That might sound like a statement of the bleedin' obvious, but a new design takes everything to another level. The Spirit 111 resembles a classic 1920s sailing boat, but above and beneath her elegant wooden hull lies cutting-edge green technology.
The saying goes that while many motor boat owners consider their purchase a toy to be sold if finances take a down-turn; a classic sailing yacht owner will sell their jet, their cars, their home and move on board before they part with their beloved vessel.
The custom 34 metre yacht is the largest single-masted wooden sailboat from a UK shipyard since J-Class yacht Shamrock V in the 1930s. With elegant vintage lines, Spirit Yachts’ new 111 looks part of this classic heritage - but it's not quite what it appears to be.
Inspired by the owner’s trip to Arizona, the interior designer reflects this in its “warm, soft flowing walls” and “elegant forms [that] twist and peel”. Rendered by hand in Sipo, teak and American walnut woods, it's among the most staggering feats of joinery afloat. “We spent eight months making eight doors,” says Spirit Yachts’ managing director Nigel Stuart, to give an idea of the graft.
But while beauty was at the top of her owner’s list of must-haves, green credentials sat right alongside. “We had to look at how we could make it environmentally responsible in three ways: in the manufacturing, the operation and finally, the end of life of the product,” says Stuart.
For the first step, the yard sourced only sustainable wood, including the Sipo from FSC-run forests in West Africa and Douglas fir from sustainable plantations in Canada. She’s driven by a Torqeedo electric propulsion system, plus a battery bank – allowing her to navigate in silence for up to 30 nautical miles on battery power alone.
The yacht’s hydraulic system, meanwhile, uses a vortex to recycle oil and reduce consumption: “So the annual oil change is 25 litres not [the standard] 1,000 litres,” says Stuart. There’s a lot of this kind of thing on board - right down to the fridge and freezer, built with Cryogel insulation to require little power to maintain temperature. And when her useful life is over, she’s built to be recycled, from the sails by OneSails GBR East (the only recyclable sails on the market) to her boiler, made of aluminium.
It’s all admirable, but could such eco features make it on to the wider yacht market, beyond the odd passionately eco-conscious owner? “We found that every environmental thing we've done on a yacht is a benefit to an owner,” says Stuart. “I say to someone ‘I know you're not the greenest person in the world, but would you like the drinking water system on the boat so you don’t have to buy plastic water bottles? It will save on storage.’ Saving storage? I like that.”
He continues: “‘Would you like the [green] variable speed air conditioned system because it reduces the amount of time you have to run the generator and you can sleep eight hours without the generator running?’ Yes, please. Every single thing we’ve done, if you explain the investment and the return on that in terms of space, fuel consumption or time - it wins every time.”
Therefore, this wooden sailboat is probably the most stunning and environmentally friendly yacht ever made.
Original source: The Telegraph
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