Feadship’s latest superyacht, the 83.50-metre hybrid Savannah, packs in a range of features designed to make cruising more efficient and life at sea more comfortable. The combination of a single diesel engine, three gensets, a battery bank, a contra-roatating azimuthing prop and a streamlined hull shape offer claimed fuel economies of 30%. Further innovation comes in the form of a ‘floating’ superstructure and an underwater lounge.

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The fine-entry hull is powered by a single Wärtsilä main engine with a propeller that is around 40% bigger than usual. A large electrically powered contra-rotating and azimuthing stern thruster is aft of the main propeller to ensure excellent manoeuvrability at close quarters. “It is not the individual technologies used on Savannah that are new in the yachting world – it is the way they have been combined,” says the owner’s project manager Ted McCumber. “Feadship has leveraged all the options available to bring this hugely innovative system to completion. The possibility to choose between diesel, diesel-electric or fully electric is truly exceptional. Moreover, Savannah is the first yacht in the world to be running with an azipull and a variable-pitch propeller.”

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The exterior profile has been created by CG Design and Feadship’s designers. The glass and composite panels appear to float thanks to complex visual trickery involving polished stainless steel strips, aluminium supports and teak. The main deck and owner’s deck aft have been designed as single giant open inside/outside spaces, enclosed by weathertight sliding doors. With the sides of the main lounge open, the entire space from the swimming pool to the salon serves as an alfresco experience zone. “The owner of Savannah loves to be at one with the water,” says McCumber. “This phenomenal design allows him to run from the main salon and dive straight into the sea.” One of the many structural highlights is an ‘underwater lounge’ on the port side where guests can watch the fish outside, or turn around and observe the fun and games in the nine-metre swimming pool. The room, which also converts into a cinema, is another first for a superyacht and features especially thick glass due to its position in the hull.

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Savannah’s interior – also designed by CG Design – features an owner’s stateroom, four guest suites and one VIP stateroom with a balcony. She has room for 26 crew. There is also a tender bay finished in teak with a hatch that doubles as a mooring platform. After docking, guests can walk inside the garage and take the stairs straight up to the main deck.

Savannah is a yacht full of firsts,” says Feadship director Henk de Vries. “As the first-ever hybrid superyacht, she offers incredible flexibility in operations and loading of the power plant. The way in which one gigantic propeller has been installed in front with another electrically powered prop in its slipstream has never been applied on a yacht. A similar system has been used on board passenger ships in Japan, but that is an ‘industrial’ solution, without the attention to comfort required on a Feadship. Another major innovation is the batteries, which were suggested by the owner. These provide extra speed at the top end, allow proper loading of the generators at any speed, and mean super-quiet cruising at low speeds without any engines turning. We have installed Li-ion batteries with no less than one million Watts.”