Environmental concerns are becoming increasingly important in today’s modern world. More companies are coming to the fore with innovative solutions and new designs that tread more lightly on Mother Earth.
Eco-friendly yachts are on the rise, with innovative new technologies and approaches helping to reduce our environmental impact.
Peter Harrison-Hill, the founder of HELM, said: “As a leading yacht charter marketplace, we’re all too aware of the need to tread lightly on our planet. The oceans are our playground, and we care passionately about keeping them clean and doing our bit to mitigate our impact. We understand the concerns around chartering sustainably and are at the forefront of the eco-charter movement.”
These are some of the ways that yacht charters are evolving to leave less of an impact on the world around us.
Natural propulsion: Sun and wind
The greenest way to charter a yacht is to use nature’s own limitless resources to power your vessel – the wind and the sun.
When the wind allows, using sails negates the need to use your engines and can reduce your fuel use and ecological footprint, even on a standard yacht. Not only does it reduce your impact and fuel bill, but it also gives you a wonderful, quietly peaceful feeling underway. Absolute luxury, harnessing the power of nature.
When sailing isn’t feasible, solar power can leap to the fore – whether charging batteries or running appliances or as a power source in electric or hybrid engines.
Today’s yachts have more efficient engines, which reduce fuel use and environmental impact.
The superyacht world is at the forefront of innovations in natural power, with yachts like the unique Black Pearl, a “zero impact” yacht, solar panels in the sails and cutting-edge power recovery systems.
Construction: Cork, bamboo, and more
Boatyards have stepped up to the plate as customer demands have shifted, and eco-friendly materials are definitely on the rise, both externally and internally.
New yachts are experimenting with new materials like bio-based resins and ‘modified wood’, alongside cork, bamboo and FSC-certified wood produced as carbon neutral.
Exciting new developments have led to the construction of boats in recyclable composite materials, like the new La Belle Verde (LBV) catamaran due to launch next year.
On board: Reduce plastics, and eat sustainably
Green solutions don’t solely involve propulsion – there are lots of small details that can make a huge difference.
Single-use plastics are a huge problem – swapping plastic bottles for reusable ones, topped up from filtered water taps on board, can cut environmental impact hugely by around 500 plastic bottles per yacht per week!
Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products, like those made by Sleek or EcoWorks, can drastically reduce the harmful chemicals that find their way into the sea.
When it comes to food, chefs have a responsibility to lean on locally sourced, sustainable ingredients to craft delicious and sustainable meals.
Some larger yachts are experimenting with outdoor gardens on their top floors. These green spaces provide a pleasant natural space for clients and can grow herbs and vegetables that the chef can use to create enchanting meals.
Antifouling: Smarter solutions
Biofouling – when algae and marine organisms accumulate on wet surfaces, is bad for boats, damaging the hull and causing drag, and the environment, helping transfer invasive species.
Traditional antifouling methods use a coat of paint that includes copper or zinc – great for keeping the hull clean and discouraging underwater growth but toxic to marine life.
Nontoxic emerging alternatives include silicon, vinyl, and even ultrasonic solutions to protect yachts and ecosystems. The impressive new Sunreef 60 Eco uses a silicone coating, which meshes well with their zero-impact approach.
Charitable bodies like The Green Blue lead the fight for sustainability, providing education and guidance to help minimise ecological disruption.