Maltese electric boat manufacturer Zen Yachts has announced the first order for its Zen 50, the world’s first production catamaran yacht equipped with both extensive solar panels and a wingsail. Zen (short for Zero Emission Nautic) Yachts announced this week that it has sold its first Zen 50 which will immediately enter production and which is the first production yacht to be equipped with a Wingsail. The OceanWings 32 wingsail was provided by French company Aryo, a spin-off of the yacht design and naval architecture bureau VLPL, which inked a contract with Zen Yachts earlier this month to supply the 32-square-metres wingsail to Zen Yachts. The OceanWings 32 is an offspring of the Oracle wingsail which was used to defeat the conventionally rigged Alinghi in the 2010 America’s Cup in Valencia.

But the Zen 50 is more than its tall wingsail, boasting a huge solar roof with a 1:1 solar power versus displacement ratio of 16kW and 16-tonnes, making the yacht completely self-sufficient in terms of energy. The full carbon blue water capable catamaran was designed for Zen Yachts by award-winning naval architect Julien Mélot and is intended to embody genuine zero-emissions, high comfort, and performance. In addition to renewable power sources, the Zen 50 has also been built to ensure minimal drag, optimising the catamaran’s hydrodynamic performance through an in-depth Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis.

“I know from experience that to achieve complete energy self-sufficiency, a true solar boat needs to have a low energy consumption and a large solar roof area to harvest solar energy,” said Julien Mélot, designer of the Zen 50. “The ZEN 50 excels in both with her gigantic solar roof and her high-performance lightweight hulls. “The majority of solar catamarans currently on the market are equipped with a large generator, making them de facto hybrid diesel-solar-electric boats. They offer great speeds in a variety of conditions but are less eco-friendly than true zero-emission vessels. “We wanted the Zen to be a true solar boat, that’s why the first unit in construction is not equipped with any generator and will not carry a single drop of fossil fuel onboard (indeed even the tender is electric and recharged by the mother vessel).”

With 100% of the vessel’s energy harvested onboard through either its solar or wind, the yacht boasts a number of other amenities, including the ability to be equipped with a dive compressor, e-water scooter, e-foil, electric jet boards, and an electric water maker. The Zen 50 also comes with Starlink internet, two helm stations at the cockpit and flybridge, and features two large day beds, up to three dining areas for over 10 people, a professional galley and two wet kitchens, five heads, and up to four double-ensuite cabins.

Source: Joshua Hill

The 28th edition of the nautical showcase is the Mena yachting industry’s first international in-person event since the Covid-19 pandemic and will feature a high-profile, diverse collection of global marine attractions from more than 800 brands

From 100% solar-powered boats to emission-free e-foil, DIBS 2022 will present a forward-thinking, green-focused maritime and leisure future.

Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) is set to return next week, uniting the global maritime and leisure industry and underlining the importance of sustainability with a range of interactive features and 34 exciting launches throughout the five-day show.

Running from March 9 to 13 at its new Dubai Harbour home, the 28th edition of the nautical showcase is the Mena yachting industry’s first international in-person event since the Covid-19 pandemic and will feature a high-profile, diverse collection of global marine attractions from more than 800 brands.

Visitors will be able to witness global product launches from brands including Gulf Craft, Sunreef Yachts, Al Daen, Blue Gulf Boats and Al Fajer, as well as regional launches from Princess Yachts, Cranchi, Sanlorenzo and Azimut Yachts among others.

“There is no better place in the Middle East to launch our Princess X95 and Cranchi 78 than at the Dubai International Boat Show,” said Salim Tayssoun, managing director, Princess Yachts Gulf.

“We’re bringing with us our key luxury brands: Seabob and William Tenders, in addition to welcoming Al Dhaen leisure boats in the UAE, and look forward to providing our Middle East audience with an exceptional luxury experience, and furthering our position as one of the leading luxury yacht dealers,” he said.

DIBS 2022 will set the industry on course for a sustainable future thanks to a focus on eco-conscious product launches, as well as driving important discussions on how the industry can give back to the environment. The mega five-day event aims to align with the UAE’s zero emission targets by shining a spotlight on solutions that consider eco-conscious trends as part of its make-up.

“Dubai has proven itself as a future-focused incubator of innovation and the 28th edition of the Dubai International Boat Show, a firm favourite for exhibitors, will reinforce the Emirate’s status as a driving force of the maritime and leisure industry, with many of our key exhibitors eager to enhance sustainability across the maritime industry,” said Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice-president, Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, organisers of the event.

“Dubai International Boat Show will leverage its popular influence and ongoing collaboration with local and global industry stakeholders to develop the allure of the recreational boating lifestyle and to boost marine tourism in the UAE and the region,” she said.

DIBS 2022 gathers super yacht builders

The show’s Superyacht Avenue is set to attract the world’s most luxurious and technologically advanced vessels. Numerous superyacht builders are set to showcase their latest craft and products – including SuperYacht Builders Association members Lurssen and Oceanco, who lead a cast that also features mainstream superyacht brands such as Azimut, Cranchi, Feretti, Gulf Craft, and Princess Yachts. A jaw-dropping line up of more than 50 floating mansions from some of the world’s leading marques, such as Feadship, Majesty and Nomad will also be on show.

Abeer AlShaali, deputy managing director, Gulf Craft, said Gulf Craft has been present at every edition of the Dubai International Boat Show since its very first event in 1992.

“As our ‘home show’ we are always keen to support the event and this year is no different as we will showcase 14 boats and yachts from our Majesty, Nomad, Oryx and Silvercraft brands, as well as two exciting world debuts and the reveal of the first design concepts of a very special new superyacht,” she said.

Middle East yachting conference

On March 8 as a prelude to DIBS 2022, the Middle East yachting conference will gather more than 100 leaders from the maritime industry who will dissect how the boating industry is working together to advance the region as a yachting hub. The conference will discuss topics including the empowerment of women in the yachting industry, the threat of cyber-attacks to superyachts and opportunities around cryptocurrency, and will hear from experts including Chloe Zaied, CEO, Hynova and Saqr Ereiqat, Co-Founder, Crypto Oasis Sentio.

Charting a sustainable course

France-based start-up SeaBubbles will use DIBS 2022 to introduce its new-generation, urban hydrogen flying boat, the SeaBubble H2, the sustainable transport alternative in waterways, marine zones, and protected areas.

Meanwhile, Sunreef Yachts, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of luxury sailing and power multihulls, is showcasing its Sunreef80 Eco, which combines electric propulsion, superyacht living spaces, reliable sailing performance, and the industry’s latest green technologies to create a luxurious yet wholly eco-responsible craft.

“We always look to the Dubai International Boat Show as a key calendar date for our business and an opportunity to connect with both regional and international visitors to further our standing in the region. We also look to the show as a platform to discover what advances the industry has made, with this edition being a return to the norm and we are expecting some fantastic launches. As a world leader in the industry and a driver of eco-friendly vessels, we’re excited to announce that our Sunreef80 Eco will be on display at the event this month,” said Francis Lapp, founder and CEO, Sunreef Yachts.

Visiting from Italy, both Faro Boats and Azimut Yachts will also present eco-conscious offerings. The Faro 5 Solar Set is the first maritime set in the world to integrate a 100% sustainable electric boat and a solar-charging dock, while the Azimut 78 uses carbon fibre throughout, significantly reducing fuel consumption. On display in the Superyacht Zone, it is the first of the Flybridge collection and boasts a triple IPS Volvo Penta propulsion.

Also exhibiting at DIBS 2022 are SiFly, the innovative e-foil developer led by Alexander Bachev, a professional kitesurf hydrofoil racer campaigning for inclusion at the 2024 Olympic Games. SiFly has produced the world’s most user-friendly and emission-free e-foil, enabling riders to travel above the water without waves or wind. Riders can travel at up to 45kph for up to 120 minutes and leave zero wake.

Source: Khaleej Times

Flying Seabubbles boat on a test run in Lake Geneva © Axel Phélipon

All aboard! Europe’s ferry industry has set sail for an emissions-free future. It’s leading the eco-friendly revolution with electric and hydrogen-powered boats that are destined to make urban transport more sustainable.

In just a few months’ time, passengers in Stavanger, Norway, will be able to begin commuting on a revolutionary ferry that doesn’t produce any greenhouse gas emissions. Called Medstraum, which means both “to go with the flow” and “with electricity” in Norwegian, it will be the first high-speed vessel in the world that runs purely on electric power, replacing a diesel-powered ferry that currently shuttles people to surrounding islands.

If the trial goes well, similar vessels could soon operate in other cities too. ‘We’re in a very exciting period,’ said Mikal Dahle, a project manager at public transport company Kolumbus AS in Stavanger, Norway, and coordinator of the TrAM project which is developing the catamaran ferry. ‘We are now finalising the vessel and getting it ready.’

Medstraum is an example of the new and sustainable modes of transport set to transform urban mobility. In the EU, emissions from transport account for about 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions and are the main cause of air pollution in cities.

Furthermore, most people use roads to get around in urban areas where traffic jams have become a huge problem and cost an estimated €110 billion a year in Europe. ‘Waterways are underused for the time being and could be a great alternative,’ said Virginie Seurat, the VP at Seabubbles, a company developing a hydrogen-powered boat.

Our waterborne travel also needs to get a lot greener to meet the EU’s goal of reducing transport-related emissions by 90% by 2050. Existing high-speed craft, for example, are typically powered by fossil fuels and produce significant amounts of emissions.

‘It’s much more polluting to travel with (conventional) fast ferries compared to aeroplanes,’ noted Dahle. ‘A proper reduction in CO2 emissions is one of the main challenges for inshore vessels.’

Rethinking electric boat production

Dahle and his colleagues in the TrAM project are tackling this challenge with a novel design and production method for zero-emission electric vessels operating in coastal waters and inland waterways. Cost is still a barrier since these vessels are more expensive to build compared to those powered by diesel fuel, but the new approach should make them more affordable.

‘The goal is to establish and validate a methodology for the design and production of (electric) craft that reduces the overall cost by 25%,’ said Dahle. ‘We want to make it possible for a large market to invest in zero-emission vessels.’

Their new approach is based on modularisation, where a boat is divided into different functional parts, such as the hull and passenger section, which are in turn subdivided into individual components, like the batteries and electrical equipment in the energy module.

The idea is that a new vessel could be designed and built by piecing together pre-existing modules instead of starting from scratch, making the process more efficient and cost-effective. ‘Some (parts) are standardised, like the seats in the vessel, so we can pick out exactly what we need for a boat at relatively low cost since they are produced in certain volumes,’ explained Dahle. ‘Then we have other things that need to be adjusted for each vessel like the hull shape and the motors.’

Setting sail for new electric vessels

Medstraum is the first vessel being created using this approach, and aims to demonstrate its feasibility. Built from lightweight aluminium to reduce energy consumption will also allow the vessel to be easily recycled after use and contribute to the circular economy. The vessel will be able to carry around 150 passengers at speeds of up to 42 km/h and will make 16 round trips per day. The ferry’s electric battery will be charged each time it stops at Stavanger.

Dahle and his colleagues will use the same approach to develop two other boats. One will be designed to transport either passengers or goods on the River Thames in London, while the other will be used on inland waterways in Belgium and will therefore need to be adapted for different purposes and environments. The London craft will be required to travel at a higher speed and have a larger capacity than the Stavanger vessel, for example, while the boat to be used in Belgium will need to meet different rules and regulations. 

A ‘flying’ boat powered by hydrogen

City commuters could also soon use a ‘flying’ water taxi to get around thanks to another team aiming to lower the environmental impact of water transport. Seurat’s colleagues have developed the first zero-emission hydrofoil craft that glides above waves powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and battery as part of the Seabubbles project.

‘The idea is to offer citizens new solutions that are a step forward in terms of a green way of life,’ said Baptiste Arribe, the strategy director at Seabubbles in Annecy, France.

The futuristic-looking craft, which is made of composite fibres, can operate in two different modes and has been developed for waterways, lakes and marine zones. When travelling at less than 12 km/h, its hydrofoils are retracted and it navigates like a conventional vessel. However, at higher speeds its foils are deployed and the hull is lifted 60 centimetres above the water’s surface, which results in a smooth ride even in choppy waters. ‘People are excited about the passenger experience because there are zero waves and no noise,’ said Seurat.

The ‘flying’ mode has environmental advantages too. It uses 35% less energy compared to the conventional mode since gliding on the foils reduces the surface area of the boat immersed in water and hence the amount of friction.

Charging versus refuelling

When they developed the prototype, the team initially planned to power the craft with electricity produced from solar panels and hydropower. But they later decided to switch to hydrogen power since a boat could travel further on a full tank of the gas compared to a single charge. It would also take less time to refuel; a hydrogen top-up that takes just a few minutes allows the boat to run for about two and a half hours.

While the latest Seabubble boat still runs on electricity, it is generated by a hydrogen fuel cell. It also contains a battery that is charged by the fuel cell when the craft is cruising to provide extra power when needed, for example during acceleration. Artificial intelligence is used to optimise the use of energy between the battery and fuel cell to make the boat as energy efficient as possible. ‘We combine the avant-garde in energy and (the latest) technology with our control system,’ Seurat explained.

Constructing the first Seabubbles

The first Seabubble boats are currently being assembled at a shipyard on the shores of Lake Annecy in France. They will be available to European buyers in a few months’ time and later to the international market.

Able to carry up to 12 passengers, the vessels are of particular interest to private services for use as a shuttle for hotels located on the waterfront or as a quiet craft to take visitors around a nature reserve without disturbing wildlife.

While these vessels could also be used for public transport, cost remains a barrier. However, the EU’s commitment to supporting the large-scale deployment of clean hydrogen technologies by 2030 should make it easier to implement Seabubbles more widely. ‘In the beginning, we need the support of governments to create the overall hydrogen infrastructure,’ concluded Seurat. ‘Then everything will come together, and I think we will change the mobility field.’

Source: Modern Diplomacy

Jason Hawkes

London is to be home to the UK’s first eco-friendly high-speed passenger boats by the end of this year, it has been revealed. Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, which operates passenger riverboat services in London, will be welcoming two new hybrid vessels to its fleet; the first of which will take to the Thames in autumn this year. The company also recently entered into negotiations with a local council in Gravesend to purchase the town pier, meaning London’s regular riverboat service could be extended to as far as Kent. Built on the Isle of Wight, the two new boats will be powered by batteries while in central London then switching to biofuel power while outside the central zone. Excess power from the biofuel engines will be used to charge the batteries, removing the need for onshore charging. The first of the two new hybrid boats in Thames Clipper’s fleet will enter service in autumn 2022 while the second will arrive in spring 2023. Sean Collins, CEO and co-founder of Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, has said the new vessels will be a “significant” step towards achieving net zero carbon emissions in London. Mr. Collins said: “It’s going to significantly take us on those next steps to net zero. It’s a significant milestone for the business and, indeed, it’s going to be the first eco-friendly passenger boat for London. It’s certainly a first for a high-speed craft in the UK and probably Europe that will be operating solely on batteries for part of its journey.” But he added the River Thames is “not fulfilling its potential” as an alternative means of transport in London and that it has “significant potential to do more”. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan last week warned congestion on London’s roads could cost the economy as much as £5.1 billion as new figures revealed that car usage in the capital has almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Despite an increase in the number of people cycling during the pandemic, passenger numbers on public transport have been slow to recover meaning that a greater share of journeys made in London are by car. Sean Collins said: “The River Thames has got significant potential to do more, both for passengers and light freight. I believe it has got a significant part to play in taking vehicles off the road. “Historically we’ve noticed that we actually do that. A lot of our customers’ alternative would be to take a taxi or to take a private car. But our customer experience is something that really would act as a real alternative to that private vehicle.”

Source: Standard 

Advantages for Aviation

Biomass energy

The benefits of biomass energy for aviation is reduction in carbon emission using biofuels as compared to fossil fuels. Commercial planes use kerosene-based fuel. However algae, rotting fruit, vegetable oil and even used diapers can be used to generate jet fuel. Biofuels have the potential to reduce carbon emissions from aero-planes by up to 60%, allowing them to pollute as little as buses and railways. Biomass energy is also cheaper than fossil fuels resulting in more cost effective benefits for aviation.

Geothermal energy

The benefits of geothermal energy for aviation is supplying large-scale heating and cooling loads in terminal building by using geothermal heat pumps. Geothermal heat pumps may necessitate new heating and cooling distribution systems within the terminal building. They are most cost-effective when used in new construction or large renovations. Geothermal energy has the potential to save up to 80% on energy costs when compared to traditional energy sources. It also requires less maintenance than other energy sources.

Hydro energy
The benefits of hydro energy for aviation is supply of a large amount of energy for the terminal use in a cost effective manner. It has low emissions and more reliability. It has flexibility to meet the needs of the aviation sector. However, it requires huge capital costs of land, concrete, electricity turbines, and modern control systems.

Solar energy

The benefits of solar energy for aviation is it’s low profile and ability to blend in with existing development, it is ideal for airports. Its low profile prevents it from becoming a physical stumbling block and a safety hazard, which may be a problem when other renewable technologies, such as wind power, are located near airports. Solar can also be attached to current or prospective structures, with the building structure (rather than the solar project) determining whether or not airspace blockage is present.

Tidal energy

The benefits of tidal energy for aviation is supply of emission free energy/power for the terminal building especially located near the coastal areas. Because of the density of water, it is more efficient than wind energy and more efficient than solar energy due to its high 80% conversion efficiency. Tides are also more predictable than wind and solar energy, making it more dependable. It produces no environmental emission and has low maintenance costs as compared to the other energy sources.

Wind energy

The benefits of wind energy for aviation is to generate a considerable amount of electricity, and to ensure that aviation continues to operate effectively and safely in an area where wind farms are ubiquitous. It has low running and maintenance cost as compared to other resources. Wind energy reduces the price uncertainty that fuel costs add to traditional energy sources. It has no environmental emissions, which make a clean energy source for the aviation sector.

Advantages for boating

Biomass energy

The benefits of biomass energy for boating is reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by utilizing a renewable wood biomass fuel source in place of the more conventional fossil fuels. Everyone recognizes that the future of yachting is “electric,” particularly hybrid technology that combines batteries and hydrogen, in whatever form it is stored. Biomass energy is a way to reduce costs and help make long passages possible on small amounts of diesel fuel. Biomass energy switching a race committee boat to biodiesel or sailing around the world without a drop of diesel.

Geothermal energy

The benefits of geothermal energy for boating is more environmentally friendly and carbon footprint of a geothermal energy is lower than conventional energy. The earth’s hot reservoirs are naturally replenished, making it both a renewable and sustainable solution for yachting. Geothermal energy can be extremely beneficial as compared to traditional energy usage. It also requires less maintenance than traditional energy sources. It can be used to manage the load of heat and cool the system of the yacht.

Hydro energy

The benefits of hydro energy for boating is an optimal output associated with a negligible drag, letting the boat sail with a positive energy. It has an energy self-sufficiency solution on board cruise or race boats, in the respect of the environment. Many boats use hydro-generators to charge their batteries. Much like an upside-down wind generator, they have become popular in recent years as their increasing efficiency and reduced drag means they barely affect a boat’s speed.

Solar energy

The benefits of solar energy for boating is that it reduces carbon emissions, diesel costs and drastically reduces noise levels. The cost of maintaining and running a boat could be drastically reduced and the boat could become self-sustainable, eliminating the cost of fuel altogether. Many boats are equipped with solar panels to charge their batteries. The load on the battery bank will be reduced, which is easier and less costly than generating more power. Carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced as well and there will be significant noise reduction. It has low maintenance cost as compared to other sources as well.

Tidal energy

The benefits of tidal energy for boating is to continuously recharge boat batteries or supply electric load and is able to generate a surplus of clean, free energy for recharging batteries. It improves the stability of the boat. This can be used to simultaneously power an electricity generator and stabilize the boat, improving onboard comfort. Extracting energy from flow of water rather than directly from air has advantages, as the power density is much higher. The water flow through the underwater generator has a power density of 36 kilowatts per square meter – far more than the 1.2 kilowatts per square meter typical of air blowing through a rotating wind turbine. The more concentrated energy means that the equipment needed to harvest it can be smaller.

Wind energy

The benefits of wind energy for boating is to protect the ocean from air and water pollution. Strategically developing our offshore wind power resources will replace the region’s dominant reliance on dirty sources of energy with one that is local, non-polluting, and inexhaustible. It will help protect wildlife and future generations from the dangerous impacts of climate change and ocean acidification. It is also cheaper than other resources.

Source: Eco-Friendly Aviation and Boating News, Clara Phataraprasit, Farrukh Javed

Some Useful links


2022 FIFA World Cup

Qatar is building 16 floating hotels with more than 1,600 rooms as it prepares for the 1.5 million soccer fans expected to visit during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Designed by the Finnish architecture firm, Sigge Architects, each floating hotel will be 72 meters long, 16 meters wide and four stories high, with 101 rooms, a restaurant and a bar.They will float off the coast of Qetaifan Island North, a 1.3-square-kilometer island with seven beaches. The island is just 15 minutes from Lusail Stadium, where the opening and final games of the World Cup will be played.

Large cruise ships, like the 2,700-room Symphony of the Seas — the world’s largest cruise ship — can only stop at ports with at least 9 meters of water. But Qatar’s floating hotels will need just 4 meters of water — which will allow them to be taken away and used on almost any other coast after the world cup is over.

Many of Qatar’s World Cup facilities will be reusable. After the World Cup, most of the 80,000 seats at Lusail Stadium will be taken out and given to other sports projects, and the stadium will become a community space with schools, shops, cafes, sports facilities and health clinics.

The 40,000-seat Ras Abu Aboud, a proposed football stadium to be built in Doha, will be made from about 1,000 shipping containers that will become bathrooms, offices and other rooms. When the World Cup is over, the stadium can be taken apart to make several smaller facilities or moved to another country for another event.

Source: Engoo

Some Useful links


For the past five years, 69-year-old NS Rajappan has been collecting discarded plastic waste from the Vembanad Lake. Despite the fact that he does not own a boat, he rents one every day and gets out early in the morning to collect plastic bottles that have been dumped in the seas.? But that didn’t stop him from doing his part to protect the environment. He has been traveling to the lake to collect water bottles on a regular basis for over a decade. It is easier for him to row a boat than to navigate the roadways.? ?Rajappan then sells the plastic bottles he has collected. Plastic bottles will weigh less than one kilogram in a boat. Rajappan is paid Rs 12 per kilogram (16 cents USD). But NS believes that somebody should remove the waste from the water. ??Because the number of tourists visiting the lake has decreased in recent months, NS has seen a decrease in the amount of plastic debris in the lake. “Even if it means I won’t be able to make enough money,” Rajappan says, “I’m simply glad the lake will stay clean.”?

Source: Sustainability Champions, The Better India??


What is sustainable fishing?

Sustainable fishing means leaving enough fish in the ocean and protecting habitats and threatened species. By safeguarding the oceans, people who depend on fishing can maintain their livelihoods.

Measuring sustainability

The sustainability of a fishery can be assessed regardless of its size, geography or the fishing method used. Our Fisheries Standard is a science-based way to measure that sustainability. When fisheries are independently assessed to the standard, three main principles are considered: 

* Sustainable fish stocks

Are enough fish left in the ocean? Fishing must be at a level that ensures it can continue indefinitely and the fish population can remain productive and healthy.

* Minimising environmental impact

What are the impacts? Fishing activity must be managed carefully so that other species and habitats within the ecosystem remain healthy.

* Effective fisheries management

Are operations well managed? MSC certified fisheries must comply with relevant laws and be able to adapt to changing environmental circumstances.

Sustainability is about the future

The sustainability of a fishery is an ongoing process. After they are MSC certified, fisheries are regularly reassessed and many are required to make further improvements. Scientific knowledge also improves all the time and fisheries are encouraged to develop new ways of conserving marine resources for future generations.

Source: MSC