VIDEO: Greenline 40 test drive is impressive

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During the last 18 months, I have written several stories about the diesel/electric hybrid boats from Greenline Hybrid Yachts, a company based in Slovenia that has a growing presence in the States.

A Q&A with Greenline North America CEO Constantinos “Cos” K. Constantinou will appear in the June issue of Soundings. (Constantinou has built a dealer network of nine in North America.) On Sunday I piloted one of the cruisers for the first time.

At the Suncoast Boat Show in my hometown of Sarasota, Fla., Mike Kiely of Denison Yacht Sales, a Greenline dealer in Fort Lauderdale, asked me to join him and a couple of guests for a demo ride on Sarasota Bay after the close of the show on Sunday night.

Show Management, owners and producers of the Suncoast show, expect to release attendance numbers later today or Wednesday for the 32nd annual event, which was held in Sarasota from Friday through Sunday. Look for that report in Trade Only Today.

The Greenline 40 is a modern integration of solar, shore power, diesel, electric, generator and lithium-polymer battery technology.

My test drive was short, but I was able to experience Greenline’s “Super-Displacement” hull, with its integral stabilizing fins. In hard turns to port and starboard at about 14 knots, the boat turned as if it were on tracks, maintaining a flat running angle and consistent speed. The transition from semi-planing to planing speeds was seamless. She cut cleanly through the 1- to 2-foot chop.

“We want people to know that the boat has much more to offer than just the electric power,” Kiely told me. “It’s the whole package. For instance, the technology is capturing solar energy and storing it in the batteries.”

That package includes an interior that makes smart use of space for a 40-footer, he says. There are two staterooms.

At nearly 3,500 rpm we settled in at about 14 knots, where the boat’s twin 150-hp Volkswagen TDI marine diesels burned a combined 12 gallons an hour for a nautical-mile-per-gallon rating of better than 1. On the Greenline you have the ability to monitor power use and other equipment on an iPad mounted at the helm, which I did.

Switching between electric and diesel power takes only a few seconds. You shut one power system off and turn the other one on. It can be done safely without having to navigate out of a channel and out of the way of other vessels. (Electric and diesel cannot be run simultaneously.)

In electric power, the Greenline can reach 6 knots for a maximum, but it was much more efficient at 5 knots. The boat can run under electric power for two hours. I used the electric propulsion to leave and return to the show site, the slips at Marina Jack.

The company also offers a 33 and this summer will be introducing a 48-footer.

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