicated shore connection.
Smaller but also promising
The French shipyard Aequus and the Finot-Conq architects are setting up a solar-powered electric boat that will be launched during next Nautic 2009 in Paris. This unit is equipped with an electric propulsion/drive and photo-voltaic solar panels.
Developed specifically, the electrical chain propulsion offers the same type of performance a sailing boat of the same size would and offers 8 hours of autonomy, without solar recharging, making it perfect for day trips, without noise, enjoying the peace and quiet, and all the while protecting the environment.
No permit (depending on countries’ regulations) is required to drive this boat. With its 7 meters long and 2.26 meters wide, this unit will offer a double berth cabin, a bathroom, an exterior kitchen and a very large cockpit for up to 7 people.
Let’s hope that 2009 will see many more other projects such as these.
– AlP –