A design engineer by trade, Richard Sauter, the founder of Sauter Carbon Offset Design, has spent much of his career focused on environmentally friendly transportation. He successfully created eco-friendly concept cars that received a lot of publicity at international auto shows, for example. He recently turned his attention to the yacht industry, and yet again, his proposals are turning heads.
Sauter’s newest concept is the Super Nova project, measuring 60 meters, or about 197 feet. Unlike some concept yachts, Sauter is employing proven technology, not items that exist solely in the imagination. For example, Super Nova will employ diesel-electric power from systems by Mercedes-Benz and Daimler BlueTec. (BlueTec is a nitrogen-oxide-reducing system made specifically for Daimler’s diesel automobile engines.) If you’re a technology buff, you may recognize the sails on Super Nova. They’re wingsails, which provide a better lift-to-drag ratio than traditional sails. Sauter envisions these wingsails to be fully rotational, for ideal performance under a variety of conditions. There are even photo-voltaic (solar) cells. Together, along with other technology, these items charge a lithium-ion power system that can store energy for all lighting, entertainment systems, and other so-called hotel loads onboard. The lithium ion power supply also lets Super Nova cruise with zero emissions.
In fact, Sauter’s research shows that Super Nova can be carbon neutral at an average of 16 knots. This will permit a 7,000-nautical-mile cruising range, bringing pretty much any region of the world within reach. If speed is increased to 18 knots, Sauter says Super Nova still sees at least 75 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Her performance is aided by a wave-piercing catamaran hull form. Wavepiercers, which are in service globally as both pleasure boats and ferries, cut through the water more efficiently than traditional single-hull designs.
Of course, Sauter hasn’t overlooked the creature comforts that yacht owners want. He’s leaving room layouts open to customization, of course, but envisions Super Nova to accommodate 14 guests. Sixteen or more crew members will also be housed aboard, for a good crew-to-guest ratio.