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Lifestyle : Sydney International Boat Show 2012
1HERSA1 S012 ARVOR 2 ARVOR 215A ARVOR 2 A ARVOR 25 A ARVOR 28 12 July 28-29, 2012 smh.com.au THE CLEAN MACHINE David Lockwood tests a potential game-changer in the world of eco-friendly boats. Hybrid beast . . . (above and top right) the Greenline 40 is aimed at pleasure- boaters with an environmental conscience. Worried about your carbon footprint? Sick of being chained to the one-armed bandit, aka bowser? Looking to go places without the roar of engines? Such thoughts are not lost on marine architects in today's ever-greening world. Even the not-so-filthy rich are commissioning custom super yachts with a social conscience. But the future is very much in your hands too. Buy a kayak and use paddle power to go places instead. And if you shop around, you can find rotomoulded kayaks that use recycled polyethylene. Hobie Cat even offers a process for disposing of your old craft. Chop it up and mail it in. Of course, sailors will tell you the wind is free. That it is, but remember, most yachts are built from fibreglass, a petrochemical, and they usually have a diesel engine too. Ignoring those realities, the big progress in recent years is to diesel/electric/solar hybrid propulsion systems available in production boats. Enter the Greenline 40 (the 33 sister ship was driven previously) upon which this boating scribe toured Pittwater one thankfully sunny day. Ours was only the second test of the 40 in the world, the first to be written in English and the first to be conducted in the southern hemisphere. The Greenline 40 and 33 will feature at the Sydney International Boat Show. Meantime, hull No. 2 of the yard's 70 has just been launched in Europe, with a 47-, a 55- and an 80-footer on the drawing board. Teaming solar recharging with electric motors, lithium batteries and frugal common-rail Volkswagen diesel engines, the European-made Greenline 40 Hybrid motor cruiser is touted as a game-changer. We gadded about at 18.1 knots (18.6 knots according to the factory) at full throttle with twin 150hp diesel engines with conventional shaft drives, then put the feet up and idled around using silent electric motors, which is something you can do at four knots for five hours. When it's time to recharge the 48V lithium batteries, you do that any one of four ways: by plugging into Shorepower; using the 1300W solar panels integrated into the rooftop over a period of a few days; or by starting the diesel engines with alternators. The final option is what Greenline calls anchor-charge mode, where you start a diesel engine to drive the electric motor that doubles as a 5kW generator. This might sound confusing to the Luddite, but fear not. The impressive power-management system from Victron, diesel-electric switching from Phoenix and VW/Cummins diagnostic panels on the dash pretty much take care of themselves, leaving you to enjoy the eerily silent electric boating experience. Built by the Slovenian-based Seaway Group, the Greenline 40 is actually a collaborative effort. It's one of those rare boats where the sum of the collective R&D from various sources is greater than the whole. The interesting yacht-like hull hails from brothers Jernej and Japec Jakopin, better known simply as J&J and revered for their performance yachts. The twin diesel engines are from Volkswagen but rebadged Cummins as part of an after-sales servicing and warranty arrangement. The electric hybrid propulsion system hails from a company called Iskra, which is apparently well known for such things, while Bisol is behind the solar roof, and Kokam takes the credit for the impressive lithium batteries. You might not know of these European companies but if you believe the Greenline story, which made waves with a 33 Hybrid sister ship released in January 2010, you will appreciate these boats didn't just happen along. Tank testing, computational fluid dynamic forecasting and extensive field testing with a fleet of six Greenline 33s preceded that boat's release. The 40 hit the water in April last year, making its debut at Dusseldorf boat show. Naturally, it offers more of just about everything. Meanwhile, the 33 has gained design awards in more than 13 countries to date. In the boating world, especially in Europe, there's increasing focus on emissions in enclosed environments such as lakes. At the same time, a rising social conscience exists with pleasure-boaters, especially ex-sailors accustomed to setting sail. The Greenline 40 targets this demographic, those looking to be seen to be green and pleasure-boaters who dare to be different. Yet the boat remains functional for cruising on local waterways. The 40 Hybrid starts at $515,000. See Windcraft and E-Yachts on the marina. David Lockwood is The Sydney Morning Herald's boating writer. SPECIAL REPORT
Travel Vietnam 2012