As deforestation, climate change and pollution remain challenges to the future of our world, people are becoming increasingly aware of the need to think in sustainable ways. That includes superyacht owners, designers and those considering buying their first superyacht.
Ecologically sound design needs to be a primary consideration in superyacht design. Sustainability is key within this, using the latest eco-innovation to reduce or even eliminate the environmental impact of vessels at the design stage.
But responsible superyacht design doesn’t mean compromise, far from it. In fact, adding in ecologically sound features can add to the luxury of the finished superyacht, not detract from it.
At Esthec we see three key areas where taking care of the planet will only heighten the pleasure an owner will experience with their superyacht.
The modern superyacht utilizes a large range of fantastic features and technology which require an equally large amount of energy. Powering these can be noisy, expensive and environmentally harmful. But it doesn’t have to be.
LED lighting systems have been a mainstay of interior lighting for some time. Whilst energy efficient in themselves, they can also produce a noticeable amount of heat which then requires removal using climate control systems. Water-cooling the LED systems not only removes the need for the climate control but can also cool the interior space in which it is used.
Solar power is an obvious, if intrusive, way to generate power. The historic solar power systems were far from aesthetically pleasing. However, modern systems are becoming much more discrete, ergonomic and even more efficient than historic ones.
For example, the recent collaboration between superyacht designer Dennis Ingemansson and the German team at Ned Ship Group has produced the magnificent 65m luxury eco-yacht Green Expedition. She has over 150m2 of solar cells, not that you’d know it looking at her. She also has the capability to add an addition 60m2 by converting the helicopter pad to solar cells as well. Overall, she’s a great example of renewable and discrete energy production.
The Green Expedition also features a Skysail with retractable wind turbines. This is both a silent, smooth propulsion system and a way to recharge on-board battery systems. These types of hybrid, zero-emission propulsion systems which take advantage of both marine and wind-power are great for the environment and passengers alike.
Get creative with materials
Environmental impact is greatly influenced by the size and weight of the vessel. Careful and considered superyacht design, using only the latest ideas and technologies can massively reduce the weight of the finished vessel.
Superyacht designers are using recycled material as a basis of many design ideas already. This not only gives the finish a unique feel but also reduces the impact of manufacture by using materials which are sourced in sustainable and responsible ways.
Where new materials are needed, then lightweight composite materials are the best route. Products such as Esthec decking will have a big benefit by reducing weight as well as being durable and stunning. Adding a real-world ecological benefit and touch of luxury at the same time.
It’s even possible to replace heavy glass windows with hi-tech, synthetic stretch fabric. These fabrics come in a range of options, including those which are both water & windproof and others which are only water-proof. Whichever you choose, the overall weight of the finished vessel will be greatly reduced.
Producing fresh food whilst at sea is becoming an increasingly viable choice. Superyacht designers are integrating complex systems seamlessly into their superyacht designs to enable a true “farm-to-table” experience on-board.
We’re way beyond simple herb gardens in the kitchen here. Complete greenhouses with automated irrigation systems using distilled seawater are now a reality and can produce great food in a sustainable way. By doing this, we reduce the amount of chiller and storage space needed for fresh food cutting down weight and energy consumption.
Modern superyacht design also includes integrated systems for the reusing and recycling water whilst also generating power. We have even seen some breathtaking developments from the German shipyard Nobiskrug Superyachts, which enables the production of power from the on-board glass-work.
As you can see, sustainable design embraces the best in technology and luxurious style. The solutions and choices superyacht designers make now with impact and mark the future. As superyacht owners take responsibility for their environmental impact, the demand for sustainable, modern materials and innovations will only grow. The future belongs to the most efficient and environmentally sound superyacht designs and their designers.