If F1 racers can be hybrids, then why not superyachts? That seems to be the thinking of Feadship De Voogt Naval Architects as it launched "the world’s first hybrid superyacht," Savannah, last Saturday. The centerpiece of a James Bond-themed launch ceremony for the new owner and the people involved in the yacht's construction over the last three years, the Savannah not only boasts a novel power plant, but is also the first superyacht to be entirely metallic painted save for the mast domes.
The 83.5 m (274 ft) Savannah has a rather a generous crew to guest ratio with room for the owner and companion, 10 guests, and 22 to 26 crew. It's streamlined hull has a superstructure that uses glass, composite panels, polished stainless steel strips, aluminum supports, and teak.
In addition, the aft owner area and main deck are a single enclosed space sealed with weathertight sliding doors. The Sea Foam metallic green exterior color scheme required weeks of work using 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 4-stroke engine pumping 1,800 kW into three Caterpillar generators charging banks of lithium-ion batteries running the electrically-powered screws. These consist of a single central propeller nacelle and an in-line azimuthing thruster set in the slipstream – an arrangement that Feadship says has never before been installed in a yacht.
The company also says that this arrangement produces fuel economies of 30 percent, 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," says Savannah’s captain Ted McCumber.
There aren't many details about the interior by Design CG Design released due to privacy issues, but what is known it that belowdecks, there is an "underwater lounge" where the would-be Captain Nemo can look at sealife through specially engineered underwater glass ports or the goings on in the yacht's swimming pool through similar viewports.
Feadship says that the Savannah will be available for occasional charter.