Last week's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show offered the stage to a debate over whether motor yachts can be environmentally friendly. Presented and showcased was the DSe Hybrid Yacht by Island Pilot which combines a diesel engine with a 6kW array of solar panels. Capable of cruising at 6knots using only electricity (emission free and produced by the solar panels and generators) and 8knots with the diesel engine, the maximum speed she can achieve is 15knots with both systems operating simultaneously. There are plans to incorporate wind turbines into the design before it goes into commercial production further improving her green capabilities. Recently, many other highly regarded manufacturers in the marine industry have introduced their own hybrid vessels such as the Hinckley Company, Scout Boats and Frauscher Bootswerft and reports of other large production manufacturers investing in research into hybrid propulsion are making their way through the grapevine. Another advantage of the hybrid motor boat is the silent serenity you experience when the noisy diesel engines are turned off and don't forget, sailing yachts are the original hybrid vessels utilising wind first and foremost.
These are all considered steps in the right direction to making the industry eco-friendly, the insurance company Travelers has answered to pressure from the consumer market to encourage these developments by becoming the first insurance company to offer a hybrid auto insurance discount in the States, the opportunity to offset the carbon produced by burning fuel has also become a popular way to overcome the problem of enjoying yachts whilst not damaging the environment. However, many environmentalists would probably agree that there is still a long way to go before the green-stamp can be put on the yachting-industry.
Some information courtesy of Greenmuze and the Insurance Journal.