Rolls-Royce’s new hybrid yacht concept brings never-seen-before smart features to luxury boats


British engineering company Rolls-Royce has unveiled a 62-meter concept luxury boat that gives us a sneak preview of the high-tech yachts of the future. Named the Crystal Blue, the concept yacht has a hybrid propulsion system and features many cutting edge digital solutions that have only been seen on commercial vessels till now. Designed to accommodate 12 guests and 12 crewmembers, it uses a combination of battery power and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for propulsion and the body could be built from either aluminum or composites as required to keep the overall weight down. “Crystal Blue has been designed specifically to show how new technology can meet the yacht sector’s increased demand for higher performance, greater operating ranges and increased levels of guest comfort, without impacting the environment,” said Oscar Levander, vice president of Innovation at Rolls-Royce.


The decision to locate the superyacht wheelhouse below decks and to use Rolls-Royce’s Unified Bridge system to remotely monitor the yacht’s surroundings is anything but usual for yacht of its kind. What is does is frees up the foredeck and upper deck for a two-level glass-topped atrium, complete with dining, seating and bar areas. It also intelligent dynamic positioning system, which automatically controls two azimuth thrusters – marine propellers that rotate 360° around the vertical axis for a better maneuverability than a fixed propeller and a rudder system can provide – and a TT1100 bow thruster. This technology is usually found on offshore support vessels that must maintain their positions next to oil rigs to within a couple of meters. In addition to all these smart features, Rolls-Royce has incorporated some safety features in the form of a “safe room” where guests and crew members can seek refuge in the event of attack. Once inside, the crew can override the controls and navigate the yacht remotely or authorize a shore-based center to pilot the vessel.

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