In the superyacht industry, we find ourselves at an impasse where it is either prepare for change, or prepare to fail. Never before has the energy towards sustainability been at this level, and the superyacht industry is not exempt from this by any stretch of the imagination.
While it may have taken it a while to align its practices and convey the message to superyacht owners, there is no arguing that this is the time where we can collectively jump into action and ensure the business we are doing today can preserve that of tomorrow.
The onset of greener technologies is, of course, at the forefront of this change, and while the momentum of this has been a long time in the making, the technological advancements and sheer dedication towards more sustainable practices in the superyacht industry has, I’m sure, reached a point where it is now a practical and attractive proposition from the client’s perspective.
On day one of The Superyacht Forum, ‘The Business Day’ the onset of greener technologies will indeed be explored as Swedish entrepreneur Konrad Bergström, founder of X-Shore, outlines what it really takes to develop and implement new ideas in the superyacht industry, in an inspiring and thought-provoking keynote.
“Sustainability, design and technology, these are the three pillars upon which our company is built,” begins Bergström, as he outlines the revolutionary ethos of his entirely electric tender company.
“I have a very open mind – You have to imagine being out on the sea without the fuel and noise pollution,” Bergström continues. “I have always been interested in boats, but felt that boats have been behind in comparison to cars. So, I began working on my own concept and building my own vessel.”
I have always been interested in boats, but felt that boats have been behind in comparison to cars. So, I began working on my own concept and building my own vessel.”
- Konrad Bergström, founder, X-Shore
Despite initiating the process in 1996, Bergström has waited until now to bring the product to the superyacht market. As well as the development of the technology itself, he first came to the industry with this proposition in 2012. But tellingly, felt we as a market were not ready to considersustainable solutions; now, in 2019, he feels we are taking this agenda seriously.
Through a series of prototypes, and up to a point where the industry is open to fully electric solutions, the X-Shore range is almost ready to enter production and offer a solution which will satisfy the next generation of clients.
“The hydrodynamics needed to be exceptionally good,” Bergström explains. “We worked with Rolls Royce to find the best hydrodynamics and managed to find a solution that is 50 per cent more efficient compared with a traditional hull.”
The technology behind the project is a 140kw electric engine with 300hp which weighs in at 80kg. “The electric engine has a lifetime that is five times more than a combustion engine,” he says. “But you also don’t have the vibrations, the noise, and of course, the pollution.
“X-Shore is also all about speed and combination of distance. We are taking a big step, which means that when this boat is lying in the water it has a wet surface of 26sqm. But, when we are going up at 25 knots we only have 7.5sqm and when we are doing 40 knots, it is only 3.6sqm in the water.”
Bergström and the X-Shore team will bring the final product to market in 2020, at a point where the industry is primed and ready to accept revolutionary changes such as this. Bergström reaffirms that they are not here to reinvent the wheel, but set a course for long-term sustainability that the industry can be proud of.
During The Superyacht Forum, Bergström will outline the challenges that he needed to overcome in order to get to this point, highlighting to delegates what really needs to change in order to embed new technologies and solutions.
The evolution of the industry has led us to a point where these solutions represent our future trajectory. But, just from looking at the length of time X-Shore has been in the making, getting a new solution such as this to market is no easy task. During The Superyacht Forum, Bergström will outline the challenges that he needed to overcome in order to get to this point, highlighting to delegates what really needs to change in order to embed new technologies and solutions.
Acting as a pivotal occasion for implementing and assessing the imminent changes in the industry, The Superyacht Forum 2019 will usher in a new era of long-term, strategic thinking for our industry.
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