Due to its experience with a recently delivered diesel-electric multi-hull megayacht, an Australian shipyard is changing tactics. While it still offers fully custom construction, Echo Yachts is becoming an eco-only superyacht builder. This means every new yacht will prioritize environmental sensitivity in systems and engineering.
Mark Stothard, the yard owner and CEO, says incorporating sustainable solutions is a must. “Our industry, like many others, has a responsibility to our environment and future generations to embrace the latest available technology and evolve it further along at every opportunity,” he explains. This, he continues, preserves natural resources, lowers pollution, and cuts running costs to allow wiser spending. Just designing and building “what has always been done is no longer the way and certainly not best practice.”
The Echo Yachts team learned a great deal while developing and building White Rabbit (above), a 276-footer (84-meter) that saw delivery in October 2018. For instance, she’s a trimaran, so her multi-hull form provides advantages in fuel burn and performance compared to monohulls. In fact, tank tests showed she could hit the same speeds and range as similar-volume monohulls, but with about 40 percent less horsepower. In addition, White Rabbit has diesel-electric propulsion. This reportedly permits a 13-knot speed on just two of her six gensets, driving electric motors.
Consider, too, another big factor as to why Echo Yachts is becoming an eco-only superyacht shipyard. The team says it received strong feedback from yacht owners and fellow industry professionals who learned about and/or visited White Rabbit. The yacht additionally earned an International Superyacht Society design award nomination.
Stothard says Echo Yachts is not just seeking environmentally minded propulsion. It is seeking better construction materials, too, as well as power solutions and storage. Plus, Echo Yachts is becoming an eco-only superyacht builder to inspire businesses and consumers to get creative. “We are putting the call out far and wide,” Stothard says. “If you are a supplier of new, innovative, green-tech solutions for our superyacht projects, if you are a superyacht captain or broker with good ideas and suggestions you’d like to see achieved, or if you are a superyacht owner looking to step away from the old usual and into new super-efficient superyachts that will really turn heads, then we encourage you to reach out and speak with us directly!”
Echo Yachts echomarinegroup.com/luxury