Can superyachts be eco-friendly?

The Columbus Sport Hybrid yacht proves it is possible to combine luxury, performance and green credentials

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Sport Hybrid yacht

The Columbus Sport Hybrid 130’ differs from other superyachts as it has been designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. It achieves its green mission statement through three key technologies: the vessel’s hybrid diesel/electric engine, aluminium superstructure and hull, and lastly its bilge water separator.
The star of the green credentials is the hybrid engine, which consists of two standard diesel engines and two electric generators. All of these are connected via the Hybrid’s gearbox and grant two different operational modes. When the yacht is travelling below 13 kilometres (eight miles) per hour, propulsion comes purely from the generators, forcing the engines to run at a steady rpm rate. This system reduces both the amount of mono-nitrogen oxides emitted and also greatly cuts the quantity of diesel burned, improving fuel efficiency. When the yacht exceeds 13 kilometres (eight miles) per hour, the diesel engines kick in.
Backing up the hybrid engine system is the yacht’s aluminium frame. By building the semi-displacement hull and superstructure largely out of this metal the overall weight is kept to an absolute minimum, reducing the thrust needed to reach its cruising speed and, as a result, the amount of fuel needed. Indeed, the low weight of the Sport Hybrid is a primary factor that grants it a cruising range of 9,259 kilometres (5,753 miles), a distance that would allow its owner to travel from London to Rio de Janeiro without needing to refuel.
Finally, the Hybrid also sports a next-gen bilge water separator – something which is not required by law and so is absent from many rivals. This filters oils that collect within the lower parts of the boat – such as around the engine room – from trapped ocean water prior to it being redistributed out of the vessel. As such, instead of dumping polluted water back into the marine environment, the Sport Hybrid instead removes and safely stores these contaminants for proper disposal on land.

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