Captain's comments: Future technology
Captain Chris Gartner of S/Y 'Black Pearl' shares his views on what technology will shape the superyacht market…
Which current, or future technologies are you aware of, which you believe will profoundly change the operation of a superyacht moving forward?
First, battery technology is advancing rapidly. Battery storage capability for the day-to-day house loads and even propulsion has really ramped up. I think the superyacht industry is in the early stages of a battery storage revolution and that we are going to see big changes in how we generate and store energy. The advancements in power management systems, energy saving systems, UPSs, and the conversion ability between AC and DC are all improving very quickly driven by the clean energy and electric car developers. These rapid changes will require new training for crew in energy management, equipment maintenance and also emergency response.
Another big part of the emerging energy environment is power regeneration: using the boat’s propulsion to generate electricity to charge the house batteries. This technology is improving all the time with both motor and sailing yachts. Due to the proven benefits of electrical power regeneration while sailing, it is my hope that there be a renewed interest in sailing yachts and, especially, the huge benefits of the proven DynaRig. Recently, new-build clients have had less interest in sailing yachts. However, I think there will be a renewed interest once the Black Pearl has demonstrated her sailing abilities and the world sees a beautiful super yacht sailing at 18 knots using very little fossil fuel – especially with those clients who are seeking environmental sustainability and reduction of their carbon footprint.
Related to environmental sustainability, I believe that our industry needs to take a leading role in improving garbage management. Increasingly, as yachts visit many more remote places around the world, owners and crew see first hand the problem of plastic and other pollutants there are in our oceans. On board, we all work towards solutions to better manage our garbage but we need to come up with better ideas! In my mind, somehow we need to make the used plastic valuable so that people do not through it away but hold on to it and bring it back to get recycled and get paid to do so. They are doing this type of scheme in Norway where one Krone is added on to the cost of each piece of plastic. When the plastic is returned for recycling, the person bringing it back gets a Krone and the companies that are volunteering to do this get a huge tax break, a win/win situation. Who knows, but we need to do something quick!
Photo: Captain Chris Gartner with Derek Munro on board S/Y Black Pearl © Charlotte Thomas
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