These are the first glimpses of the joined hull and superstructure for the Moonflower 72 superyacht in build at Wider Yachts. She’s its largest and most technically advanced project to date. In fact, Wider is revealing more details about the hybrid propulsion system, which is future-fuel ready, for the first time.
With an interesting backstory, the yacht began construction last year. Wider Yachts received the contract in January 2022, thanks to Nauta Design. Mario Pedol, Nauta Design’s co-founder, and Marcello Maggi, Wider’s president, had a meeting in which each discussed their respective projects and future plans. Pedol realized Wider might suit a client’s desire to build a megayacht in the 230-foot (70-meter) range. That client further wanted hybrid propulsion, which is standard equipment even for custom yachts at Wider. Shortly thereafter, Nauta Design sent the details to the shipyard. The owner signed a letter of intent with Wider and Nauta Design in September 2021. The keel-laying ceremony followed last August in Wider’s Superyacht Hub, within the Porto Marghera area of Venice, Italy.
Now that the steel hull and aluminum superstructure are united, the interior bulkheads are going into place. Pipe laying is occurring, too, as are machinery installations. The latter includes the propulsion system, which Wider developed. It incorporates two 1,860-kW MAN variable-speed gensets that work in conjunction with a 1-megawatt sodium-nickel battery bank. This combination, according to Wider, means that the Moonflower 72 superyacht should produce 20 percent lower carbon-dioxide emissions. A further benefit is that the waste heat will provide the hot water onboard.
Previously unreleased details shed light into how the propulsion system operates. Wider points out that conventional diesel-electric systems still produce emissions during short trips and while at anchor. Its system, by contrast, employs serial hybrid architecture. Both diesel-electric and serial hybrid use a diesel powerplant where no physical connection exists between it and the propeller shaft. Instead, an electric motor turns the shaft. The differences, however, come in the electric storage of energy. Serial hybrid permits enough storage in batteries to run the vessel for long periods. That includes all the onboard electrical appliances, too, without the need for the genset.
Specifically, Wider says the Moonflower 72 superyacht system will run the MAN gensets at the lowest possible consumption rate only when needed. A DC bus system will monitor and manage them. Electric-only mode, though, will permit running all hotel loads and service-oriented systems at anchor for a maximum of 30 hours. Additionally, electric-only mode will allow cruising for up to 10 hours.
The DC bus in the serial hybrid setup—a setup which Wider says can adapt to use methanol and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO)—manages a wide array of onboard systems. Specifically, it handles the gensets, batteries, electric propulsion, bow and stern thrusters, hotel loads, and solar panels. A Wider-developed power-management system will direct energy from the gensets or solar panels to the systems needing it. In case of more energy being available than needed, the power-management system will send it to the batteries for storage. Furthermore, the system will monitor the batteries for charging level, voltage, and other aspects and adjust charge production accordingly.
The Moonflower 72 remains on pace for delivery in 2025.
Nauta Design nautadesign.com
Wider Yachts wider-yachts.com
More About the Moonflower 72 Superyacht
LOA: 236’2” (72 meters)
Beam: not available
Draft: not available
Guests: 12 in 6 staterooms
Engines: 2/1,860-kW MAN gensets with sodium-nickel battery bank
Range: not available
Builder: Wider Yachts
Stylist: Nauta Design
Naval Architect: Nauta Design
Interior Designer: Nauta Design