Mega-yachts need mega-marinas

Despite the fact that the number of megayachts worldwide has more than doubled over the last decade, there remains a global shortage of berths for yachts that are 100 feet (30 meters) or more in length. This lack of “parking space” for luxury megayachts was on full display last summer after a Saudi prince docked his 265 foot (81 meter yacht in the last available slip at Millionaire’s Quay in Cap d’Antibes and forced Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich to keep his 533 foot (162 meter) $1.2 billion Eclipse offshore. This begs the question: Why have a megayacht at all if you won’t be able to conveniently moor it at a marina?

However and as Carol M. Bareuther recently noted in Yacht Essentials, the big international marina players are beginning to address this situation. Just some of the important megayacht marina trends mentioned by Carol included the following:

  • Megayacht Marina Location. Megayacht marinas are being built all over the world where calm waters can be found. And while this may seem like common sense, Carol quoted a Marina operator as saying that customers have told him they simply will not dock at certain marinas in order to avoid rocking all night at the dock. Moreover, megayachts need enough room to manoeuvre and hence, megayacht marinas need to have (at a minimum) 1.5 times maximum LOA fairways.

  • Megayacht Marina Design. Carol commented that important megayacht marina design trends include increased utilization of floating dock components and the provision of adequate and variable power as the power requirements of yachts can vary considerably. Other megayacht marina design trends include fast and efficient in-slip fuelling plus having a dock wide enough so that vehicles can be driven right up to the boat for ease of provisioning and passenger access.
  • Megayacht Marina Facilities & Amenities. Onshore facilities for megayacht crews are now an important consideration along with access to local accommodations and good restaurants plus access to ample parking facilities for both guests and for provisioning purposes. Carol also noted that security is increasing a consideration but the trick is to create a megayacht marina facility that still allows for easy customer and guest access without the look and feel of a prison.
  • Megayacht Marina Technology. Finally, technology is an increasingly an important megayacht marina design consideration. For example: Given that a megayacht can easily have a crew of 20+, megayacht marinas must have adequate wireless Internet bandwidth to ensure that they can handle every crew member (plus passengers) jumping on Skype at the same time. However, Carol also noted that marinas typically have difficulty providing both high speed and uninterrupted Wi-Fi thanks to high levels of interference plus the overuse of existing frequencies but WiMAX 4G does offer a solution to these problems.

Carol ended her article by predicting that green technology which addresses energy efficiency, waste reduction, the use of local or regional products/materials and better environmental stewardship will increasingly play important roles in the construction and operation of megayacht marinas.

Chevy Corvette takes to the water

Are you a Chevy Corvette owner or fan who also loves boats? Ever thought of combining the two? Performance boat manufacturer Marine Technology, Inc. has done just that by using actual parts from a genuine Corvette ZR1 to create the$1.7m ZR48.

Hence, the ZR48 has both the look and feel of a Corvette complete with genuine taillights but its body is made out of lightweight carbon fiber – making the boat as strong as metal but also lightweight (notwithstanding the pair of 1,350 horsepower twin-turbo Mercury Racing engines). It’s a long way from the frugal Greencat, but perhaps a little faster!

Inside the ZR48, the leather and suede interior is complete with six air-conditioned seats, an 8,000 watt sound system, built-in LCD displays with Apple TV and a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot plus custom dock and charging station for the Apple iPad. In fact, these entertainment features require a standalone Fischer diesel motor just to power them.

The 48 foot (14.6 meter) monster boat comes with a special display trailer with a matching paint scheme along with 5 TVs and LED display lighting. When the boat is being hauled in transit, it’s situated sideways so that no special highway permits are needed.

Best of the Web

Introducing Yacht Carbon Offset

Own a megayacht but feel guilty about your impact on the environment? The Megayacht News’ leadership series has a lengthy interview with Mark Robinson, the founder of Yacht Carbon Offset – a program that gives yacht owners and crews the ability to offset greenhouse gas emissions by contributing to eco-focused projects around the world.

A 300-berth marina is planned for the tidal Thames

There are plans to develop a historic dock into a new 300 berth marina at Northfleet. The new marina will be just four miles east of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and follows several similar plans for other areas along the Thames – including a £400 million project to build a 180 berth marina, housing and link road at Queensborough.

A £60 million floating garden on the Thames called a threat to navigational safety

The planned four-acre London River Park will stretch for half a mile from the Tower of London to the Millennium Bridge but the Port of London Authority (PLA) has stated that the proposed set of eight linked garden pontoons might be a threat to navigational safety.

Simpson Marine opens a flagship office on China’s Riviera

Simpson Marine, Asia’s largest yacht brokerage company, has recently opened a flagship office at the Serenity Coast Marina in Sanya, Hainan, to serve the growing Southern Chinese market. Simpson Marine has 8 marinas in operation plus more than 12 new marina projects have been identified on the southern coast of China and Hainan – China’s “Riviera.”

LVMH’s yacht building subsidiary enters the India market

Yacht builder Princess, which is also owned by luxury group LVMH, has announced its entry into India with Indian yacht retailer Navnit as its official distributor. Next year, Princess aims to sell up to five luxury yachts in India with prices that from $800,000 to $6 million. According to Navnit, demand for the super-luxury boats continues to be strong plus the company has already sold around 100 yachts of various sizes since its launch in 2002

SeaNet Fractional Yachts begins an international expansion

For eight years, SeaNet Fractional Yachts has been operating solely within the USA but now the company is going international with its new SeaNet International Fleet Program which will have a handful of Benetti Delfino 93 megayachts available in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Mexico and the Mediterranean. Shares in the SeaNet International Fleet Program start at €1.735 million ($2,346 million) plus operating expenses.

Shining a light on GreenCat’s LEDs

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For GreenCat customers who opt for the Green Tech Yacht Automation Option, a complete lighting system with dimmers and LED lights will be installed in their catamaran while customers who opt for the Green Tech Navigation & Multimedia Option will have a multimedia system with large LED full HD screens installed throughout their catamaran. This will ensure that GreenCat customers achieve the maximum benefits that LED lighting on boats has to offer.

LED lighting should be an important consideration for boat owners, especially those who intend to live aboard their boats for long periods of time and want to keep their energy costs reasonable. In fact, LED lights can be incredibly energy efficient with Julius’ Renewable Boating Blog citing claims of 70% to 90% energy savings. Likewise, elementalLED.com has pointed out that LED lighting is ideal for locations (like boats) that may have limited access to constant electricity.

Other advantages of LED lighting on boats (as noted by Julius’ Renewable Boating Blog) include the following:

  • LED lighting has a very long life span. In fact, LED lights for navigation can last up to 50,000 hours.
  • LED lights are shock resistant – an important consideration if you intend to sail in the open ocean or in locations with rough weather.

On the other hand, LED lighting also has some disadvantages that must also be considered. The major disadvantages of LED lighting on boats include the following:

  • LED lights come with significant up-front costs, as they are expensive to purchase.
  • LED lights can be more sensitive to the electrical power supplied.
  • LED lighting is not well suited to provide area lighting.

Nevertheless, the benefits of LED lighting on boats will tend to far outweigh the disadvantages for most boat owners.

Best of the web

Megayachts scrambling for berths at the London Olympics

The 2012 Olympics in London will be next summer and already the megayachts are jockeying for berths. And while there will be enough berths for about 30 yachts, most of them will only accommodate smaller vessels while the only mooring able to accommodate a huge megayacht has reportedly been snagged by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen for his 126 meter (414 foot) Octopus – the world’s 12th largest yacht.

Letting prices set to double during Olympic sailing events

The Dorset Echo has recently reported that holiday letting prices are set to double or even triple across Weymouth and Portland for the 2012 Olympic sailing events. In other words and if you plan to attend any Olympic sailing event, now is the time to book accommodations.

The Olympic Torch will take to the water

On May 19, the Olympic Torch will begin a 70 day relay at Land’s End and travel some 12,875 kilometers or 8,000 miles. The journey includes an RIB ride across Lough Neagh and Loch Ness, a boat ride across the Pontcysylite Aqueduct, a steamer across Lake Windermere and a row boat at Henley-on-Thames and the River Bann.

Already own a boat and have a spare €28 million? Buy an island near Venice

San Spirito Island, which is just a ten-minute boat ride away from Venice’s San Marco Square, is now for sale with an asking price of €28 million. The private island has 3,500 square meters of existing historical structures along with the potential of an additional 4,500 square meters of new construction.

How one CEO runs a multi-million dollar corporation from his yacht

The Daily Boater recently profiled Scott Leonard, who calls himself “the Mobile CEO” because he runs a multi-million dollar corporation from his 15 meter (50 foot) sail boat where he and his family of five have been living on for three years.

Steve Jobs’s unfinished megayacht

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Did you know that Steve Jobs was designing his own megayacht around the time of his death? Mentioned in Walter Isaacson’s new biography of Steve Jobs and picked up by the Luxuo and JamesList blogs, Jobs began developing his own megyacht back in 2009 and it would have been built at the Feadship shipyard in the Netherlands.

Apparently, Jobs did not like normal yacht designs plus he wanted something that would rival any yacht owned by his friend and fellow yachtsman Larry Ellison. Hence and like the Apple iPad or iPhone, Steve Jobs’ planned yacht design was said to be both sleek and minimalist with 40-foot long glass walls.

However and when asked about their Steve Jobs’ yacht project, Feedship was quoted as saying:

“Sometimes, word gets out about one of our yachts. We often build for captains of industry, royalty and other leading individuals. Understandably, our clients value their privacy greatly and consequently we never discuss our owners’ identity. We choose not to comment.”

So would a Steve Jobs megayacht look like an iPad or iPhone on water? We will probably never know for sure. However, Feadship’s Breathe concept, which it unveiled at last year’s Monaco Boat Show, would probably be a good indication. The Breathe concept yacht is intended to imitate forms in nature and is considered to be one of the most radical yacht designs by Feadship to date.

Green is good. Greenboat is better.

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It’s becoming less and less popular to have big luxury motor yachts. They look increasingly self-indulgent, environmentally unfriendly and out of sync with the times we live in.

On the other hand, sailing boats are in. They’re greener and they seem more romantic than plutocratic. But they’re not comfortable.

This is why catamarans are becoming so fashionable. They combine the space and comfort of a motor yacht with the authenticity of a sailing boat.

A 50ft+ catamaran is extremely stable and it can do 20 knots in a good wind or 10-11 knots running on engine power using 10-12 litres of fuel an hour (compared with 60 litres or more per hour in a motor yacht). This means you can sail 240 nautical miles in a day or more; a good range. Even if a high sea they’re comfortable. You can put glasses on the table, even in strong force 5 or 6 breeze.

We’re already seeing a lot of announcements in this area but I think we have a unique and compelling story.

Green is good but it’s not enough. Owners are looking for automation, comfort, safety and enjoyment. At Greenboats, we’re pioneering the kind of technology that will turn a regular catamaran into an environmentally-sensitive, technology-enhanced luxury yacht.

Solar panels for boats: myths and facts

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Adding solar panels to your boat or yacht is one of the best ways to ensure greener and more eco-friendly cruises. More importantly, solar panels will help you to conserve energy usage, meaning you will be able to stay out at sea for longer periods of time, plus they can help you save money over the long-term by reducing the amount of fuel your boat consumes. However, the following are some myths about solar panels for boats that need to first be addressed:

  • Myth #1: Solar panels are big and heavy. Complete solar panel systems for boats come in all sizes with most being small enough to fit inside a duffel bag and the solar panels themselves are made of lightweight and ultra-thin material.
  • Myth #2: Solar panels are too delicate for boats. Solar panels specially designed for boats are waterproof and rugged enough for you to step on. More importantly, solar panel wires do not protrude and hence, you do not have to worry about them catching on your sails or sheets.
  • Myth #3: Solar panel systems are expensive. As with boats themselves, solar panels for boats have a considerable range in price – from just a few hundred dollars for a small simple system for a small boat to thousands of dollars for a much bigger system for a much bigger boat.
  • Myth #4: Solar panels need constant sunny weather. Complete solar panel systems will come batteries to store any electricity generated. Hence and if you want to take an evening or night cruise, you will still have the energy you need stored up in the solar panel system’s battery.

In reality, your most important consideration before deciding on a solar panel system for your boat is to consider the amount of time you will be spending on your boat and how many people will usually be aboard. In other words and if you only go boating for a few hours on the weekend with just your spouse, installing a big or expensive solar panel system may not be worth it.

On the other hand and if you and your family intend to live aboard a boat for weeks or months at a time, you will need to consider just how much energy you will be needing and pick a solar panel system based upon those needs.

At Greenboats, we offer a Green Tech Power Option where we will select and install the best and most energy efficient solar panel system specifically suited to meet your needs onto your Nautitech 54 catamaran. In that way, you will not only save money over the long term on your fuel bills, you will also be helping the environment by making your boat a truly eco-friendly green boat.