Call it the Concours d’Elegance, on water. It’s the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) on November 3–7, and it’s readying itself for the annual onslaught of international boating and yachting enthusiasts “who come to see the latest that the global boating industry has to offer and to do business in the ‘Yachting Capital of the World,'” says Daniel Grant, spokesperson for the boat show.
Two-thousand-sixteen marks the 57th annual show, and growth has instigated new features this year, including: an expansion to seven spectacular sites, 3D projection illumination shows three times a night along the west wall of the Bahia Mar Hotel; more upscale dining options; and on-the-water boat handling classes. But the real draw continues to be the boats, and the city’s Pier 66 Marina will be filled with approximately 1,500 of them, ranging from runabouts and cruisers to sport fishing boats to superyachts, with a total of $4 billion worth of products on display. Some of the largest superyachts ever displayed — including the Solandge, which measures just under 280-feet and has six decks, and TV, a 275-foot long stunner with 10 staterooms — will take their place among the must-see vessels.
One of the largest yachts being shown, measuring 273 feet, is Feadship Savannah. It also happens to be one of the most revolutionary yachts not just at the show, but in the world. Billed as the “first hybrid superyacht,” Savannah brings eco-friendly innovations to the water, with fuel savings of 30 percent, according to Feadship, which “allows for quiet cruising at low speeds on battery power, and provides extra speed when going top end with less demand on the engines,” says Grant.
“The truly amazing thing about this yacht is that it offers the possibility to choose between diesel, diesel-electric or fully electric,” he continues. “It is electro-mechanical propulsion. Unlike more conventional sea craft, Savannah is powered by an engine that pumps 1,800 kW of power into three generators that charge banks of lithium-ion batteries running the electrically-powered propellers.”
Luxury Meets Energy-Efficiency
While energy-efficient boats remain in the minority at the boat show, there is a growing focus in this area, according to Grant.
“There is no doubt that a tremendous amount of effort is being put in to creating more fuel efficient propulsion systems while delivering even more power and reliability,” he says. “Everyone wants to be more responsible, while getting to go faster and farther on a tank of fuel. It would be hard to find a manufacturer that isn’t promoting these values.”
Among the “Most Talked-About Superyachts” at last month’s Monaco Yacht Show 2016 was the WIDER 150 ‘Genesi,’ recipient of the MYS/RINA award, “which recognizes the most eco-friendly yacht at the show,” says Forbes. “At 46m, there’s enough room for a beach club and a swimming pool, and she can run solely on battery power for a whole night.”
It’s not surprising that a company called Ecoventura would have its eye on green efforts. But, the company’s new vessel, the MV Origin, takes eco-tourism to new levels of luxury during its seven-night explorations of the Galapagos Islands, with expansive cabins featuring large picture windows and rain shower heads, sustainably farmed teak floors, custom furniture, and even the much-appreciated (but hard to find on the archipelago) on-board Wi-Fi, all while reducing fuel consumption by 30 percent.
Then there’s Adastra. Designed by UK-based Shuttleworth Design and launched in 2012 in China, this 42.5m power trimaran has been called one of the world’s most fuel-efficient superyachts. It’s also been called a game-changer for its ability to transform a multi-hulled boat into a hyper-luxury experience while conserving energy.
Materials including glass, Kevlar foam, and carbon fiber keep the structure light and aerodynamic, giving it a range of 10,000 nautical miles on a light load and 4,000 nautical miles fully engaged, and mileage of up to 32 gallons per hour at 17 knots. Add in Adastra’s futuristic form, wraparound saloon windows, and luxury accommodations for up to nine passengers plus six crew members (not to mention the sauna, steam bath, whirlpool, and iPad piloting) and it’s not hard to see why it earned the “Most Innovative Yacht” prize at the 2013 World Superyacht Awards and commendations for naval architecture and exterior styling at the ShowBoats Design Awards.