Companies announce design completion for world-first methanol-powered leisure vessel

Archipelago Yachts, in collaboration with Chartwell Marine, has announced the successful completion of the design for its groundbreaking zero-carbon leisure vessel, the Archipelago zero.63.
Companies announce design completion for world-first methanol-powered leisure vessel
Render of Archipelago zero.63. Courtesy of Archipelago Yachts and Chartwell Marine.

The Archipelago zero.63 boasts a revolutionary parallel hybrid system, seamlessly combining the clean energy derived from a pair of methanol reformers and hydrogen fuel cells. This innovative propulsion system allows the vessel to cruise silently at speeds of up to 10 knots. For high-speed performance, the design includes a direct-injection methanol engine, enabling the boat to reach a top speed of 22 knots.

One of the most remarkable features of this vessel is its substantial 10,000-litre methanol tank, providing an expected range of around 2,500 nautical miles, making it a highly versatile and long-range option for adventure-seekers. The Archipelago zero.63, built from low-impact aluminium, can comfortably accommodate eight passengers in four luxurious cabins, all equipped with ensuite facilities, ensuring a premium, yet eco-conscious cruising experience.

The Archipelago zero.63 is poised to make a significant impact as its unique combination of methanol as a zero-carbon fuel and advanced hydrogen technology brings a compelling solution to the challenges of marine decarbonisation. To ensure the safety and integrity of this pioneering vessel, extensive assessments were conducted in collaboration with Lloyd’s Register, assuring the highest standards in design and construction.

This groundbreaking project aligns with Innovate UK's "Transport Vision 2050," which aims to incorporate methanol as a viable marine fuel, targeting approximately 25 per cent usage by 2050. Chartwell Marine's success in securing an Innovate UK Smart Grant demonstrates its dedication to advancing sustainable marine technology.

With the design phase now complete, Archipelago Yachts and Chartwell Marine are primed to build and unveil the Methanol Pathfinder UK, a one-of-a-kind demonstrator vessel that will showcase the potential of methanol as a marine fuel, leading the way towards a greener future for the marine industry.

The Methanol Pathfinder UK will serve as a platform for proof of concept, inspiring confidence among manufacturers and innovators in the marine sector. It promises to be cost-effective to build, making it an attractive proposition for banks and funders. Moreover, its hydrodynamic design, reminiscent of crew and fast ferry transport vessels, opens up opportunities for commercial exploitation and deployment worldwide.

“Our vessel design uses methanol-to-hydrogen reforming technology to power a modern and attractive, silent, zero-carbon 63’' leisure vessel” said Dr Stephen Weatherley, founder and managing director of Archipelago Yachts. “The yacht will be state of the art for zero-carbon technology, built from low-impact aluminium, using recycled materials wherever possible. There are plenty of electric leisure vessels in the market which can travel short distances quickly or long distances slowly, but none can perform in high sea states, cross oceans, and be zero-carbon all at the same time.”

Andy Page, Managing Director of Chartwell Marine, added that utilising Methanol as a feedstock for onboard propulsion and hotel loads is a real alternative to using diesel and that the system developed for the zero.63 is simple, robust and manageable in terms of weight and geometry without significant compromise to the vessel aesthetic, interior or function.

“Using a parallel-hybrid propulsion system allows owners to operate the yacht silently using electric propulsion, as well as methanol combustion for high speed operation” said Mr Page.

For additional information:

Archipelago Yachts

Chartwell Marine

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