Rolls-Royce unveiled their ground-breaking luxury yacht concept the Crystal Blue at the Global Superyacht Forum (GSF) in Amsterdam on 13 November. The yacht uses hybrid propulsion technology based on LNG (liquified natural gas) fuel
Rolls-Royce have unveiled their new 62 metre yacht, Crystal Blue, a new concept that benefits from advanced ship intelligence solutions and hybrid propulsion based on LNG (liquified natural gas) fuel and battery power.
The yacht accommodates 12+ guests and 12 crew and comes with a smaller 42 metre yacht, Blue Shadow, a remotely-controlled, steel-hulled support vessel used for transporting and launching Crystal Blue’s tender, helicopter and any other toys that the yacht owner may have. The addition of a second vessel allows designers to make better use of the aft area of Crystal Blue, allowing room to include an infinity pool or a beach area. The shadow boat also doubles up as the owner’s personal LNG bunkering barge.
LNG fuel is increasingly being specified for use by commercial vessels, coastal ferries being a good example, yet the size of the fuel tanks and the lack of LNG bunkering infrastructure has made it difficult for the yacht sector to fully embrace this cleaner, odourless fuel.
Oskar Levander, Rolls-Royce SVP Concepts and Innovation, said at the Global Superyacht Forum (GSF) in Amsterdam: “Crystal Blue has been designed specifically to show how new technology can meet the yacht sector’s increased demand for higher performance, greater operating ranges and increased levels of guest comfort, without impacting the environment.”
“Burning LNG has clear advantages over Marine Diesel Oil for the yacht sector.”, explained Henrik Alpo Sjöblom, Project Manager in the Rolls-Royce Blue Ocean team.
“There is no smoke, it doesn’t emit any unpleasant odours or fumes and it meets stringent emissions regulations, allowing yachts to enter otherwise prohibited ecologically sensitive waters.”
“We have dimensioned Crystal Blue fuel tanks for a range of 3000 nautical miles without refuelling but with the Shadow’s additional fuel capacity, the range increases to 4400 nautical miles, meaning that most of the typical yachting areas are accessible.”
Crystal Blue utilises an intelligent dynamic positioning system which automatically controls twin azimuthing thrusters (which give ships better maneuverability than a fixed propeller and rudder system) and a TT1100 bow thruster – this is technology usually found on offshore support vessels hower on Crystal Blue, this system allows the yacht to remain, without anchoring, in the right spot on the water and ‘follow the sun’ to ensure sunbathers can enjoy the “optimum tanning angle” on deck.
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Contrary to first impressions the ship hasn’t been designed without a bridge. It has merely been moved. As explained by Levander: “Our ship intelligence and remote-control concepts have allowed us to design a yacht for the future that has the bridge located below the bow, inside the vessel. The crew is able to monitor and control the vessel using sophisticated sensors, cameras, display screens and situational awareness technologies; but an internal bridge frees up the traditional area of the bridge in the forward part of the superstructure to let owners and guests enjoy a panoramic vista that is traditionally only enjoyed by the crew.”