From hybrid yachts to the Internet of Things; the rise of technology in yachting

December 16, 2019

The yachting world is going through a transformation, with yacht owners demanding vessels that are not only more sophisticated than ever, but also kinder on the environment.
Recently, the yachting industry has seen a growing number of greener ocean-going hybrid yachts, coupled with discreet technology that is integrated seamlessly into their design.
Here we explore two key areas that are changing the world of yacht design; hybrid yachts and discreet cutting-edge technology.
Sustainability: Hybrid yachts
Leading this transformation has been the rise in hybrid yachts, helping to generate a sea change in the yachting world, by creating greener ocean-going vessels that aim to cut emissions.
Hybrid yachts combine traditional and innovative fuel-efficient propulsion systems that allow for low-impact cruising. The trend is being predominantly driven by technically-minded owners who have expressed a wish to travel with a higher degree of purpose and in a more environmentally friendly way.
Hybrid yachts are often coupled with a raft of sustainable features. Think solar sails, state-of-the-art hybrid propulsion systems, wastewater recycling, solar panels, and waste-to-heat recovery systems. Many hybrid yachts also boast sophisticated dynamic positioning systems that allow the yacht to stay in place without dropping anchor – ideal for those that wish to explore ecologically vulnerable areas, such as coral reefs, while minimising potential damage to the seabed.
Additionally, many of these hybrid yachts have the possibility to contribute to marine conservation, by gathering data while on their travels and sharing this information with marine scientists, helping to further aid the protection of the world’s oceans and it’s rich marine life.  
Along with all the sustainability benefits, hybrid yachts come with another benefit and that is almost silent cruising, offering an all-round enhanced yachting experience.

One of the world’s leading hybrid yachts is ARTEFACT, an environmentally eco-conscious 80-metre superyacht, built by leading German shipyard Nobiskrug. Amongst her many green credentials are solar panels, a large battery storage system, an innovative DC-bus diesel-electric Azipod propulsion system, and a cutting-edge wastewater recycling system. Indeed, she is one of the first superyachts to meet IMO Tier III emissions regulations. 
Internet of Things: Discreet technology
Technology now plays a larger than ever role in the way we live our lives and this trend is also being seen in the yacht industry. Millennials are a growing segment of superyacht owners that are demonstrating a higher demand for technology and digital integration in yacht design. However, these technologically savvy yacht owners are also increasingly anxious to have this technology out of view. While hybrid yachts may be cutting-edge, they need to offer a haven of tranquillity, not be cluttered with technology.  
This has led to the rise in discreet technology onboard hybrid yachts. Now, not only do yacht owners want the very latest technology, but they require it to be built into the yacht seamlessly allowing for a beautiful streamlined aesthetic, challenging traditional design conventions and superyacht construction as a whole.
State-of-the-art TV’s now come discreetly hidden behind bespoke panels, accessible at a touch of a button. Alternatively, some yachts utilise full HD laser projectors, integrated into custom-built furniture, allowing yacht owners to indulge in movie nights, then hide them from view. Invisible speakers, hidden from view, yet producing the richest of sound, can also be built into the very fabric of the ship.
Hybrid yachts are also embracing the use of the Internet of Things, allowing for a more enhanced and ever customised yachting experience. For example, through this sophisticated exchange of data as soon as an owner or their guest walk onto the yacht their preferred lighting, TV channels, music, and temperature are all automatically set, creating a unique  user-experience. Even preferred artwork can be digitally shown on the walls creating a highly customised experience.

There’s no doubt that the yachting world is changing for the better as it embraces state-of-the-art technological advances to create a more enhanced and user-friendly experience coupled with one that is kinder to the environment too.  

Photos from Francesco Martinez. 

One of the world’s leading hybrid yachts is ARTEFACT
Hybrid yacht solar panels
Hybrid yacht blueprint