As the superyacht industry continues to grow and attract more interest, it is becoming increasingly important that we take responsibility for our impact on ocean life. Sustainable cruising presents an opportunity for the industry to lead in providing a more environmentally responsible and sustainable system for ocean travel.
In recent years, sustainable yachting has become a hot topic within the yacht industry and owners who are looking to make their vessels more environmentally friendly. This has influenced many yacht builders to develop vessels with technologies that can optimize power generation and consumption efficiencies.
With the superyacht industry entering a new generation of owners, particularly amongst self-made young millennials, yacht builders face the challenge of creating yachts that are ocean-borne spaces that attract eco-conscious millennials. This generation enjoys and believes that luxury can co-exist with sustainability.
In one of the interviews with Paris Baloumis, the head of marketing of Oceanco, he mentioned that back then, speed used to be a primary concern for yacht owners, but with the increased awareness of the environment, the most requested technical features now revolve around sustainability and comfort, such as silent operations and increased autonomy. He also stated that clients are also requesting them to engineer, design, and build yachts that can operate in a ‘leave no trace’ manner.
Though sailing a yacht is practiced in an exceptional natural setting, owning or chartering a super yacht and sustainability may not seem to be in sync. However, there are ways to make it happen feasibly.
#1 Rethinking Energy Sources
Nearly every major yacht builder is exploring energy propulsion systems that don't rely on fossil fuels, and one way to do this is by switching to solar power. Switching from traditional diesel combustion machines to solar-powered energy is a favored solution for improving yacht sustainability and at the same time cost saving on diesel which has risen dramatically in recent years.
Not only does running on solar power leave no CO2 emissions, it also eliminates noise generated by diesel engines, ensuring a more peaceful ride.
#2 Green Construction
When we think of a green yacht, we have to consider it through its complete life cycle. The marine industry can also contribute to green credentials for yachts by building vessels using organically produced and environmentally friendly materials.
Sourcing timber from sustainable forests and making use of recycled materials like aluminum, carbon fiber, or natural wood for boats are able to reduce the amount of carbon and waste produced. Everything including the type of paints used to the weight of the materials on board should also be taken into consideration.
Some plant fibers such as flax, bamboo, or hemp are often eco-friendly, durable, and recyclable. It is not new to see them used as commercial and industrial products such as household linen, textiles, paper, and furnishing. However, basalt and flax can also be used to create composite materials, such as basalt fiber or flax. These materials can be used to manufacture hulls and furniture for the yachts. In some cases, some materials can be used for outdoor & indoor decking floors of the boats.
Although at first, it may seem implausible to be working with organic resources, some synthetic materials can also replace natural materials to make the furnishing actually eco-friendly. Though their manufacturing process is not always the greenest, sometimes producing products with synthetic materials can remain more durable over time. They also require very little or no maintenance when compared to natural alternatives
Factoring in sustainable construction methods is as important as choosing the material for a yacht. Leveraging cutting-edge technology that utilizes clean energy on-site to power equipment, advanced materials, and construction methods contributes to maximum efficiency and reduced construction waste.
#3 Green Designs
When it comes to designing, maximizing the yacht’s waterline length reduces the overall demand for propulsion power, and therefore the size of the engine and related equipment needed, Boat makers are constantly looking to improve their designs to reduce friction among the hull(s) and air and water. Such designs can actually reduce carbon footprint while also improving the effectiveness overall of the vessel.
A sustainable yacht design and green features are built to last, rooted in the timelessness of yacht design because users would want a yacht that is built to last and can provide a lifetime of enjoyment.
The Future of Sustainable Yachting is Near
A completely eco-friendly yacht might seem like a leap in the field of technology for today, but it is believed that in the near future, the superyacht industry can definitely play a big role in the green shift at sea and sustainable cruising will be the norm for enjoying the ocean.
To achieve the ultimate goal of a green yachting experience, it will take a combined effort from shipbuilders, engineers, innovators, and owners such as yourself partnering with us.