Japanese billionaire's 375-ft superyacht won't produce carbon emissions
Lürssen Yachts, a German boatmaker known for building large boats and yachts has unveiled a nearly 375 feet (114.2 m) long megayacht powered by methanol. Dubbed Project Cosmos, the yacht's construction is ongoing and expected to be completed by 2025.
As the world looks to reduce carbon emissions, the maritime industry is pressured to move away from its fossil fuel-guzzling mechanisms to move people and goods around. Among the options that are being tested is hydrogen fuel, which produces water as a by-product.
Lürssen Yachts warmed up to the technology more than a decade ago but in a slightly different way. Instead of using hydrogen directly, it uses a methanol-hydrogen fuel cell, which breaks up methanol to release hydrogen and then uses it to power the yacht. This way, the vessel does not need to be equipped with hydrogen-storing tanks but can still use hydrogen as fuel.
The 375 feet yacht has been under construction for three years and has recently completed its technical launch. The video shows that the ship is nowhere near hosting visitors, but the structure gives us some idea of what it might offer.
Designed by Marc Newson, the structure has been positioned more forward to provide an enormous aft deck. If the name Newson sounds familiar, the same designer worked on the nearly 460 feet (140 m) long superyacht Solaris built for Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Apart from his maritime designs, Newson is also the Australian guy who gave Apple Watch the look it has.
Besides giving the yacht a swimming pool, Newson's design also features another large cut-out on the vessel. As of now, it is unclear what his space will be used to stow, but it could house a smaller vessel, perhaps an electric one. The yacht is estimated to slow cruise for a distance of 1,000 miles or use the methanol-powered fuel cell to anchor down for 15 days without releasing carbon emissions.
Up on the bridge deck is space for a helipad and a 360-degree viewing area on top. The explorer-styled yacht has been commissioned by Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaka Maezawa, who might be remembered for traveling to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz rocket in 2021.
He has also signed up for SpaceX's private mission to the Moon powered by its Starship, a project expected to see the light of day later this year. It is also nice to see him care for the environment in small ways.