Shipyards and Brokers Make Exciting Plans
World Oceans Day was held on the 8th of June and encourages people to clean up and protect the worlds oceans | Source: Garden and Gun
World Oceans Day was first celebrated in 1992 at the suggestion of Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development and the Ocean Institute of Canada, as part of the Earth Summit – a UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The health of the world’s oceans is one of the most pressing concerns for the planet. They have absorbed 25 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions and captured 90 percent of the additional heat generated from greenhouse gas emissions.
Overfishing, disturbance of sensitive seabed ecosystems and industrial pollution all play a role in the state of our oceans’ ecological health. The superyacht industry and wider recreational boating industry are uniquely placed within the context of the declining ecological health of our oceans as industries which depend on the state of the earth’s water.
Each year on World Oceans Day a new theme is selected that reflects the state of ocean conservation and challenges that still need to be addressed. For 2022 it was Revitalisation: Collective Action for the Ocean, and it was revealed the 2022 Conservation Action Focus is to protect at least 30 percent of our blue planet by 2030.
Many of the key players in the superyacht industry renewed their commitments to sustainability on June 8th, World Oceans Day, and promoted ecological initiatives that are already in place within their businesses.
Shipyards and brokers are leading the way in implementing company-wide policies and demonstrating ecologically safe business practices. From reducing waste in their offices, to encouraging clients to donate to ocean conservation and offset their carbon emissions, these are some of the noble commitments made by some of the superyacht industry’s most important firms.
Oceanco has christened its sustainable initiative NXT and says that it is aimed at combatting the stagnation of innovation within the superyacht industry. It notes that although the industry regularly releases concepts to attract potential buyers, these concepts are often based on similar technical formats and general proportions in the form of shape and gross tonnage.
Oceanco’s NXT initiative encourages collaboration within the industry between companies who have not had a working relationship in the past. Their aim is to challenge the status quo of superyacht design, accelerate innovation and create more sustainable technology to help limit the industry’s effect on the environment.
Recent projects by Oceanco have also showed off their new LIFE design philosophy, which helps to improve their superyachts’ eco credentials. LIFE stands for: Lengthened waterline, Innovative lay-out, Fuel Efficient hull design and Eco-Conscious technology. Using the design language, Oceanco created the 106 metre superyacht Bravo Eugenia, achieving a 30 percent reduction in fuel use and a significant reduction in emissions.
They have pledged to decrease their environmental impact by over half by 2030 and aims for 100 percent of its electricity to be provided by renewable sources within the same time period. Oceanco’s Alblasserdam headquarters and outfitting facility has recently had a new heat pump installed, stretching 200 metres underground. They also have new solar panels on its huge roof space to provide electricity.
Bravo Eugenia is not the only eco friendly superyacht created by the Dutch firm. The 106 metre Black Pearl is probably the most eco friendly superyacht in the world, with three fully automatic sails and was designed to cross the Atlantic Ocean using zero fuel. It uses sustainable sources of energy to power onboard facilities and has achieved the objective of crossing the Atlantic using only sustainable energy sources many times already.
For almost everyone who enjoys quality time at sea, the reward of sustainability is being part of nature. You escape from the material and see the world from a whole new perspective. We are playing our part in making sure that reward remains available for our children
Raphael Sauleau, Fraser Yachts CEO
The team at Fraser Yachts have taken it upon themselves to make changes to their everyday activities to reduce damage to the environment and adapt sustainable practices in their daily working lives. A range of measures have been implemented at the 16 Fraser offices worldwide in order to encourage staff and clients to reduce waste and limit their environmental impact.
From reusing the office coffee grounds, to funding the Vader Piet wind park project in Aruba, Fraser reminded us on World Oceans Day why they are one of the most successful yacht brokers in the world. CEO Raphael Sauleau has also recently become co-chair of nonprofit global pollution and maritime hazard mapping organisation Eyesea. This app uses geotagging to identify areas of pollution in the oceans, with the aim of assisting with a clean up.
Peter Lürssen is well known as one of the most passionate advocates for the health of the world’s oceans. As the CEO of German shipyard Lürssen, he has overseen some incredible changes at the company. Recent Lürssen superyachts have a new compact silencer with integrated SCR filter and additional soot filter to lower NOx, soot and noise emissions below current regulatory limits. Lürssen is the first yacht builder to redirect waste heat to their vessels desalination systems, reducing energy consumption and increasing efficiency.
Lürssen is also a huge supporter of the Blue Marine Foundation, which is involved with multiple marine conservation projects worldwide. They aim to designate 30 percent of the world’s oceans as under effective protection by 2030. Their work takes them from the Mediterranean Sea to the Caspian Sea in Central Asia. They also help with issues around conservation legislation, media inquiries and education.
Some of their most important projects are involved with preserving fish stocks in the world’s major oceans. The remote Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean is the focus of a lot of their attention at the moment. In 2019, the Ascension Island Government created a 100 percent marine protected area in Ascension’s 440,000 square kilometres of waters which had until then been the subject of massive illegal long line tuna fishing. It was also associated with human rights abuses and high levels of wasteful, damaging by-catch.
Burgess started with a staff-driven initiative entered around education and raising awareness of the environmental issues facing the company and the yachting industry as a whole. They are moving towards a sustainable future through a collective effort towards genuinely sustainable company operations.
For World Oceans Day 2022, Burgess released a series of seven podcasts, hosted by Lorena Gimenez, Burgess’ Assistant Crew Manager with 15 years of experience as a technical and marine supervisor for Saga Shipping. Guests on the podcasts, which discuss the future of the yachting industry and the environmental challenges faced by it, amongst many other topics, include charter manager Alex Guy and technical manager Elliott McMullen.
They also work with charterers, buyers and sellers to reduce the impact of their yachts on the oceans through best practice sustainable yacht operations. This is achieved through lived experiences and a commitment to not only their clients, but to future generations.
Also a supporter of the The Blue Marine Foundation, Burgess encourages their clients to offset their carbon emissions and donate a Marine Conservation Fee. While this fee is still optional for clients, the brokerage says that they are working towards the payment becoming more customary and they themselves pay to offset the carbon emissions of all work related travel.
Australian yacht builder Echo Yachts have outlined their intention to commit to a more fuel efficient future, working with like minded clients to manufacture environmentally friendly superyachts that maximise fuel efficiency. They have already started using diesel-electric propulsion systems on many of their designs and lead the industry in terms of fuel-efficient hull design.
While superyacht customers are becoming more demanding of a wider beam but also keeping a close eye on fuel costs, the efficiency of Echo Yachts’ revolutionary multihull vessels is legendary. They boast a huge range of multihulls and monohulls that, despite their larger beams and vast deck space, are actually more efficient than a slim monohull with a long waterline. Echo Yachts very much see sustainability as a priority and are finding the best design talent in the world to ensure their yachts use as little fuel as possible and provide comfortable cruising.
There are no good reasons for our industry to keep perpetuating outdated technologies and hull designs of the past. Simply doing so because that is what has always been done is no longer the way and certainly not best-practice. If we are going to promote new products then let’s promote the best possible, pull up the anchors and drive our industry forward swiftly!
Mark Stothard, Echo Yachts CEO
Their award winning diesel-electric tri-hull superyacht White Rabbit is one of the most impressive looking vessels in the ocean. 84 metres long, with a massive beam of 20 metres, she is setting the standard for efficient hull designs, achieving an unmatched 40 percent reduction in fuel consumption. Although the vessel has four Caterpillar C32s producing 1260 horsepower and two C18s outputting 737 horsepower, only two are required to run in order for White Rabbit to achieve a speed of 12 knots, all whilst powering the onboard amenities and equipment.
Exterior and interiors are by Sorgiovanni Designs with naval architecture drawn up by Sydney firm One2Three. The huge amount of deck space is well utilised by expansive sunbathing platforms, the spa pool on the sundeck is surrounded by sunbeds and those onboards will feel sure on their feet thanks to the increased stability imparted by the tri-hull design. This revolutionary hull positions the engine away from the passenger areas of the boat and reduces noise and vibration until it is barely noticeable, even at full throttle.
Damen Yachting have focused a lot of attention on accessing sustainable sources of electricity and materials. They have installed a huge amount of solar panels on the roof of their Vlissingen City shipyard in the Netherlands, 5,394 to be exact. They estimate that the electricity produced by these panels accounts for as much as 30 percent of their annual electricity needs. On sunny days the solar panels feed excess energy back into the local grid.
Thanks partly to Dutch government subsidies aimed at promoting sustainable sources of energy, Damen Yachting then decided to install another 39,000 solar panels at all of their shipyards across the Netherlands, producing a massive 12 Megawatts. The shipbuilder has also installed efficient LED lighting at their facilities and improved insulation to save on heating, while six recycling streams help the production process to be less wasteful.
Damen Yachting also supports the Water Revolution Foundation, a sustainable superyachting organisation that aims to bring together key figures from the superyacht industry in order to promote cooperation and sustainable practices.
The Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI) is an initiative by the Water Revolution Foundation which seeks to provide a measurement system for assessing the environmental impact of new and concept yachts. The foundation also holds virtual industry roundtable discussions about sustainable yacht design. Their objective is to establish cooperation between industry leaders when designing their vessels to limit damage to the environment.
As well as creating innovative yachts focused on sustainability like 49 metre superyacht, Home and 50 metre Electra, Heesen Yachts is making significant moves toward safeguarding not only the future of our planet but also the industry itself.
We need to be realistic, our industry is not leading the way when it comes to sustainability. We need to do better and take responsibility to ensure the future of yachting. This requires a holistic approach, taking into account the yacht’s complete lifecycle and the shipyard’s total footprint. That’s why Heesen is launching BlueNautech – a long-term, comprehensive sustainability program to reduce our footprint.
Arthur Brouwer, Heesen CEO
BlueNautech is centred around six core pillars with the aim of achieving a sustainable future for the yachting industry. The first is focused on increasing hull efficiency, Heesen has already developed a fast displacement hull which it has used on its builds and increases efficiency through the water by 30 percent.
The second pillar focuses on propulsion methods and propellor efficiency. They examine the different “green” propulsion methods that are available, such as zero emission hydrogen, and assess whether they could be used efficiently to reduce the environmental impact of the yachts designed and built by Heesen.
The third pillar is concerned with the examination of how to reduce the impact of yachts when at anchor or standstill. While the fourth and fifth core pillars are concerned with improving waste management, implementing electric tenders and seeking out alternative materials in the yacht building process such as sourcing sustainable woods.
The final pillar is focused on the yacht building process and reducing the environmental impact of construction though investigating and committing to waste reducing construction practices such as 3D printing, electrostatic paint spraying and waste reduction.
Alternative marine propulsion systems to the traditional Diesel engine are being developed and improved every day, with purely electric propelled boats taking off in popularity. Take a look at the most exciting and advanced electric boats. Some fly silently above the water on hydrofoils, while others have a theoretical unlimited range, due to their use of solar and wind power for propulsion.