Over the past few years, talk of environmental issues within the world of luxury yachting has risen from a quiet yet persistent murmur to an almost deafening roar for real change. Though many yacht designers, luxury yacht builders and maritime industry professionals have stepped up, responding with measures both small and large, it can sometimes be challenging to pick out serious dedication to change from a ‘greenwashed’ marketing ploy. Luxury catamarans and sailing yachts, in that respect, have long lead the way in eco-friendly yachting, with typically reduced fuel consumption combined with an altogether gentler way of cruising the oceans forming the foundation of the sector. With the introduction of eco-conscious yacht models like the Eco Sunreef Yachts, it’s certainly evident that some brands are serious about making a difference in the fight for more environmentally friendly yachting.
The Sunreef Eco yacht line was first revealed in 2019 and was immediately welcomed by yacht owners and the wider industry alike. In fact, by the time the first Sunreef 50 was under construction at the Polish shipbuilder’s yard in Gdansk, an incredible seven units of the new eco catamaran line were already sold. Clearly, Sunreef Yachts are a luxury catamaran and luxury sailing yacht builder determined not just to ride the wave of change but master it.
First Sunreef 50 Eco, Tiril
Equipped with electric propulsion as well as a wide range of green solutions, the 15.2-metre Tiril yacht was delivered to her owner in mid-2019 and marked the very first hull in the Sunreef Eco range of yachts. A repeat client of Sunreef Yachts, the owner was invited to the Cannes Yachting Festival by Francis Lapp, Sunreef Yachts CEO, after hearing of the unfortunate loss of the client’s Sunreef 62 yacht Catsy in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in the Americas. Passionately interested in eco-tech, upon hearing about the development of a new eco-conscious range of Sunreef yachts, the owner’s existing intention to commission a new 50′ catamaran soon developed into something else.
Eco-friendly yacht cruising
Upon delivery in mid-2019, Tiril made a maiden voyage of 4000 nm from Poland to the rocky coastline of Croatia. The owner reported that the first Sunreef Eco-Yacht Tiril did a great job switching between sails and electric engines and, better yet, her silent, fume and vibration-free propulsion attracted dolphins and other marine life to swim alongside the luxury yacht.
But it’s not just her electric engines that make Tiril and the rest of the Sunreef Eco yacht line decidedly green. The Sunreef 50 yacht Tiril also boasts a smart lithium battery pack, solar panels, various shore power options and the ability to run for 24 hours with no generator running and full house loads. A traditional sailboat in the luxury yacht segment damages the environment considerably due to the continuous use of diesel generators to produce electricity for the air-conditioning, watermakers, lights, TV and other amenities on board.
This green yachting technology also means a considerable decrease in the level of background engine noise. Tiril’s owner is happy to be able to enjoy silent cruising with a reduced Co2 footprint, often telling yacht charter guests that the ice cubes in their drinks were made with the help of the sun, not diesel. Speaking more of the benefits of investing in the Sunreef 50 Eco-Yacht, Tiril’s owner comments: “There are more and more people looking for a responsible cruising experience, and I believe electric catamarans are the answer here. The fuel savings are massive, so we are really looking at a clean alternative. Add silence, autonomy and comfort to the equation, and you have the perfect platform to enjoy sailing without harming the environment.”