D.he terms superyacht and sustainability are difficult to reconcile. Building and operating private luxury ships are not exactly a blessing for the environment. Many owners, especially those of large motor yachts, don’t seem to care. But something is happening, and it’s no longer just about adding a few gimmicks with a hint of green, but about fundamental considerations. There is more and more audible discussion in the industry that things cannot go on as before.
Designers, shipyards, suppliers, brokers are increasingly investigating the possibilities of energy saving and generation, the choice of alternative building materials, so that yachts reduce their impact on the environment. Sometimes this happens under pressure from potent clients who have given themselves a mission: A single ambitious project costing hundreds of millions can take the entire industry one step forward.
The Finnish Baltic shipyard has just maneuvered a 20-meter-long sailing yacht from its production hall in Pietarsaari and hoisted it with a crane into the Gulf of Bothnia, which was manufactured with the aim of increasing sustainability. The Finns are world-famous as masters of carbon fiber lightweight construction, their Baltic 68 with the striking feature of a negative (inwardly inclined) Vorstevens is designed as an economically furnished weekender: below deck only a saloon and two cabins, both ends largely empty, but a PS -Strong, but uncomplicated to use sailing wardrobe, as befits a weekend racer. The full model name Baltic 68 Café Racer is reminiscent of the souped-up motorcycles of rebellious young men in the sixties – pre-eco-era, but flower power.
The construction of the hull and deck in particular heralds the eco-ambitions of the sailing café racer. In addition to the usual fiber materials, the natural material flax was used for their composite material. The proportion of flax fibers in the laminate should be around 50 percent.
Instead of teak, the deck is covered with cork, namely with something from “sustainable cultivation”, as the shipyard emphasizes. Solar panels on the cabin roof are supposed to provide energy for the operation of the on-board systems. The two 15 kW electric motors installed as an auxiliary drive can be used as generators to charge the lithium battery banks while sailing, powered by the propellers running underwater. A diesel engine is not intended to extend the range, but an aggregate that is operated with biofuels or hydrogen.