Once the ink had dried on the contract back in 2011, more than a thousand people came together to oversee the successful completion of SAVANNAH, the world’s first truly hybrid superyacht.
Inspired by Breathe- an earlier concept model unveiled by DeVoogt Naval Architects at the Monaco Yacht Show in 2010- SAVANNAH was conceived from the very outset as something of an eco-friendly revolution.
The world’s first hybrid superyacht, the three year project was defined by only the most ambitious of goals. With an owner reportedly keen to be at one with the water, everything about the construction of the 84m/273ft superyacht SAVANNAH was meticulously designed to form a seamless integration between the vessel and the ocean.
From her floating superstructure, to a hugely open aft deck, to glass panelling creating the illusion of an exterior floating on air, all of the styling which was produced in partnership with CG design has ensured that SAVANNAH is every inch the embodiment of forward thinking.
Such a modern and conscious approach to design ultimately paid off, and the yacht gathered a series of accolades at the 2016 ShowBoats Design Awards. The only charter yacht to be recognised at the ceremony in Austria, SAVANNAH collected three coveted Neptune trophies for: ‘Exterior Styling & Design – Motor Yacht Above 500GT’, ‘Interior Layout & Design Award – Motor Yacht Above 500GT’, and the ‘Holistic Design Award’ for a ‘harmony unequalled by any other contender’.
What’s more, she was awarded with the prestigious title of ‘Best Motor Yacht 1,300GT to 2,999GT’ at the World Superyacht Awards 2016, marking a truly phenomenal year for the team behind her.
Following her delivery in 2015, Ted McCumber, the project manager, was compelled to comment on how ‘the tremendous final result once again shows how Feadship is never afraid to venture into uncharted waters’.
The venturing McCumber alluded to was no doubt the the stuff going on underneath the hood which has got everyone talking.
More specifically, her pioneering ‘Breath System’ combines a number of technologies to create a whole new kind of propulsion which allows for fuel economies of over 30% whilst increasing manoeuvrability, a feat unrivalled by any other superyacht, and a point which demonstrates the innovative approach which has come to define the iconic Dutch shipyard.
Commenting on the mechanics of the Breath System, McCumber points out how “It is not the individual technologies used on Savannah that are new in the yachting world – it is the way they have been combined”.
Indeed, despite how impressive and ingenious the system is, all of it is underlined by a breathtaking simplicity.
Consisting of only a few components - a medium speed diesel engine, a single propeller and an electrical driven azimuthing stern thruster, to be exact- the Breath System allows captains to effortlessly alternate between four ‘operational modes’ to cruise in only the most eco-friendly way.
From ‘manoeuvring mode’ to ‘high-speed mode’, the various combinations of components means that energy is conserved by switching off parts when they’re not needed- the main engine and generators won’t be online when navigating the port, for example.
Similarly, ‘range mode’ generates all of the power via the medium speed diesel engine, a configuration which ultimately cuts back on the maintenance hours and significantly reduces fuel consumption. Driving the propeller via the gearbox, this mode also allows for a maximum speed of 14 knots.
For when higher speeds are necessary, the captain has the option of utilising the generators and main engine in tandem, with the option of further power from the batteries helping SAVANNAH to travel at 18 knots.
Other innovative solutions which help define SAVANNAH as a veritable ‘green machine’ are to be found in her impressive mechanics. Her propeller, for instance, is larger in diameter than those found on vessels of a similar size- a fact which ensures a greater efficiency whilst reducing noise and vibrations.
Likewise, the medium speed diesel engine integrated in the ‘Breath System’ runs at around 900-1000 rpm which is vastly more efficient than those which are usually selected and run between 1600 to 2400 rpm.
As well as being friendlier to the environment, her engineering and dynamic arrangement ramp up the reliability as each of the components is strong enough to propel the yacht in the unlikely event of others failing. Should the main engine or gearbox fail , for example, the yacht can still be propelled and steered with the azimuthing thruster.
Whilst low speed diesel engines are a fixture on most commercial vessels, and batteries have appeared on certain Japanese cargo ships, SAVANNAH’s hybrid combination of generators, a single propellor, a medium speed engine, and batteries, is entirely unique.
A truly unique superyacht, SAVANNAH features a wealth of innovative design work which is sure to capture the attention of her guests throughout their entire charter vacation
SAVANNAH also features a selection of ingenious living spaces, which have never before been seen on a superyacht. An underwater lounge on the port side is one structural highlight where guests can watch the marine life outside or turn around and observe the action in the nine-metre swimming pool.
Due to its position in the hull, the lounge is composed of especially thick glass and can also transform into a cinema.
Another asset is a remarkable tender bay finished in teak with a hatch that doubles as a mooring platform. After docking, guests can walk inside the garage and take the stairs straight up to the main deck.
The yacht can comfortably sleep up to 12 guests in six staterooms, including a master suite, a VIP suite with a private balcony and four large guest suites. There is also unprecedented facilities for her 26 crew members.
Whilst the amenities onboard SAVANNAH ensure that she remains one of the finest modern luxury yachts available for charter, her engineering is entirely responsible for the current hybrid hype
The interior of SAVANNAH is equally impressive. To create the continuity between indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces, Paris-based CG Design has developed a layout based on curved lines. Walls, ceilings, furniture and surface patterns all embody a fluidity that harmoniously fuses the two dichotomies.
Huge expanses of glass with hidden window frames draw attention to the world outside and keep charter guests in visual contact with the ocean, while high-quality finishes, unrivalled attention to detail and luxurious materials abound throughout- for example, there are lighting fixtures on board with up to ten different colours, lens types and positions.
For further information, and to make enquiries into a vacation on board M/Y SAVANNAH, please get in touch with your preferred charter broker.