CARBON FRIENDLY: The Greenline 36 can cruise in full electric mode at six knots, but there’s a 220hp diesel to call upon if you need that burst of power. THE word ‘hybrid’ conjures images of professors and hippies flitting about in glorified golf carts, so not surprisingly the concept has never quite resonated in the big, bad and hairy-backed world of motorboating.
And that’s a shame, because nothing can drain the world’s supply of fossil fuel, nor warm the globe, like a conventional marine engine placed inside a power-hungry planing hull.
Slovenian builder Greenline made a bold hybrid bid, around a decade ago, with a diesel/electric propulsion system plugged inside a 33-footer. It sold some 400 units in six years but went belly-up in 2015.
Not for long, though.
With fresh backing from new owners SVP Yachts, a new 36-foot hybrid is set to reignite interest in the brand and its carbon-friendly ideals. The drive system is akin to the old 33’s, but elsewhere the new model embraces more sophisticated styling and technology.
Four 285-watt solar panels on the roof and a powerful charger keep the lithium battery bank well supplied. These allow the Greenline to cruise in full electric mode at just over six knots. Beyond that, you fire up the standard Volvo Penta 220hp diesel and run at up to 18 knots.
A Yanmar 370hp diesel option provides a 25-knot top speed but there’s no electric mode available, which kind of defeats the purpose of saving both the planet and running expenses. Still, it shows that the 36’s hull shape is easily driven and fuel efficient even under modest power.
For many cruising scenarios, the hybrid combination is a perfectly reasonable compromise – quiet and comfortable when the conditions are good and, when they’re not, a burst of speed to reach a safe harbour.
Significantly, the 36 doesn’t try too hard to look like a green machine. There are no wings or fins, foils or silly French curves, just a nicely balanced blend of contemporary styling cues.
A large opening transom and swim platform boost cockpit space, while inside the saloon you can drink in the view through panoramic windows. These are complemented by electric opening sunroofs and a sliding glass door leading to the walk-around deck.
There’s a good-sized galley that also draws on the power supply with 240-litre fridge/freezer, two-burner induction cooker and microwave.
Serviced by a single bathroom with separate toilet and shower, scissor berths create a large master double berth forward and the separate guest cabin has singles.
Another dynamic new craft taking the efficiency route is Sealine’s C430, albeit using conventional Volvo Penta IPS diesel pod drives. And like the Greenline, the Sealine also has some clever electrical attributes – a new Smart Boat System uses digital switching and a touch-screen display to control the onboard systems.
Its wave-slicing, deep-vee hull shape with vertical stem borrows from the offshore yachts for which designer Bill Dixon is better known. A light displacement of 13.3 tonnes allows for twin 300hp diesels to be offered as standard – remarkable for a 43-footer with three double cabins.Buyers can upgrade to either 370hp or 435hp if more zing is needed.
CLEVER ATTRIBUTES: Among other things the Sealine C430 has a touch-screen display to control the onboard systems.