Sustainability: Motor Yacht Builders – Azimut-Benetti
Azimut-Benetti Group’s innovations include a 107m hybrid gigayacht, E-Mode propulsion, a displacement-to-planing hull and BCool engineering.
Azimut-Benetti remains a world leader in luxury motor yacht production and heads the 2021 Global Order Book for 24m-plus yachts, the 21st successive year it has led the builder standings. Azimut itself builds from 34ft up to 125ft due to its new 38m Grande Trideck, while Benetti’s range of models extend from the Delfino 95 (29m) to over 350ft following the launch of three gigayachts, each 107m or 108m, in recent years.
The ‘biggest’ example of the Group’s eco-friendly efforts is Benetti’s 107.6m Luminosity, described as the largest hybrid yacht built to date. The generation/propulsion package features six generators of about 1,000kW each.
The electricity produced by the generators is managed electronically by a fully integrated power management system to feed the consumption of the services on board and the electric motors of two Azipods of 2,200kW each. The spare electricity is also used to charge 36 tonnes of batteries which are sufficient to run the vessel for 12 hours without generator power, a huge convenience when at anchor with no shore power.
Benetti’s Technical Department worked on the state-of-the-art propulsion package with the likes of Caterpillar, Seastema and ABB. Another advantage of the system is silent, vibration-free navigation, meaning “guests sometimes fail to realise they’re underway”.
Benetti’s new models in 2021 include the B.Yond 37M, the first in a new category of expedition yachts that features E-Mode propulsion architecture developed for the shipyard by Siemens.
Designed for long cruising with reduced environmental impact, the diesel-electric propulsion system operates in four different configurations: Enhanced Comfort, ideal for night and coastal cruising with no emissions; Eco Cruise or Hotel mode, for zero-emissions while cruising or at anchor; Extended Range, to reduce consumption on very long trips; and Eco Transfer, for navigation with only one engine driving both shafts to reduce engine hours and improve performance.
The Group’s eco-friendly design work includes the D2P® (Displacement to Planing) hull that features on Azimut’s new Magellano 25 Metri and the Grande Trideck, the company’s new 38m flagship. In collaboration with Pierluigi Ausonio Naval Architecture, the Group’s studies of hull shapes led to the D2P® hull, which combines the advantages of a displacement hull with reduced fuel consumption at low speeds and in planing mode at higher speeds.
The new Magellano flagship is also the Group’s first model equipped with BCool engineering, a Marine Mechanical Ventilation System (MMVS) based on a NASA patent and originally developed for use on aerospace missions to sanitise the air on board. The system imitates and reproduces the process that takes place in nature, exploiting the combined action of the rays produced by a special UV lamp and a catalytic structure, without affecting the yacht’s power and consumption.
Marco Valle, CEO of Azimut-Benetti Group, said: “Azimut-Benetti works to employ technology that strives for eco-friendliness and to improve the quality and comfort of the cruising experience. This commitment is appreciated by our yacht owners and industry professionals.”
The Group’s eco-friendly efforts are also reflected in its supply-chain control, the decision not to use any biocidal antifouling products, and the choice of sustainable materials with reduced ecological impact such as the foams developed by the Nanocore project, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified wood or synthetic and 100 per cent recyclable, environmentally friendly water and gelcoat glues.
After well over two decades with Azimut Yachts, Marco Valle is settling into his new role as CEO of Azimut-Benetti Group, overseeing motor yacht models ranging from 34ft-354ft and a family-owned dynasty that has topped the Global Order Book for 21 straight years.