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Lifestyle : 2010 Sydney International Boatshow
1HERSA1 S014 14 July 24-25, 2010 smh.com.au SPECIAL REPORT GOING GREEN DAVID LOCKWOOD Fuel for thought . . . (top) relaxing on the Platinum I-4 Electric; (below) the Greenline 33 electric- diesel cruiser. ELECTRIC DREAMS Hybrid engines and hulls made of recycled materials are among the innovations making waves. A two-stroke outboard erupts into life, breaking the morning reverie and spewing forth a trail of half-burnt fuel. This has traditionally been a common sight at boat ramps around the country but, thankfully, it's soon to go the way of the dodo. Proposed tough emissions laws could see the basic two-stroke outboard phased out as early as 2012. A host of other bright ideas are also making boating greener and many are on display at this year's Sydney International Boat Show. You can buy a kayak or dinghy made from recycled plastic, motor out from the boat ramp with an emissions-free electric outboard and cast the lines in either an electric-powered, trailer-size catamaran or a luxury Italian-designed hybrid cruiser. First, the alternative to the cantankerous outboard engine. The Torqeedo is an electric outboard made in Germany that can be fitted on boats up to 52 feet. There's a lightweight model perfect for canoes and kayaks, a folding portable version for propelling your tender or tinnie and a cruise version which, with the equivalent thrust of a 10-horsepower petrol engine, would suit multiple installations on cruising catamarans and trimarans. If fishing floats your boat, look no further than the Platinum I-4 Electric. The Canadian-made trailerable catamaran is moulded from fibreglass, is 4.25-metres long and has excellent stability for casting a line. Key features include a joystick-manoeuvring system, up to 10 hours running time from the twin electric motors, a top speed of 14 km/h (7.55 knots), plush sun lounges, dry storage and drink holders. The boat without trailer sells for $21,500. The Greenline 33 is something else again. The Italian-designed cruiser is powered by a state-of- the-art Volkswagen Marine hybrid electric-diesel propulsion system. Close to shore you can motor courtesy of an electric motor that produces 7kN of power. Distances up to 20 miles are possible. At sea, a diesel drive powers the boat and recharges the battery. Yet, for all this new technology, the Greenline looks surprising like a boat and it's as practical as any conventional 33-footer. The single-level cockpit and saloon offer plenty of living room, the galley up and back aft is perfect for entertaining, while the cabin has a double bed that splits to make twin single berths and the bathroom features twin doors so as to double as an en suite. Five people can sleep aboard. Best of all, the Greenline 33 is as frugal as cruisers come. On a typical outing, the boat uses up to four times less fossil fuel each nautical mile than a planing powerboat, while it is emission-free in electric mode. Besides the unique Volkswagen hybrid engine, the efficiency comes from a unique low-drag hull. The range of the Greenline 33, with a modest 430-litre fuel tank, is up to 700 nautical miles in diesel mode but more than 1000nm as a hybrid, its builders claim. The hybrid cruiser costs less than $300,000 loaded with options.
Taste of Europe