For many, superyacht ownership is the realisation of the ultimate dream. Luxury, privacy, escapism – these are the things that we search for to maximise that most precious commodity, time. But there has been a growing problem regarding another precious commodity – the environment. The perception is that superyachts and ecological soundness don’t really run hand in hand, but advances in technology are beginning to address that perception just as superyacht owners are waking up to their own responsibilities toward our fragile planet.
“There’s an explosion coming from all over the world, probably due to the publicity in the automotive market,” Pierre Caouette, CEO of ReGen Nautic, told me back in 2014. “All of a sudden people are starting to realise that maybe, just maybe, in the marine field we could see similar savings in efficiency and, by extension, in a reduction in emissions.”
A lot has changed in the intervening years. Battery technology – spurred both by the demands of mass consumer electronics and by the automotive industry – has made great leaps and with that has come an intriguing option for superyachting. In addition, renewable energy sources, which are being used in land-based power production, are nearing next-generation development which could open the door to marine applications.