More Eco Friendly Luxury Yachts
No matter what type of numbers you show regarding efficiency, speed or cost, there are skeptics who will say that eco-friendly superyachts are a contradiction in terms. However, this discussion is about making a superyacht eco-friendlier. At one end of the spectrum, the yacht can utilize diesel-electric power for propulsion. It is essentially a hybrid-powered boat. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have a purely solar-powered yacht. Just like a solar-powered house, they utilize solar panels to create electricity which in turn powers an electric motor.
Of course, you could do away completely with motors of any kind and put up some sails or use a Flettner rotor sail to power the yacht. The problem with both of these is that if the wind dies down you are stuck at sea. There are some enterprising individuals who use a combination of wind and electric power. If the wind stops blowing then they can just unfurl their sails and keep moving. However, researchers are still at work looking for a feasible solution to make an eco-friendly as well as a practical yacht. This work runs parallel with any other research involving a good power source, be it cars, planes, or houses.
Part of the reason why yacht manufacturers are working on eco-friendly yachts is because of the law. The US government has passed a bill requiring yachts larger than 78 feet to reduce emissions by 80%. Therefore, for the time being, the fastest way to hit those kinds of numbers is to use a diesel-electric hybrid. If you are willing to spend more money then there are a few that are almost exclusively powered by solar power, with a backup diesel engine. These “Teslas of the ocean” are still more expensive compared to a yacht of similar size. Sometimes several million dollars more.