Over the summer, Kingship announced it was planning a 45-meter (148-footer) that would exceed the environmental-impact standards of MARPOL and the 15-year-old Green Star notation from RINA. The news was issued as a teaser, of sorts; images and further details were promised to follow in the coming weeks. Now that Kingship’s management received RINA’s new Green Plus notation for the yacht during a ceremony at the Monaco Yacht Show, those details are finally available.
Green Plus is naturally based upon Green Star, which itself holds yachts and other vessels to stricter principles than MARPOL in some instances, but takes things further. It involves not just equipment and onboard operation, but also design solutions used in the construction process. Twelve different pollution sources are analyzed, ranging from the scrap left over from the construction process to oil and fuel, all of which contribute to carbon emissions. Depending on how the builder and yacht address the pollution sources, one of three notation levels are granted: Green Plus Yacht, Green Plus Yacht Gold, and Green Plus Yacht Platinum. RINA will grant the first level to a yacht if the shipyard building her pledges to meet and does end up meeting the minimum requirements for eight of those 12 pollution sources. If more than the minimum is achieved, the yacht can then receive Green Star Plus’ Gold level or Platinum level, with Platinum being the higher and tougher of the two.
Platinum is the level Kingship that expects to meet with Green Voyager, as the 45-meter project is being called. In collaboration with the naval architects of Axis Group Yacht Design, the steel-hulled yacht will feature heat-reflecting glass, heat-recovery systems, high-efficiency propellers, and even bio-based fuel, among other things. The plan is to realize a 20-percent lower power demand on average during the day and even more at night in comparison to traditional yachts of the same size. Lower power usage translates into less fuel consumed, another environmental benefit, and of course less money spent on operations.
Kingship is presently tank testing the nearly plumb-bow hull design to ensure efficient performance overall. Three different propulsion packages are being analyzed and offered to owners, too. The first involves traditional diesel engines and gensets, though of smaller sizes than usually employed. The second mates battery banks to conventional diesels and gensets for lower-emission power and quiet nighttime usage of air-conditioning and other hotel loads. The last package builds on the hybrid nature of the second option by following what Siemens does in its SISHIP system. Siemens is a leading provider of diesel-electric propulsion for commercial and military marine applications, and SISHIP is an integrated propulsion and power-management system employing that technology. Kingship plans to allow Green Voyager to run fully on batteries and tap shaft generators for hotel loads while underway.
Even with the environmental emphasis, Green Voyager still brings luxury into the mix. Sustainable materials such as bamboo will appoint the surroundings. Sliding doors in the skylounge, the main saloon, and the dining area will open to bring the outside in, and fold-down bulwarks in the saloon (see above) will enhance the feeling. Another drop-down balcony will be in the master suite, deployed at the press of a button. Another touch of a button on the sun deck will transform the space from sun-worshipping area to a shady spot, as sail-like awnings will deploy to cover much of the deck.
Green Voyager will meet MCA’s requirements, a first for RINA, and additionally carry a RINA Eco-Passport. The latter will permit the yacht to visit some of the most ecologically delicate waters on Earth, ones that most vessels cannot receive access to. Whether she’s in those waters or elsewhere, the SeaKeepers monitoring equipment that will also be installed onboard will help scientists worldwide collect data and learn more about changes in the environment.
Those changes are what compelled Roger Liang, the owner of Kingship, to embark on this ambitious project. At the RINA Green Plus ceremony in Monaco, he explained that for many years, he has lived on a mountain overlooking Hong Kong Harbor, and the waters are rapidly deteriorating. “I see changes in the harbor,” he told those of us in the assembled crowd. “I think I should build something greener, more responsible.”