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What will yachts and yachting look like in 2015?

Discussion in 'Popular Yacht Topics' started by Windswept, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. SAB

    SAB New Member

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    The green factor will become the major driver for the marketing department in their development of new products. Customers are becoming more swayed by the 'green factor' like waste management systems, renewable sources of materials etc. etc. but the bottom line remains, running costs- getting more bang for your buck. This will be found in the near term by finding ever smaller efficiencies from standard diesel engine systems, and diesel-electric propulsion coupled by the rapid advances currently being made in battery technology will become an industry standard- then the real push to accept hybrid propulsion technologies like solar/battery/fuel cells etc will come into play. The revolution of the 'mid-naughties' in terms of offering more efficient hull designs like axe-bow monohulls will continue, and tri-hulls may gather more interest due their success as economic and seaworthy commercial and military platforms. Flexible solar cells made from an alternative material to silicon, will be integrated into superstructures and decks- charging back into the yachts batteries they will make a significant impact in reducing demand on generators. Yachts looks that are already increasingly being ‘inspired’ by the more rapid advances from the automotive design industry will need to be more coupled to semi-custom design and engineered standard platforms reducing the indulgencies of design development costs associated with new yacht design.
  2. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    I have real doubts about the use of diesel-electric for yacht propulsion in the foreseeable future. While it works well in applications such as cruise ships where the hotel loads can equal or exceed main propulsion requirements and there is physical room to install multiple gensets, the operational profile of most yachts does not lend itself to an integrated electrical plant.

    The current fad for installing hybrid drives in multihulls will probably last as long as the first battery change, which with lithium-ion cells probably won’t be all that long. It is marketing and the warm fuzzy feeling of somehow being “green” that is driving the use of alternative propulsion systems in that class of boat, not cost effective engineering and life cycle analyses.

    There are advantages to be had from electric propulsion with increased maneuverability leading the very short list but fuel efficiency in yacht applications isn’t even on that list. Energy is lost in every conversion and even the best battery in the world will not store energy as efficiently as a fuel tank. The self discharge characteristics of a battery imposes a large fixed cost for lost energy in addition to that consumed. When ambient temperature exceeds 15 degrees C the self discharge rate increases rapidly and regardless of the source, replacement energy always exceeds that which was lost.
  3. Windswept

    Windswept New Member

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    I think the "green" propaganda is a bubble waiting to burst. Those of you who travel the world understand how utterly spotless the USA is compared to, say, the air near the Amalfi coast or London or god-knows-where. Don't bother me with a florescent lightbulb until China builds their first semi-clean coal powerplant.

    Not to stray, but do you think that the independent-minded entrepreneurs who commission custom yachts are the same sheep as the population at large?
  4. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    "... are the same sheep as the population at large?"

    Sheep? No.
    Shepherds? When it works.
    Wolves, No doubt.
    Stupid? No.
    Green? When it pays.
  5. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    I think we're still a ways off from diesel electric, and other more advanced propulsion, however water jets may come more into play as their effectiveness becomes more popular. Similar with PODs.

    As far as styling, I think we'll see a lot of the same, perhaps some slight changes but nothing radical.

    I'd like to see biodiesel come into play more, however it requires a great adoption by the manufactures, as well the distribution system globally for it to be more of a staple in the yacht business.

    I'd like to think that the manufactures will start to use more composite materials like carbon fiber, which add not only to strength, but lessen over all vessel weight. Similarly with other materials being used.

    Just some random thoughts off the top of my head.
  6. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Can't see that happening. Considering that jets are horribly inefficient below around 20 knots or so and considering the power required to go fast, their use on large yachts seems to run counter to the desire for increased fuel efficiency and the image of a "green" vessel. It's kind of like choosing between a Ferrari or a Lamborghini based on gas mileage.
  7. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    I knew I was going to get nabbed on that one.
    I should rephrase it.

    The attractiveness of jets, once you feed them enough horsepower.
  8. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Actually, as jet pumps adapt surface-piercing configurations, you will see efficiency increase substantially with speed, coming on-plane (pun intended) with sub-displacement, shaft & strut speeds. The current crop of pump offerings are more dated than a disco ball, especially centrifugal pumps. Frankly, the centrifuge concept was ridiculous to begin with. As axial flow designs drop to sub-keel levels, pumps will begin to flow. (again, pun intended).
  9. 61c40

    61c40 Member

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    I think more yachts will be full displacement hulls. With the costs of fossil fuels only rising, the benefit of improved fuel efficiany that a displacement hull provides will become a bigger issue than it has in the past
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    hard to tell where the price of fuel will be...

    last spring, if someone had told me that marine diesel woudl be 1.75 today, i'd have told them they were nuts.

    if demands stay low for a while because of economic conditions and if electric techonology picks up for cars and if bioD picks up, who knows what the price will be in 2015. that's a few IFs, but all very possible.
  11. SAB

    SAB New Member

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    If left unused and uncharged for a period of time, PbA battery cells can self-discharge their current capacity by up to 20% due to their internal resistance characteristics. LiFePO4 battery cells will only self-discharge about 2% of current capacity over the same period of time. Also "ambient temperature" has nothing to do with "self discharge". Note: LiFeP04 is what the sailing yacht 'Ethereal' has installed.
  12. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    You might want to review the self discharge figures for LiFePO4 cells and, yes, temperature has a great deal of impact on all chemical cells regardless of the composition.Temperature has a profound effect on discharge rate, capacity, recharge time, and of course, self discharge rate.
  13. SAB

    SAB New Member

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    Those self discharge figures quoted are at normal operating temperature.
  14. battboy

    battboy New Member

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    Of course - All battery chemistries are affected by extreme temperatures of cold or heat. But, LiFePO4 is far better than most including Lead Acid and it's self-discharge rate in normal range temp. is still 10 times less than Lead Acid has. There is just no comparison between Lead Acid and Lithium Iron Phophate except cost. Everything else is far superior and this is why you will see LiFePO4 become a standard battery system for marine applications in the near future.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybrVAI7AwwU&feature=channel_page
  15. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    I don't recall making any comparison between them, maybe you have someone else in mind. And I don't consider 15C (59F)to be an extreme temperature, it is an international standard.

    My point is that even the highly vaunted LiFePO4 cells have around a 5 percent per month self discharge rate and it takes power to replace that energy, a charge of any depth counts as a charge cycle and a battery is only good for a finite number of cycles. If diesel fuel vanished at the same rate owners would have a fit. When that 5 percent of energy has to be replaced it will take 6 or 7 percent more to replace it and if that has to come from a diesel then it means that 11 or 12 percent of the vessel's installed power is used each month just to stand still.

    I might be off by a bit but I really don't see hybrid propulsion becoming a major player in the large yacht business by 2015. It is too expensive, it is far from "green" by any measure, and it is just plain old fashioned inefficient since in all but very few locations the recharge power comes from fossil fuel burning power plants either onboard or ashore.
  16. battboy

    battboy New Member

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    By 2015 the cost of LiFePO4 will probably be below that of Lead Acid and given all the advantages it offers including 1/4 of the weight there is no argument to not use this chemistry. Also by 2015 the majority of recharge power will be coming from clean energy sources such as Solar, Geothermal, and Wind Power generating stations.

    Have you not been paying attention lately ? :)
  17. SAB

    SAB New Member

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    Owners will demand yachts that have the ability to run silently overnight, to manouever in / out of harbour silently, and to cruise in environmentally sensitive regions without producing emissions. Regardless of analysing costs, maybe there is or isn't a premium to be paid here, but the function is what is going to be in demand and there aren't many alternatives to hybrid DE. Big leaps are being made in solar cell printing technology- with one company firmly supported by the Google founders. This could be another big surprise by 2015 :cool:
  18. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    I guess I somehow missed the geothermal and windmill options for yachts.

    Let me know when someone has a battery pack available that will deliver 3 or 4 megawatts for long enough to reach St. Maarten from Fort Lauderdale without stopping for a week every few miles while waiting for the solar cells to catch up.

    I'll stick to my prediction that aside from a couple of short-lived technology demonstrators, we aren't going to see much change in yacht power sources over the next 6 years. And I don't predict a long life or high resale value for the current crop of gimmicky cats either.
  19. SAB

    SAB New Member

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    hmmm... cast your mind back to 2003, then project forward to where the future is going in 2009.. see a pattern forming? :rolleyes:
  20. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Where is this going to happen?

    Haven't you been reading the news recently and seen the NIMBY Opposition to anything like wind and solar power parks?

    As for Geothermal- Are these as yet untapped reserves of steam out there where there are no tree huggers to throw themselves in the way of construction equipment?

    Oh I forgot there will be years of arguments in court before the first sod is cut so 2015 might be a distant memory by the time the majority ( is this 51%) of all power required to charge batteries?