Is 3D-printed Superyacht the Future of Leisure Boating?

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Credits: Forakis Design

Shipyards worldwide are working on technological innovations to reduce the carbon footprint of shipping, reports Forbes quoting the ideas by New York designer Jozeph Forakis.

“Invisible” superyacht

York designer has come up with a concept of an “invisible” superyacht that is both aesthetically and technologically unique. Here, everything has been conceived to respond to environmental issues, a major challenge for the yachting industry of tomorrow.

A report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development stated in late November that total carbon emissions from the world’s maritime fleet had increased by 4.7% between 2020 and 2021.

While container ships and general cargo vessels are largely responsible for this increase, yachting and leisure sailing also has a role to play in the transformation of maritime transport. Ahead of the World Cup in Qatar last November, cruise giant MSC, which had loaned its new flagship, the MSC World Europa, as a temporary floating hotel, unveiled a technology based on the principle of a fuel cell capable of supplying electricity to a cruise ship. This prototype creates its own hydrogen from the natural gas that currently powers the behemoth, as Henri Doyer, project manager of the MSC World Europa at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard, told ETX Studio.

In fact, hydrogen could be the key to greener boating. This invisible and odorless gas, which can be obtained from water or hydrocarbons, is also at the heart of a project for a superyacht of the future, unveiled by New York designer Jozeph Forakis, whose design studio is based in Milan. The 88-meter-long vessel is equipped with solar panels that will provide energy to transform seawater into hydrogen. Like the World MSC Europa, this vessel, expected to be ready in 2030, will have fuel cells to provide electricity onboard, stored in Li-On batteries. Pegasus, in reference to the famous winged horse in Greek mythology, promises to generate no carbon emissions and to sail to the seas with almost unlimited range.

The first 3D-printed superyacht

This project is not only interesting from a technological point of view. Both its construction and design are intended to address the issue of environmental friendliness. Pegasus is billed as the first superyacht made with 3D printing technology. This technique makes it possible to “create a mesh framework integrating both hull and superstructure. The result is an extraordinarily strong and lightweight structure that can be produced using less energy, material, waste, space, and time compared to conventional construction,” explains the designer.

Aesthetically, the boat intends to virtually disappear on the water thanks to a mirrored glass hull and a finish that reflects the waves, thus blending into the scenery. As for comfort on board, lucky passengers will have every reason to enjoy themselves, especially thanks to the boat’s aquarium-like lap pool.

During recent major boat shows, such as the Cannes Yachting Festival or the Grand Pavois de la Rochelle, boat builders demonstrated how they are working on new technologies to make boating more environmentally friendly. During the Cannes Yachting Festival, a demonstration saw an electric boat of 12.5 meters long “flown” on the water by hydrofoils. “Flying” actually is the best term because, when the boat leaves the harbor, the hull is literally lifted up when the pilot decides to deploy the hydrofoils hidden in the vessel’s frame. The drag is then reduced by at least 60%.

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Source: Forbes