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World’s first hybrid superyacht launched (in 2008)

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Royal Huisman - Ethereal
Royal Huisman - Ethereal

As Royal Huisman innovations tend to be well ahead of the curve, it is easy to see how a 58m (190ft) milestone project named Ethereal might be overlooked just a few years later.

Some six years have passed since Royal Huisman launched the Ron Holland/Pieter Beeldsnijder-designed, ketch-rigged sailing yacht, Ethereal. Noted for her pioneering hybrid propulsion system and incorporating 500kW/h of stored energy in her Li-ion battery bank, Ethereal has now logged over 100,000 miles traversing the world’s oceans propelled either by sail, or by mechanical propulsion, or via her stored energy source. Furthermore, her entire domestic load – in addition to sailing systems and anchoring functions – can source its power from this same set of Li-ion batteries, enabling true stealth mode operation.

Understandably, then, the Huisman team was a little surprised by our Feadship colleagues’ claim to have launched “the world’s first hybrid superyacht” (the motoryacht Savannah) in January 2015. Setting aside Ethereal’s six-year lead, eight months have also passed since Royal Huisman launched the 46m (152ft) Andre Hoek-designed NextGEN ketch Elfje, incorporating the latest iteration of the hybrid technology that informed the Ethereal project. Whereas Ethereal’s ground-breaking hybrid system focuses on propulsion and power management, Elfje interprets ‘hybrid' by supplying power via variable speed, variable output, variable fuelconsuming generators backed up by a Li-ion ‘peak shaving’ power storage bank and energy management system. Since Ethereal was launched in 2008 and Elfje in 2014, what remains of Feadship’s claim can only be their definition of the word ‘superyacht’, which is commonly taken to mean any yacht over 30m (100ft). Ethereal is 58m (190ft), Elfje 46m (152ft), and both have been successfully operating in hybrid mode for quite some time.

For fact checking Feadship’s press release about the launch of motoryacht Savannah:

http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=a3a248865bf133bcad60f99e8&id=95836460ab&e=bf0ab00461

More information about Ethereal can be found at:

http://www.royalhuisman.com/en/yachtdescription936.html

http://www.royalhuisman.com/en/newsdetail2449.html

More information about the NextGEN ketch Elfje can be found at: page 14 – 17 of

http://www.royalhuisman.com/inhuis2014/2014.html

More public information about Hybrid power:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid