Skip to main content

First emissions-free, hydrogen-powered yacht heads on world tour

Energy Observer, a former racing catamaran, will test the energy of the future in harsh conditions.

Energy Observer, a former racing catamaran, will test the energy of the future in harsh conditions.

The world’s first hydrogen-powered, emissions-free yacht has left France on a six-year world tour. The Toyota-sponsored 98-foot Energy Observer is a former sailracing catamaran that has been converted into an eco-yacht.

Energy Observer is powered by renewable energies, including a system that produces carbon-free hydrogen from seawater and stores it in batteries for electrical power. The yacht was designed to showcase possibilities for alternative fuels that could go into production in the near future. The boat was designed to test these technologies in extreme conditions by circumnavigating the world. The crew is led by Victorien Erussard, founder of the project, and Jérôme Delafosse.

Toyota Motor Europe said it became involved because hydrogen is “at the very heart” of the project. It said hydrogen’s lighter weight makes the yacht 50 percent lighter than comparable vessels that run only on batteries. Most battery-powered vessels rely on an intermittent supply of energy from land or sea, whereas Energy Observer can access hydrogen from the ocean at any time.

Toyota2x860

“This project once again demonstrates the many practical uses of hydrogen that can be developed as we transition toward a hydrogen society,” said Matt Harrison, vice president of sales and marketing at Toyota Motor Europe, in a statement.

Harrison said Toyota has been pioneering hydrogen technology for the last 20 years, carrying out considerable testing in demanding conditions to be sure it works as a practical fuel alternative. It is now used to power cars, such as the Toyota Mirai, as well as buses, trucks and forklifts.

The Energy Observer team will produce documentary content about local, reliable solutions that they encounter around the world. Their discoveries will be broadcast through an eight-episode series to air on Planète+ in the fall of 2019. There will also a Web series shared on social media. The team will journey to Japan in time for the 2020 Olympics.

Related

VOLVO-EARNINGS

Volvo Penta Reports Q4, FY22 Results

Net sales of $470 million for the quarter were a 33% increase compared to the prior year period.

Pulse-Report

DEALERS: Are You Improving the Service Experience?

Our monthly Pulse Report survey asks this and other questions about your dealership. Take the survey here.

NMRA-SCHOLARSHIP

NMRA Sets Scholarship Deadline

Students pursuing education in the marine trades can apply for the National Marine Representatives Association awards until April 1.

MARINE-PRODUCTS

Marine Products Reports Record Q4

The builder of Chaparral and Robalo boats reported net sales were up 42% for the quarter and 28% for fiscal year 2022.

1_SHURHOLD

Shurhold Appoints COO

Forrest Ferrari has years of management, business development, IT and quality-assurance experience.

MOBILE-CATCH-CENTER

RBFF, Pure Fishing Partner for a First Catch Center

Pure Fishing will equip a mobile trailer with tackle and gear to bring fishing experiences to areas of South Carolina where participation is low.

Norm

An Oft-Overlooked Sales Opportunity

A recent report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation showed that women comprise 37% of all anglers. If you haven’t tapped this segment, you’re missing out.

1. 2023 new boat retail outlook

Too Many High-Priced Boats

To wrap up 2022, marine retailers reported lower demand, expressed more negative sentiment and voiced concerns about rising inventory. Boat prices and the economy remained top of mind for dealers in December.

Soundings Nov 2022

New-Boat Registrations Continue to Slide

As the gaudy sales figures from the pandemic continue to return to more realistic numbers, the main segments of the recreational boating industry saw new-model registrations of 4,421 in November, a 30.3% drop from 6,340 during the same time in 2021. .