Innovation in Boating: The Hybrid Yacht

Is it rational to spend your own free time practicing your hobbies in your favorite location? Of course it is! At the same time, it’s also rational to want to see that place always in its best condition. However, sometimes we encounter a paradox situation when our hobby inflicts harm on the environment that we love.

This kind of paradox is perfectly represented in recreational boating, an activity practiced by people that usually love the seaside, but has great impacts on water quality and sea life. Are there ways we can mitigate the effects we have on our waters through sustainable innovation?

Life on The Water

Aquatic life requires clean water to survive. Therefore, events like toxic spills can contaminate or change the water chemistry of the marine environment, threatening the life of its inhabitants. Even small quantities of pollutants might be dangerous when they accumulate over time.

Such damages might also affect the local economy, reducing tourism and fishing activities, as well as raising health care and dredging costs.

According to the European Commission, maritime transport is the 3rd largest source of pollution in marine ecosystems, particularly via fuel combustion, waste release and noise emission.

Protect Our Oceans

Image via MotorboatsMonthly.

Sustainable Innovation and Environmental Considerations

Thankfully, in maritime sector, users care about the environment and support the tightening of legislation which prevents water pollution and fosters the development of “eco-innovations.” Indeed, manufacturing companies have recently improved their efforts to minimize the environmental impact of boating, for example by increasing the engines efficiency to reduce fuel consumption or implementing systems to manage waste water.

Accordingly, “eco-boating” is gradually becoming more popular, after being required only by niche users in the past years.

The Hybrid Yacht

The success of Greenline’s boats represent perfectly the transition to sustainable boating. Greenline started its production in 2010 from a vision: to usher in a new era of environmentally responsible boating. They developed the first hybrid yacht focusing on three main points: environment, efficiency and you.

The innovative hybrid (electric-diesel) and solar powered engine, which enabled the birth of their first model, the Greenline 33, proved to be reliable and cost effective. It also dramatically reduced the environmental impacts of boating as it would use four time less fuel than a planing powerboat, and it operates emission-free when used in electric mode.

In addition, the Greenline boats are designed to maximize passengers’ well-being and enjoyment on board. Indeed, the yachts include a high level of ambient light, silent eco-performance (thanks to the hybrid engine), and are made with high quality materials.

Thanks to their innovativeness and attention to detail, Greenline received 21 international awards and became a global bestseller with over 300 boats delivered to 28 countries in the first three years.

The success of the Greenline Hybrid Yacht is just only one of the many cases that shown how the commitment to making a business more sustainable, if mixed with entrepreneurial skills and passion, can lead to global success and potentially reshape an industry.

Surely, Greenline’s market competitors are studying solutions to replicate and improve Greenline strengths in their products, and why not? This may be the beginning of the development of a “zero impact boat.” After all, that’s the ultimate challenge to be achieved by the whole transportation sector – boating included.

Feature image: Greenline 33, source Motorboatsmonthly

About The Author

Adriano Pilloni
Adriano, 25 years old, is a Master Graduate in Environmental Economics and Development from Rome Three University (Italy). During his education he developed a deep knowledge on Economics and a keen interest on Economic Theory with particular regard to energy markets, sustainability, environmental and agricultural issues. He has been proactive during his university time doing many projects and being elected by the students as Advisor of the Economics Dept. of his University. With two other students he developed a project on Food Sustainability which has been selected in the top 30 of the international Barilla contest "BCFN YES! 2013". He did the 2014 European edition of Extreme Blue, IBM's premier internship program for both graduate and undergraduate students. Now he is working as Junior Power and Gas Analyst at GDF SUEZ Italy.