Rolls-Royce Unveils LNG-fuelled yacht concept

Thursday, 30 November 2017


The 62-metre Crystal Blue is designed to carry 12+ passengers and 12 crew and is based on a composite or aluminium hull operating on Rolls-Royce hybrid LNG/Battery SAVe-CUBE system configuration.

Blue Shadow to double as LNG bunker barge

Along with the concept designs for the Crystal Blue, Rolls-Royce also launched plans for a custom-built support vessel Blue Shadow. This remotely-controlled, steel-hulled support vessel will be used to transport and launch the mother ship’s tender, helicopter and any other “toys” that the yacht owner may have as well as acting as a personal LNG bunkering barge for the yacht,
“Although LNG fuel is increasingly specified for commercial vessels, particularly coastal ferries, the size of the fuel tanks and a lack of LNG bunkering infrastructure has been a major barrier to the yacht sector embracing the cleaner, odourless fuel,” Henrik Alpo Sjöblom, Project Manager in the Rolls-Royce Blue Ocean team, said.

Operating in convoy, Blue Shadow allows designers to make better use of the aft area of Crystal Blue for guests, such as by including an infinity pool, or a beach area and means the yacht can enter otherwise prohibited ecologically sensitive waters.

“We have dimensioned Crystal Blue fuel tanks for a range of 3000 nautical miles without refuelling but with the Shadow’s additional fuel capacity, the range increases to 4400 nautical miles, meaning that most of the typical yachting areas are accessible,” Sjöblom added.

Twin LNG-fuelled gensets

Powered by twin LNG-fuelled 16V4000 MTU M65-N generator sets working in parallel the Crystal Blue also features a battery bank to provide 1MWh of genset-free power during port stays. Two low-weight carbon Azipull thrusters provide propulsive power to achieve maximum service speeds of 20 knots.

The Blue Shadow will also utilize technology from the offshore oil and gas sector, with the implementation of an intelligent dynamic positioning system to provide automatic controls for twin azimuthing thrusters and a TT1100 bow thruster, allowing the vessel to maintain position to within a couple of metres of the main vessel.

“Our ship intelligence and remote-control concepts have allowed us to design a yacht for the future that has the bridge located below the bow, inside the vessel. The crew is able to monitor and control the vessel using sophisticated sensors, cameras, display screens and situational awareness technologies; but an internal bridge frees up the traditional area of the bridge in the forward part of the superstructure to let owners and guests enjoy a panoramic vista that is traditionally only enjoyed by the crew,” Oskar Levander, Rolls-Royce SVP Concepts and Innovation at Rolls-Royce, said.