Meet Crystal Blue, the innovative new hybrid-powered concept for the yacht of the future, created by Rolls-Royce. Baroque Access finds out all about it
Iconic luxury British automakers Rolls-Royce recently revealed a concept yacht called Crystal Blue, which is hybrid-powered and is an indication of what we can expect future super yachts to be like. The cutting edge new design has been created to combine battery power and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to propel the 62-meter yacht through the water. To keep the yacht as light as possible, it will be built from aluminum or other similar composites.
Crystal Blue also features a number of state-of-the-art digital solutions that until now have only been featured on large commercial vessels. According to Senior Vice-President for Concepts and Innovation at Rolls-Royce, Oskar Levander, the luxurious vessel has been “specifically designed 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”.
The new yacht will be able to accommodate up to 12 guests and an additional 12 crew members. What sets this new concept apart is the fact that the superyacht wheelhouse has been located below decks. In addition, Crystal Blue features Rolls-Royce’s Unified Bridge System that will remotely monitor the yacht’s surroundings. By doing this, the foredeck and upper deck have been freed up so that they can house a two-level glass-topped atrium that offers dining, seating and bar areas.
The concept also boasts other unique features, such as a 42m support vessel called Blue Shadow that will accompany the super yacht and hold reserve tanks of Liquified Natural Gas, which take up a lot of space. This would extend the hybrid yacht’s range to 4,400 nautical miles. Blue Shadow would also hold some accessories, such as a helicopter and a large tender.
Crystal Blue also features a unique safety feature, a ‘safe room’, where both guests and crew can seek refuge in event of an attack. Inside the safe room, the crew can override the yacht’s controls and navigate it remotely. They could alternatively authorise a center based onshore to pilot the vessel.
Of course, hybrid is the preferred mode of transport in the eco-friendly future – even in super yachts. According to the Project Manager for the Rolls-Royce Blue Ocean concept team, Henrik Alpo Sjöblom, “Burning LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) has clear advantages over diesel for the yacht sector — 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.”