Today Cannes, in a few days Monaco and in October Fort Lauderdale – yacht lovers from all over the world have descended on the Côte d'Azur or Florida, backdrop for the Cannes Yachting Festival, Monaco Yacht Show and Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, where the yachts displayed are of such breathtaking luxury that a jacuzzi won't even get a mention because it's long since considered a basic.
But it's not only the yachts' graceful forms and their grand furnishings that fascinate. Below deck, there's the technology – the engines, propellers and bridges – all at the top end of the performance spectrum. If they are to function really efficiently, however, they have to be perfectly harmonized. Which is why Rolls-Royce provides all the systems needed to power a yacht – from the bridge to the propeller. That includes fully integrated bridge and automation systems, engines, and highly efficient Pod propulsion. And because all these systems interplay perfectly, maximum efficiency is assured.
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Fully integrated bridge
For yacht captains, the nerve center of a vessel is the fully integrated bridge. All propulsion-related data arrives here, as well as all operating data from auxiliary and navigation systems. The bridge is the point from which all these systems can be operated. The mtu NautIQ Bridge unites on a single platform all the sub-systems needed for monitoring, controlling and steering the vessel. This new, state-of-the-art bridge system was developed by Rolls-Royce engineers in collaboration with experts from Team Italia that became part of the Rolls-Royce group in July 2023.
Rolls-Royce yacht propulsion systems are based on mtu Series 2000 and 4000 engines. These have been approved for use with synthetic diesel such as sustainable Hydrated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in accordance with the EN15940 standard. Rolls-Royce is also currently developing methanol-powered propulsion solutions for yachts and workboats. As part of the publicly funded MeOHmare project, Rolls-Royce is currently concentrating on Single Fuel technology. Emissions-free marine propulsion is already possible, however, with mtu hybrid systems. With the mtu Hybrid PropulsionPack, vessels can be powered by battery in electric-only mode for certain periods of time. During this time, low engine noise and vibration make for greater on-board comfort.
Highly efficient Pod propulsion
On the propeller side, Rolls-Royce is developing its portfolio using Pod solutions which enable fuel economy and very easy maneuvering. Following cooperation with ZF, it will be offering in the future propulsion systems based on the ZF Pod 4600 and Series 2000 mtu engines with outputs up to 1,250 kW (1,700 PS). This mtu-ZF combined solution increases the efficiency of the drive by 15% and also makes the yacht far easier to maneuver than with a conventional fixed pitch propeller.
“The more integrated your propulsion system is, the easier it is to adjust the interplay between the components, best satisfying whatever demands are being made on operation of the vessel,” said Denise Kurtulus, Vice President Global Marine at Rolls-Royce Power Systems.