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Photography: Jeff Brown

SPRING-SUMMER 2010I sea&iI69thinkgreenethereal"Exquisite. almost as light as air. celestial. spiritual." The dictionary definition of the word 'ethereal' perfectlyreflects the principles on which this remarkable 58m(190'5) Royal Huisman yacht was built. Created to be themost efficient and eco-friendly superyacht afloat, Ethereal is amasterpiece of green design. Launched in 2008, she is the product of sheer innovation onbehalf of Royal Huisman, Ron Holland Design, PieterBeeldsnijder Design and her owners Bill and Shannon Joy. Herdesign and build are so groundbreaking that new technologiesand research in bioengineering were required to create her, andshe is all the more appealing for her grace and beauty, whichbelie the extraordinary level of technological innovation, energyconservation and sustainable, autonomous operation that liesbeneath her clean lines. Technologically speaking, Ethereal is a first. Her hybridelectromechanical propulsion system allows her to chargebatteries instead of using generators under sail. These batteriesenable Ethereal to raise anchor, motor-hoist sails and run theship's systems for hours at a time. The batteries also negate anynoise and vibration associated with generators, meaning shecan run silent for long periods. But it is not just at this fundamental level that Ethereal excels.Her brief for energy efficiency extends to every aspect of herspecification and d├ęcor. Her lighting, which is largely dimmableLED, not only uses less energy than standard systems but alsoproduces less heat, which lightens the load on the air-conditioning units. Her water system recycles energy, and herwatermakers use less than half the energy of a conventionalsystem. She also has only eco-friendly water sports equipment.You'll find no motorised jet skis here, instead kayaks, dive gearand dinghies offer planet-friendly distractions. Even all thelinens and towels on board are made of natural, organic fibres.The benefits of these measures are multifold - not only doesEthereal have less impact on the environment, she is also lessobtrusive to her guests, running almost silently when needsbe and offering a more wholesome, natural lifestyle.Not content to break yacht-design boundaries thus far,Ethereal's owners have since made their yacht even moreplanet-friendly by making her CarbonNeutral (see page 8). It would seem that the important message to take from theEthereal project is that designing and building an eco-friendlyyacht is not only realistic, it can also be exciting and rewarding.Such a project not only challenges the skills and creativity ofindustry minds, it also demands that we increase our knowledgeof the environment in order to protect it. As a knock-on effect, asmore people get involved, either in the build or later charteringthe yacht, interest in more eco-friendly yachts will surely increaseand bring demand for further 'green' measures to be introduced.Saving graceThe world's most eco-friendly yacht has just outdone herself,adding 'CarbonNeutral' to her long list of energy-efficient virtuesHer design and build are so groundbreaking that new technologies and research in bioengineering were required to create her,and she is all the more appealing for her grace and beauty, which belie her extraordinary level of technological innovationSPECIFICATIONSLENGTH............................................................58m (190'5)BEAM..............................................................11.4m (37'5)DRAFT................................................................4.9m (16')BUILDER.....................................................Royal HuismanYEAR..........................................................................2009GUESTS.........................................................................10CREW.............................................................................10CHARTER GROUNDS....................Mediterranean (summer)PRICES FROM.......................................?225,000 per week A yacht such as Ethereal deserves to be hailed a leader inher field, but judging by the volume of interest she has alreadygarnered, her crown as the most eco-friendly yacht afloat maysoon be challenged. For the oceans' sake, let us hope so. nFor information on chartering Ethereal, contact your CNI charter broker,see page 6.