Hollywood mogul David Geffen was recently in Mallorca to show off his latest superyacht acquisition: The $300 million 115 meter (or 377 foot) Pelorus – the nineteenth largest yacht in the world. Previously owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abravomich who had to hand it over to Irina Abramovich in 2009 as part of a divorce settlement, the superyacht was then sold via broker Merle Wood to David Geffen in 2011.
The Pelorus is reportedly equipped with a few standard superyacht features such as a swimming pool, spa pool, two helipads, a private owner’s deck that comes with 180 degree panoramic views and a garage full of various “toys” for the enjoyment of passengers. Otherwise, little is known about Pelorus’s interiors as Abramovich was always highly security conscious when he owned it.
However, this is actually David Geffen’s second superyacht to be among the top 20 largest yachts in the world as last year he also purchased Larry Ellison’s 138 meter (or 453 foot) Rising Sun – the world’s eighth largest yacht which reportedly cost $200 million to build.
The Rising Sun has 82 rooms on five storeys and a total living area of more than 8,000 square meters. In addition, the superyacht features 3,300 square meters of deck space outfitted in teak along with a wine cellar, gymnasium/spa and a private cinema fitted with a giant plasma screen.
No word on why Geffen owns or needs two of the largest superyachts in the world and how his environmentally conscious Hollywood friends view his not so green superyacht collection. However, Geffen is worth more than $4 billion – meaning he can more than offset any carbon impact from his superyacht collection by donating to any number of environment causes.
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.
The New York Times recently profiled the PlanetSolar, 100% solar-powered Catamaran that will be the first such vessel to attempt a complete circumnavigation of the globe. The $15 million PlanetSolar is 31 meters (102 feet) long and its top is covered with about 500 square meters (5,300 square feet) of solar panels. You can follow the vessel’s progress on their website.
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.
The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Report reported that when billionaire Roman Abramovich recently arrived in the French port of Antibes on his superyacht Eclipse (the world’s largest yacht at more than 530 feet), there was a big problem: No place to park. Apparently, the port’s only superyacht berth was already occupied by Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal’s 265-foot yacht Kingdom 5KR and Abramovich had to suffer the indignity of taking a tender to shore.
Abramovich’s Eclipse has two helicopter pads, a missile defense system, intruder detection systems, 24 guest cabins, multiple hot tubs and two swimming pools.
In today’s economic climate, owners need to look for a smart balance between luxury, comfort and enjoyment on the one hand and the risk of being ostentatious, too expensive and impractical on the other. Greenboats’ Green Cat, while not on the scale of the Eclipse, is gracious, spacious and comfortable without being blingtastic and, thanks to advanced technology, it is much more environmentally friendly than more traditional motor yachts.
BoatTrader’s Water Blogged has a great post about how to make you boat a green boat with LED lighting. This is the kind of technology we’re using to make our Green Cat more energy-efficient, comfortable and luxurious.
If you are looking for a greener way to get to your superyacht or you just want an eco-friendly way to cruise around on nearby rivers or lakes, traditional boat builder Patterson Boatworks of Hawkshead, Cumbria has introduced the Elektra electric powerboat - a 24 foot launch that is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack.
Specifically, the Elektra combines a classical boating look that is finished using English oak, cherry, Douglas fur and teak with a state-of-the-art carbon composite hull to offer minimal resistance. Moreover, the Elektra’s design incorporates thin-film solar fabrics that are used to generate extra power. In fact, the Elektra has a 15-hour running time before needing another charge while an extended-range hybrid version that comes with your choice of a diesel, petrol or ethanol-powered back-up engine is also available. Otherwise and just like an electric car, the £211-285,000 Elektra is virtually silent.
Living aboard a boat in and of itself can be a very green and eco-friendly decision to make. After all and unless you are living aboard a superyacht, your boat is probably going to be much smaller and consume far fewer resources than the house you have on land. That in and of itself will make living aboard a boat an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Nevertheless, here are a few common sense tips for making living aboard your boat a much greener experience:
- Avoid wasting anything. As Jen Brett (who lives aboard the Lyra) wrote in a recent article for Cruising World, living aboard a boat means NOT wasting anything – especially when you are not tethered to a dock at a marina and you must make a trip across the harbour to get both water and diesel. Jen pointed out that her boat will hold about 200 gallons of water and this can last a family of four for two to three weeks for just about everything, including drinking, showers, cooking and cleaning (but not for laundry).
- Use alternative or renewable energy. The price of diesel alone is enough to make you want to conserve as much of it as possible by not using the engine any more than you need to. Moreover, the price of diesel will likely continue to rise while the cost of solar panels will continue to fall as their quality is rising. Likewise, wind generators are also a viable alternative to power your power hungry gadgets – especially if you are living or cruising in an area that may lack sun but has plenty of wind. However, using renewable energy aboard a boat can go beyond just installing solar panels or wind energy generators. For example: Solar cookers can be a viable way to cook at least some of your meals on those hot and sunny summer days.
- Learn how to improvise with natural products. As Brittany and Scott (who live on-board the s/v Rasmus) mentioned in a Cruising World article, living aboard a boat and cruising to exotic ports of call will probably mean that you will not have access to large supermarkets or the same kinds of products that you are accustomed to using. However, Brittany and Scott have discovered a diverse range of substitute and natural products that will work just as well. Some of the greener substitutes they mention included vinegar which can do anything, ammonia which can be used for laundry and essential oils like citronella which can be used as a natural bug repellent.
Keeping the above tips in mind will make living aboard your boat a much greener and eco-friendly experience.
All boats are a compromise. The fast, spacious, light, stable, comfortable, luxurious, high-performance, cheap boat doesn’t exist. You have to make trade-offs.
But some boats force you to make more compromises than others.
- Price. Light boats go fast but cost more than heavier, slower boats.
- Space. Smaller hulls have go faster but have less living space.
- Safety. A fly bridge is comfortable but detracts from safety and performance.
- Automation. Out-dated technology may be ‘tried and tested’ but it isn’t always reliable.
- Technology. Owners expect internet connectivity, automatic self-test of systems, multimedia in every cabin and integrated control systems. Most boats don’t deliver this.
- Green. A sailing boat should be green but most are not.
You can express these trade-offs on a graph and compare the market.
Typical 55-foot charter catamaran
Catamaran optimised for long-range sailing
Fast, super-light sport catamaran
Our Greencat, based on the Nautitech 54, represents a different set of choices. It focuses on green, automation, safety and reliability without compromising performance or space and comfort.
See: http://www.greenboats.com/Comparison for more information.