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Obsidian: Feadship's New Cutting-Edge Yacht Sets Sail Towards a Greener Future

By Editorial Team   1 August 2023

Obsidian, the recently built luxury yacht by renowned shipyard Feadship, is making waves in the superyacht industry with its innovative design and commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

This 84.20-meter motor yacht represents Feadship's dedication to producing carbon-neutral superyachts by 2030, and it is the first of a new generation of large yachts that are focused on sustainability.

Aerial bird's eye view looking down on superyacht OBSIDIAN underway at sea.

During trials, the yacht's generators ran on a second-generation biofuel called HVO, resulting in a 90% reduction in carbon emissions compared to yachts operating on fossil fuels.

One of the key features of Obsidian is its optimized hull design, which prioritizes energy efficiency at cruising speed rather than top speed. This, along with weight control measures and advancements in electric propulsion, allows the yacht to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

During trials, the yacht's generators ran on a second-generation biofuel called HVO, resulting in a 90% reduction in carbon emissions compared to yachts operating on fossil fuels.

Obsidian superstructure

The design process for Obsidian took place during the height of the global pandemic, with designers, engineers, and other parties unable to collaborate in person. Despite these challenges, Feadship's Senior Designer Bram Jongepier developed a sustainability index known as the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI). This index provides guidance on how every component and operation of a yacht contributes to its carbon profile and environmental impact.

Close up view of teak decking onboard the superyacht OBSIDIAN

There are so many points of energy savings integrated on this yacht that it is hard to count

Mark Jans, Project Manager

M/Y Obsidian builds upon the success of Feadship's previous hybrid yacht, the popular charter yacht Savannah, which was delivered in 2015. The yacht incorporates Feadship's Advanced Electrical Drive (FAED) program for diesel-electric hybrid power, with 4.5 times more electrical storage capacity than Savannah.

The absence of drive shafts and rudders reduces drag, while propulsion and steering are provided by Veth contra-rotating thrusters. These thrusters were specifically chosen for their efficiency in a yacht with a relatively shallow draft.

Overview of M/Y SAVANNAH moored in a bay with elevated terrain and a sandy beach.

Powering Obsidian is a 4.5 MWh battery bank charged by custom variable speed generators based on CAT C32 engines. The yacht operates on a 1,000-volt DC system, fully powered by electricity. The battery modules are housed in a chilled room amidships, allowing for optimal weight distribution and crew access.

The yacht has an impressive cruising range of 35 nautical miles at 10 knots on batteries alone, with silent operation at anchor for 10-15 hours.

Overview of electronics equipment onboard the superyacht OBSIDIAN
Overview of the engine room onboard the superyacht OBSIDIAN.
Close up view of a CAT engine installed in the engine room on the superyacht OBSIDIAN

Obsidian also focuses on reducing energy consumption for onboard amenities. The YETI tool revealed that about 60% of the energy consumed on the yacht is used for air conditioning, heating, hot water, lighting, and other lifestyle amenities. To address this, the yacht incorporates several innovations such as peak load shaving and computerized management of cooling guest and crew zones. Waste heat from generators and AC chillers is captured and reused, significantly reducing energy consumption.

Side view of superyacht OBSIDIAN underway, surrounded by sea.
Overhead view looking down on the bow of M/Y OBSIDIAN, surrounded by sea.
Elevated view looking down at M/Y OBSIDIAN underway, surrounded by sea.

In terms of design, Obsidian features a low, slim hull optimized for efficiency at cruising speed. Carbon fiber is extensively used to reduce weight, allowing for new deck layout possibilities. The yacht boasts a single-level engine room, creating more space for guest accommodation.

The interior layout, designed by British firm RWD in collaboration with MONK Design, is modern and bold, with surprising elements and unique spaces throughout the yacht.

Wide stretches of glazing onboard M/Y OBSIDIAN. Two decks are visible.
Aft view of superyacht OBSIDIAN underway, surrounded by sea.

Obsidian is also equipped with electric-powered tenders that can be charged in the water or in the tender garage. These tenders, custom-made by Tenderworks, align with Feadship's commitment to sustainability.

Superyacht OBSIDIAN underway, passing by a green field with four sheep grazing.

Overall, Obsidian represents a significant step forward in the superyacht industry's journey towards sustainability. Feadship's dedication to reducing carbon emissions and minimizing environmental impact is evident in every aspect of the yacht's design and operation. With its innovative features and luxurious amenities, Obsidian sets a new standard for luxury yachts that prioritize sustainability.

Currently it is not expected that M/Y Obsidian will be made available for charter. However, if you’re interested in renting a yacht of a similar caliber, you can view and compare all Feadship superyachts for charter.

For more details on renting a luxury yacht, speak to your preferred yacht charter broker today.


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