The superyacht industry is navigating an innovative journey towards sustainability. It is actively committed to satisfy the needs of the present without adversely affecting the conditions for future generations. Design processes that enhance the sustainable credentials of yachts, design and build projects that develop the most environmental friendly sailing yachts or adventure travels that put conservation at the heart of the experiences, these are 3 key trends influencing the global yachting industry.
Andrew Winch Design look to use natural materials with environmentally friendly glues and lacquers where possible due to the expanding range of products available on the market, such as bamboo-silk carpets which are natural, durable and feel indulgent. Organic cotton for cushions, bedding and accessories are another great natural material as it makes for a beautiful product as well as being grown without harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
When selecting a special finish, Winch Design will always try to choose a finish that originates from a sustainable source and that it has the correct certification to validate this. Where possible, Winch Design tries to source finishes from local companies with ethical credentials who use localised products, which minimises their carbon footprint whilst investing in the local economy. Equally, Winch will try to avoid using rare or endangered species in their designs and consciously selects wood veneers from species that are rapidly renewable. They also focus on the durability of the materials that they plan to use: are they hard wearing? Will they wear out with constant use or will they still look as good now as they will in ten years’ time? Similarly, they consider the end-of-life recyclability of each product and consider whether it can be easily recycled or has the potential to be re-used.
The interior spaces on 67m M/Y Neninka (ex. Aurora Borealis) which was delivered in 2019 by Amels, are inspired by the natural world. Upon entry to the yacht, guests are greeted by a cloud-cut and back-lit wall of honey Onyx extending through five decks behind a spiralling staircase and elevator. The main saloon is flooded with natural light and deep, soft sofas face a custom designed coffee table made from a single slab of Italian marble. Foot-worn, sustainable oak floors and pale timber walls create a calm, cool atmosphere of the saloon, complimented by ceramic shells, porcelain sea urchins and a cut glass bowl, inspired by the shape of the nautilus shell.
“We must always ask ourselves, what else can we be doing? It must be our collective effort to enhance and promote ecologically viable technologies which will have a minimal impact on our oceans. We must ensure the ocean remains as beautiful and inspirational for the generations ahead, as it has been for the generations that have come before”. Andrew Winch
Black Pearl is a unique design following one man’s ambition to design and build the most environmental friendly superyacht possible. Sailing Yacht BLACK PEARL is currently the greenest or most sustainable yacht sailing the oceans at this time.
The 106.7m Dyna Rigged vessel could sail trans-Atlantic using zero fossil fuels. No mean feat for a yacht carrying 26 crew and 12 guests whilst running all her ‘House’ systems (galley, laundry, air conditioning etc). This is all achievable due to a combination of unique features a state of the art Dyna-rig sailing system, a hybrid propulsion installation with a high capacity battery bank which can be used for peak shaving, running the vessel for a number of hours plus regeneration mode when under sail. Regeneration when sailing which essentially means the propellers are turning the shaft making electricity which is used to run the vessel and charge all the batteries. Plus to help reduce the loads the shipyard and Owners team optimised a number of systems which in turn mean that the ‘House’ load is reduced compared to normal. The HVAC system has also been optimized considering lowest possible energy consumption and associated environmental friendly installations. As well as the above, the vessel has additional thermal insulation to reduce the requirement for AC whilst maintaining the comfort level onboard. This is supported by double glazing throughout the vessel
To achieve all of this it was necessary for the Owner of BLACK PEARL to invest more than normal into the project, but also for the shipyard to be more flexible than a yard would normally be. The cost of producing such a vessel is higher as the shipyard needs to invest more time in engineering and also push back their usual build slots, to allow for the time to develop and complete a more complex vessel.
« For BLACK PEARL a great deal of time was spent in meetings with various suppliers optimising systems which had never really been placed into a superyacht. During this time and since sailing, it was discovered that with all the excess power from the regeneration the next generation of sailing yachts should be able to be built zero fossil fuel reliant. This using technology now proven on BLACK PEARL but also using a combination of solar and wind generation to produce hydrogen onboard whilst sailing, compress and store this hydrogen therefore meaning no need to ever stop ashore to refill fuel. So the potential future of sailing is with a combination of Hydrogen and batteries. » Owner’s Representative Derek Munro of Divergent Yachting Ltd
Luxury adventure company Cookson Adventures has put conservation at the heart of its experiences for many years and been the catalyst for its clientele, some of the world’s most influential and successful people, donating millions of pounds to worthwhile causes over the years. From crucial work carried out in the Galápagos Islands, rehoming 250 juvenile tortoises in locations they have been absent from for over 200 years, to funding rhino rehabilitation in one of Kenya’s most important conservancies, HNWs are increasingly keen to engage in philanthropic activities.
The team of adventure specialists have also made possible the discovery of a new type of killer whale, previously ‘unknown to science’. Dr Robert Pitman, an expert in whale ecology and systems, led the research off Cape Horn in some of the stormiest waters on the planet. The research, funded solely by a client of Cookson Adventures, unveiled new findings in orca genetics and movement patterns, finally putting a project that was 15 years in the making into action. The historic research trip allowed a team of world-leading experts to spend three weeks in the Southern Ocean collecting tiny skin samples of the ‘type D killer whale’, gathering genetic comparison to other killer whales around the world and confirmation of its status as a new species.
“I started Cookson Adventures over ten years ago because of my love for all that is rare and beautiful on this planet. Since then, we’ve made it our mission to visit some of the world’s most remote destinations but, most importantly, leave them better than we found them through various conservation and sustainability efforts. By putting captains and yacht owners in contact with experts such as climate crisis scientists and marine biologists, we have been able to bring about real change. We’re enabling scientific research that otherwise may not have happened. The benefit of this is twofold. Our clients can give back to the planet while they explore and also engage in hands-on, enriching experiences as part of their adventure. We have a responsibility to use our position to influence these highly successful individuals. As a further step, we have also been carbon offsetting each of our adventures from January 2020.” Henry Cookson