What was a wonderfully interactive session was also the platform for Ivaldi to premiere the Italian yard's new FC SWATH 75 concept, a local zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell design.
Unfortunately, he said, the IMO has overlooked sustainable energy solutions in its latest IGF code meeting and it is the fact that there are no specific regulations in place that is stifling client confidence in these fuels of the future.
"One hundred years ago the cost of a car was so expensive it meant those who manufactured them and those who bought them became the visionaries of their day," Ivaldi said. The superyacht industry needs similar visionary owners to support these radical designs.
"It's hard to convince an owner they're backing the right horse," one audience member said. But we can use restrictions such ECAs as an incentive to adopt alternative fuels, Schouten countered, and it is then a case of improving the storage of said energy, because a yacht is perfectly positioned to generate it from natural sources such as the sea, the sun and the wind.
Rampen said that the quality of the control systems that manage this plethora of components needed to be the subject of investment and research in order to improve performance, a fact typified by Schouten saying that battery-only propulsion for hybrid systems can currently only facilitate "cruising at eight knots for a few hours."
But it was agreed by all that the next five years will be a period of great change in the area of superyacht fuel.