Gen­tle elec­tric

GENTL E In hy­brid cars, an in­ter­nal-com­bus­tion en­gine is com­ple­mented by an elec­tric mo­tor. The same con­cept cre­ates more en­ergy-ef­fi­cient, en­vi­ron­ment-friendly boats.

Boating NZ - - Contents - BY SARAH ELL

Hy­brid tech­nol­ogy makes the Green­line 39 an en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient, en­vi­ron­ment-friendly cruiser.

Slove­nian boat­builder Green­line has taken up the chal­lenge, pro­duc­ing a range of hy­brid launches. And go­ing one step fur­ther than hy­brid cars, where the bat­tery’s charged by the fuel-burn­ing en­gine, these boats also col­lect and store en­ergy from the sun.

Green­line cur­rently pro­duces four hy­brid mod­els – a 33, 39, 40 and 48 – with a new 44 com­ing off the pro­duc­tion line next year. All com­bine a new-gen­er­a­tion Volvo diesel with a gen­er­a­tor/elec­tric mo­tor unit, sit­ting within a ‘su­perdis­place­ment’ low-drag hull de­sign for ef­fi­cient mo­tor­ing. They use tra­di­tional diesel power for pas­sage-mak­ing, and switch to the elec­tric mo­tor for slow cruis­ing, ma­noeu­vring and dock­ing.

The lithium-ion bat­tery pack can be charged by shore power, the diesel’s al­ter­na­tor or via four large so­lar pan­els on the roof. The ad­van­tages echo those of a hy­brid car – fuel sav­ing and en­vi­ron­ment-kindly – as well as quiet op­er­a­tion and no smelly fumes.

Hy­brid Boats is Green­line’s New Zealand agent, and owner Richard War­den­berg says ex-yachties want­ing to con­vert to a launch are at­tracted to hy­brids for this very rea­son.

The lat­est model to ar­rive here is the Green­line 39, a tad un­der 12m LOA. She was named Boat of the Show in the launch cat­e­gory at the 2017 Hutch­wilco New Zealand Boat Show, on top of other hon­ours scored over­seas.

Green­line be­gan build­ing hy­brids a decade ago. The con­cept be­longs to two broth­ers, Jernej and Japec Jakopin, whose de­sign com­pany J&J (founded in 1983) has de­signed for Elan, Bavaria, Beneteau and Jean­neau. It’s also worked with Amer­ica’s Cup de­sign­ers Guil­laume Verdier and Doug Peter­son on the Ship­man 59 full-car­bon race boat.

Sea­way, the Slove­nian com­pany which builds the boats, got into fi­nan­cial trou­ble dur­ing the GFC, and was bought by a Rus­sian busi­ness­man who has in­ter­ests in al­ter­na­tive fu­els. Since his in­vest­ment the com­pany, re­branded as SVP Yachts, has stepped up pro­duc­tion, build­ing a new so­lar-pow­ered fac­tory which aims to churn out one new boat a day to meet world­wide de­mand.

We took out a pair of Green­line 39s on a glo­ri­ous late-win­ter day: a hy­brid, part-owned by Hamish Neal, and War­den­burg’s own con­ven­tion­ally-pow­ered diesel model. The two boats look iden­ti­cal from the out­side but have dif­fer­ent in­te­rior colour­ways: Neal’s boat, Dragonfly, has a warm teak in­te­rior, while War­den­burg’s has the lighter white oak.

The Green­line is a sedan-style launch with a touch of Euro

styling in the low-level, an­gu­lar port­hole panel which makes a state­ment for­ward. The boat’s hard chines and spray rails also give it a mod­ern, Euro­pean look.

Neal’s group had pre­vi­ously owned a dieselpow­ered 10m Green­line 33, but wanted to move up to a larger model – and em­brace the green tech­nol­ogy.


The tran­som folds right down (op­er­ated by a re­mote­con­trol fob, like a garage-door opener) and forms a large board­ing plat­form. There’s a bench seat to port and a smaller sin­gle seat to star­board, and easy ac­cess to stor­age lock­ers un­der the teak floor­ing.

Un­der the port seat is the re­verse-cy­cle air con­di­tion­ing/heat pump – the Green­line Hy­brid is the first pro­duc­tion boat in­ter­na­tion­ally to of­fer the unit as a stan­dard fea­ture, thanks to the high avail­abil­ity of elec­tric­ity.

The rear of the cabin is closed off with highly-re­flec­tive, one-way glass, to pro­vide pri­vacy when moored stern-on as they do in the Mediter­ranean. The large door slides open and a win­dow above the gal­ley bench lifts up on a hy­draulic ram, open­ing the cabin right up to the cock­pit. A sec­tion of bench can then be ex­tended to cre­ate a servery.

This makes for a light and bright gal­ley con­nected di­rectly to the cock­pit. But what might raise an eye­brow are the ap­pli­ances within it: no gas burn­ers and oven or un­der-bench chiller. In­stead, there’s an in­duc­tion cook­top, elec­tric con­vec­tion oven (both pro­duced by Slove­nian man­u­fac­turer Gorenje) and full-do­mes­tic-size in­te­grated fridge-freezer unit. Once

again, if your boat’s pro­duc­ing elec­tric­ity while it runs, why not use home com­forts?

For­ward of the gal­ley is the slightly raised saloon, with u-shaped seat­ing around a ta­ble which can be low­ered to cre­ate an­other berth. To star­board is a cre­denza which con­ceals a pop-up flat-screen TV. This can be re­placed with an ex­tra bench seat if re­quired.

The el­e­vated helm sta­tion is for­ward of this again, pro­vid­ing ex­cel­lent vis­i­bil­ity when seated or, with the hatch above opened, stand­ing. A slid­ing door from the helm po­si­tion leads out onto the side-deck and for­ward onto the bow. The deck lay­out is asym­met­ri­cal: there is a walka­round only on the star­board side.

“New Zealan­ders like one-level liv­ing – they get sick of sit­ting up­stairs on the fly­bridge in the wind, and don’t

want to be go­ing up and down lad­ders,” says War­den­burg. “With the big win­dows in the saloon you don’t feel like you’re stuck in the cabin.”

Mounted above the teak steer­ing wheel is a large Ray­ma­rine chart­plot­ter. Along­side are con­trols for the Volvo diesel and bow thruster, and the hy­brid-diesel switch. The Si­ma­rine bat­tery mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem shows gen­er­a­tor power and bat­tery stor­age lev­els.

Drop­ping down for­ward, there is a twin cabin on the port side (the two beds can be pushed to­gether to make a dou­ble) and the mas­ter suite in the bow. This can also be con­fig­ured as a

With the bigg win­dows in the saloon yyou don’t feel like yyou’re stuck in the cabin.

LEFT AND FAR LEFT Var­i­ous in­te­rior decor op­tions are avail­able, in­clud­ing the more tra­di­tional teak fin­ish. BOT­TOM LEFT Ver­sa­til­ity in the fore­peak. The beds can pivot apart, or be con­fig­ured as a dou­ble bed.


FAR LEFT The in­te­rior’s a pleas­ing con­trast of light and dark tones. MID­DLE If you need to get to your des­ti­na­tion in a hurry, fire up the diesel. LEFT Cre­ative light­ing en­hances the Green­line’s in­te­rior.

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