DETAILS ♦ Fine craftsmanship in Fit & Finish
The interior is crafted from a single teak log, hand-picked in Thailand and shipped to the factory, to ensure that the grain, color and grade are consistent throughout the boat.
Wonders in Wood
We have superb craftsmen who create one of kind pieces of furniture and specialized detailing for all of our yachts. Our signature overhead handrail is a complex and beautiful work of art in teak. The door frames and molding reflect the quality and level of fit and finish found on very few yachts worldwide. It is found on every one of the Marlow Yahcts.
Sculptures in Stainless
Highly polished, finest quality stainless steel is used throughout every Marlow Explorer. We have designed a beautiful and functional oval handrail for more secure gripping and more substantial good looks. Our ship's bells, door handles and steering wheel centers are all laser engraved with the Marlow Explorer logo. The water fills are self-keyed for convenience and practicality.
Engine Room Features
The engine room has full standing headroom, access to every piece of equipment and machinery without gymnastics, and a convenient and handsome workbench. It is accessed through a watertight door with a viewing port. All cables are neatly bundled, valves clearly labeled, plumbing color coded, gauges at eye level and plenty of light to work making this the ultimate "boys toy room", especially with the optional A/C.
The devil is in the details....
The exterior entertainment areas allow a large variety of amenities with a choice of gas or electric grills, ice makers, refrigerators and many different table and settee arrangements. With the covered aft decks and flybridges, the possibilities are numerous. Seating for a crowd for an afternoon cookout or an intimate setting for two under the stars - it is your choice on any given day in almost any weather. The exterior installations of your appliances are as artfully concealed as the interior selections. This gives you a clean look with protection from the elements.
Beautifully molded access doors and cabinets create a clean uncluttered look to the boat while protecting the components within. For extreme ease in getting out of the water, we have molded in a set of stairs below the swim platform that allows you to walk up rather than climb out of the water. Our day head is accessed from the exterior for privacy and because of its clever design it almost disappears into the superstructure. The fuel fills have built in catch reservoirs for any accidental drips keeping your deck free from diesel spills.
TECHNICAL INFO ♦ Full Stack Infusion
Marlow/Norsemen, working in their own in-house testing facility has designed, developed, perfected and implemented yet another stunning advance in state of the art yacht building. We developed the Full Stack Infusion© process for the complete hull or any component in the yacht manufacturing process, eliminating the possibility of contamination in secondary bonding processes in the important structures.
This exciting new development allows the entire structure to be infused, from outer skin coat, through coring to inner skin in one shot infusion. Moreover, Full Stack Infusion© saves approximately 2,000 lbs. in an average yacht, while providing far greater strength than could ever be achieved using common methods. This is a further development of the R.I.V.A.T.© (Resin Infused Vacuum Assisted Transfer) that Marlow/Norsemen had developed in-house, working with such industry titans as Corecel, DuPont, Swanson, Cook, and other industry leaders.
In the infusion process we have developed, we begin by cutting the reinforcement fabrics layers out in patterns geometrically shaped to fit our hull. These are then numbered and labeled so that we can place them exactly where they should go in the hull, deck or bulkhead and floor molds.
The resin remains in drums awaiting the proper time to be connected to a labyrinth of piping that is designed to carry the resin to a grid of flow transfer media. Essentially a highway for the resin to travel to the exact spot in the exact quantity.
All the fabrics are placed in their designated spots and covered with a heavy duty plastic film covering the flow media described above becoming the vacuum bagging.
The enormous vacuum pumps are then started, removing 100% of the air from beneath the bag. Sensitive leak detection devices are used to check the entire perimeter and seams for even a minute vacuum leak.
When all is well, a valve is opened and the resin swiftly begins to flow to the hull, deck or whatever part is being laminated. The piping is transparent so the flow is clearly visible. In less than one hour, an entire 38’ hull can be infused to a standard that is physically impossible in any other form of laminating. The perfect amount of resin has permeated every fiber but no thick pools of brittle excess can be seen in the laminate. The tremendous pressure exerted by the high volume vacuum pumps has squeezed the laminate to form an extremely hard laminate absolutely free of voids or excess.
Other advantages of this closed molding is that the workers are much happier and work more efficiently, as they are not required to wear bulky safety gear that restricts their ability to move freely or breath naturally. In infusion, simple rubber gloves are all that is necessary for protection. There are virtually no harmful fumes or chemicals released into the atmosphere and worker health is vastly improved. It does not require an M.I.T. Summa Cum Laude certificate to understand that a comfortable happy worker does a better job. The workers are happy to be part of a high technology portion of the factory production instead of relegated to mopping, rolling or spraying resin and fibers with dangerous chemicals filling the air.
TECHNICAL INFO ♦ Velocijet Strut Keels ©
Analysis of Strut Keel Technology:
Vessel hull design protection filed.
Copyright applied for.
To follow is a discussion of the Velocijet Strut Keel© technology, its benefits and effect on cruising yachts.
In addition to the countless hours invested by the author in keel research, (beginning in 1984) considerable twin keel research has been done by noted Naval Architect Pat Bray with Ocean Engineering Research Center located in British Columbia. British Columbia has become the epicenter of hydrodynamic research as they boast an impressive databank of knowledge on the effect of underwater foils and appendages. To our knowledge, the most advanced research in the world on this subject was undertaken on the current crop of Americas Cup Racing Yachts. Much of it took place at these centers for research.
Advantages of twin keels on yachts have been discussed at great lengths. The considerable extra tooling costs and a perceived drag penalty appear to be their only drawback. The drag “penalty” can be turned into a significant drag reduction on power yachts by careful research and development. On sailing yachts, it is more difficult to completely negate the potential additional drag as sailing yachts do not normally have the variety or size of underwater appendages found on power vessels.
Any additional drag, no matter how infinitesimal, is unacceptable in a racing yacht. However, when quantified, we find the initial drag “penalty” associated with a reasonably designed twin keel is equivalent to less than 1/2 knot under worst case scenarios. In real world conditions, this drag, in fact, goes away completely. It is canceled by substantially increased form stability and drag reduction that actually reduces total parasitic drag. This phenomenon is explained very simply. The underwater gear normally seen on large yachts creates enormous drag due to the generated vortices. In addition, the reduced roll moment and greatly improved directional stability provided by the twin keels reduce drag caused by yaw and roll. This benefit is available in all but absolute calm waters, a rare item at sea. Typical comparisons of similar yachts if powered by equal power reveal 2-3 knots speed advantage in calm waters with greater gains in rough seas.
With the Velocijet Strut Keels©, our mission was to reduce the parasitic drag even further by either designing a completely new foil section or researching the NACA files to find a suitable profile. That foil section would allow both reduced drag and increased performance and contain the elements of design for our unique and proprietary drive system. This unique drive system would later provide further reductions in underwater drag with significant performance gains. Combined with our flexible coupling drive train, greatly reduced noise levels would result.
As research progressed, our indications on paper and our actual test results on the various models we built excited us. In actual towing tests, there were remarkable gains in directional stability and roll dampening. We found our Velocijet Strut Keels© acted as passive stabilizers to dampen roll moment generated by sea conditions and consistently kept the yacht within a much narrower yaw pattern compared to a non-strut keel equipped model.
In an actual at sea towing test, with a following sea, the model with the strut keels ran as if on rails in a comparatively large sea. The model without strut keels tended to yaw to considerable extremes. If speed were suddenly reduced on the strut keel model while it was located on the “downhill” side of a large wave, little or nothing happened. It simply continued straight ahead. When the same test was carried out on the model without the strut keels, its normal reaction was to immediately turn to starboard or to port, exposing the model’s beam to the following sea. At times, the wave train would cause the model to completely broach and alter course as much as 180 degrees. It became clear during this testing phase that the thesis was valid and could hold enormous promise for more comfortable cruising offshore.
The next task was to design and develop a strut keel that would have absolute minimum drag characteristics, while acting as a giant bearing to support the large propeller shafts contemplated for our yachts. During the course of development, we became aware of studies done by prestigious laboratories indicating the drag associated with conventional propeller shafts was far greater than the actual size envelope of the propeller shafts. What the data revealed was an eye opener. In fact, it could better be described as shocking.
An object being pushed or pulled through the water has relatively well defined and predictable drag characteristics, based upon its size, shape and velocity. For example, a 3” propeller shaft’s drag could be closely predicted mathematically and then verified. Results typically paralleled mathematical predictions closely. Until studies were recently completed, it was generally assumed the shaft’s drag remained about the same whether it was rotating or stationary. In fact, the rotating shaft’s drag increased dramatically compared to a stationary shaft.
MIT and US Naval Tests revealed that a rotating shaft could produce as much as four times the parasitic drag of a stationary shaft! If the shaft increases in size from barnacles, slime, grass or other marine growth, (even small amounts), the drag figures increase dramatically.
If the shaft has any “runout”, or is not perfectly true (and none are) the figure skyrockets again. It became obvious we had found a fertile area for drag reduction by enclosing the shaft inside a foil shaped strut keel with quantified constant drag characteristics. An extra benefit was discovering that enclosing the shaft protected it from the ravages of salt water and marine growth, once again resulting in an appreciable drag reduction.
We became aware of research in Maine where a company found that merely enclosing the rotating shaft inside a larger, fixed, shaft tube allowed them to consistently increase the size of the propeller by 1”or more. In plain terms, that is a very substantial gain. In some cases it would be similar to increasing the horsepower of each engine by 50-60 HP., without a corresponding increase in fuel consumption and wear.
We knew, by utilizing the Velocijet Strut Keels©, we could eliminate the four struts normally seen on yachts and, with them, their enormous drag and vulnerability. The Velocijet Strut Keels© enclose the shaft and bearings, eliminates the drag of the struts and protects the vital running gear from logs, deadheads, trash, and the dirty water that flows through exposed struts and their bearings. In our 30+ years of building and repairing yachts, the number one cause for bearing and running gear failure is dirt and debris in the water. Our Velocijet Strut Keel© design filters the water before it passes along the shaft inside the Strut Keels, allowing clean water to wash the shaft bearings at all times. The long, supported and enclosed bearing areas, combined with our flexible coupling system, produce an uncannily smooth propeller shaft rotation. The further we went along the research trail, the better the results and benefits became.
After research told us what we needed to know regarding the size, location and shape of our Strut Keels, we began the search to improve their usefulness and functionality. For our friends in England, Nova Scotia and other locations where the tidal range is so drastic it requires drying out between the tides, we built them strong enough to support the yacht and hold it upright on the bottom while the tide is out. In fact, other than scratching the beautiful polished surfaces of the Velocijet Strut Keels©, your boatyard could sit the boat down on its bottom right on the ground. We don’t recommend this of course. The Velocijet Strut Keel© fully protect the propellers and all running gear. For those in the Pacific Northwest and our inland river systems, the additional protection from logs, deadheads, and other waterborne debris will be extremely valuable.
Our original research had led us down the twin keel path because of the observation that the highest performing and most maneuverable fighter aircraft on earth have twin tails. The U.S. Air Force model F-15, the Russian Mig and a variety of French, Belgian and English supersonic aircraft all feature twin tails. If viewed upside down, these tails mimic the underwater shape of our Velocijet Strut Keels©. Obviously, these aircraft designers cannot tolerate extra drag and they must be the most highly maneuverable aircraft in the sky to survive. That they chose the twin tail configuration to achieve this goal speaks volumes.
One by one, all the old wives tales and false suppositions regarding relative drag were exposed as incorrect. Near the end of our research, we concluded we could eliminate the normal centerline keel’s size. We did not need it for protection from grounding as our Velocijet Strut Keels© protect the propellers far better than a large central keel. In fact, it can be strenuously argued that a large central keel actually diverts logs and other debris into the propeller’s slipstream due to the large pressure wave formed by the flat sides of the keel. Once near the slipstream, the propeller acts as a giant vacuum, literally sucking the debris into the propeller’s spiral.
The central keel is not needed for directional control purposes, as the Velocijet Strut Keels©, far aft, make the yacht want to go straight as an arrow compared to a central keel yacht. In fact, further research indicated that on vessels with a very large main keel, the main keel actually caused the yacht to broach when a large wave train passed beneath it. If the large keel was exposed to the passing wave at any angle other than parallel, the wave pushed the big keel around and caused the yacht to try and trip itself over its own keel.
My own experience at sea, with many yachts with large keels from one well known manufacturer, verified their tendency to be very difficult to steer in moderate following seas. In large following seas, a constant vigil is required and, at times, throttle and clutch adjustments are required to prevent a dangerous broach.
In recent years, while caught in bad weather off the Southwest coast of Cuba in a popular 42’ trawler, it required a great deal of strength, skill and determination to get the boat into a bay and protected waters. We found that, as the boat heeled one way or the other, the large main keel became a wing, lifting the stern of the boat and depressing the bow. This caused the boat to yaw dangerously and expose the beam-ends to the following sea, exactly what we don’t need!
By eliminating the central keel, we achieved a very large reduction in parasitic drag from the total underwater profiles. In plain language, the boat will steer much better and run faster with improved economy compared to a conventional central keel. A general discussion of the merits of the design follows and we wish to give credit to Robert Beebe (Voyaging under power), Ted Brewer, (Understanding Boat Design), Pat Bray and Ocean engineering for their work on the subjects. Some of their hard-earned, published research data is included in our summary below.
The advantages of twin keels are many, as proven in test tanks and the oceans of the world. Their only disadvantage, as far as we can determine, is they cost more to build and you have to be more precise in your design work. If you are careful, and love quality products, neither of these are a significant obstacle.
- A. With Velocijet Strut Keels©, the wave train caused by the canoe body reshapes to change and reduce the fore and aft crests of the yacht’s wake. At hull speed, a “hollow” will form about amidships on most boats. You can try your own boat and observe this action. Just run it between 7-9 knots and observe the hollow area between the bow wave and the stern wave. Properly designed strut keels in the proper location, will cause a wave to form in this hollow. This wave tends to cancel out the stern wave (which is aggravated and enlarged by this hollow) and results in a reduction in the stern wave. This action causes a noticeable increase in speed for a given throttle setting. It is somewhat similar to the action of a bustle on an ocean racing sailboat or a properly designed bulbous bow on a displacement cruiser. In our design, we wanted dual speed capability, very long range and economy at hull speeds with the ability to cruise at high speed with higher throttle settings. We could not accept this large hollow, typical of planing boats and semi displacement yachts, and hope to achieve the desired speed and economy goals. Nor, could we accept the huge drag penalty of a bulb at speeds over 1.4 X the square root of the waterline length.
- B. The typical deep plunging of ordinary yachts is decreased by the stabilizing action of the Velocijet Strut Keels©. They are very effective at dampening rolling motion and the effect increases with speed. They provide the extra benefit of generating lift in the after sections of the yacht which reduces the need for extreme angles on trim tabs. They reduce squatting, which further decreases the wake, and, therefore, decreases frictional resistance caused by the wake. The Marlow Explorer at sea is a joy to operate as numerous independent experts testify.
- C. Velocijet Strut Keels© become more and more effective as the yacht heels in a seaway. They generate enormous lift when the yacht is heeled. The full forward sections of the yacht cancels the tendency to depress the bow. The leeward strut keel goes deeper in the water as the yacht heels, and the deeper it goes the more lift it generates.
- D. Hydrodynamicists (and all racing sailors) have known for years that a large drag reduction could be accomplished if one could keep the water flowing under the yacht from spilling across the tip of the keel to the opposite side. This water spilling over the keel bottom, regardless of the size or shape, creates vortices which increase drag. Take a close look at the tip sections of the Velocijet Strut Keels© and you will see the answer to this problem. The bulb-like end of the Velocijet Strut Keel© will force the water upward toward the root section of the keel where it is forced aft at very high speed into the propeller slipstream. That’s the whole idea. We don’t want to carry the water around with us; we want to let it slip by the yacht with minimal disturbance. If you have flown in a large passenger airliner recently, you may have noticed the “tiplets” on the ends of the wings. These “tiplets” act as end plates to reduce these drag-producing vortices. Considerable performance gains have resulted from fitting these devices to aircraft.
- E. Velocijet Strut Keels© increase speed with a given throttle setting. This is due to the greatly reduced wetted surface compared to a large central keel and exposed shafts, large struts and other paraphernalia.
- F. Directional stability is greatly enhanced. This has been proven in tank tests, model tests and real life yachts.
- G. Rudder size can typically be reduced which further lowers drag, reduces power requirements and promotes better economy. The scientific reason is that the water is “shaped” to meet the rudders by the smooth foil design of the Velocijet Strut Keels©. The water strikes the rudders at a much better angle compared to the angular vortices generated by a large main keel and the disturbances of exposed shafts and rudders. As the rudders are directly in the propeller thrust, any reduction in size significantly reduces drag. A rough starting point for rudder size reduction is 15%. This change substantially reduces drag.
- H. The ability of the yacht to go to weather, or up sea, is greatly enhanced. The reason for these phenomena is the simple fact that Velocijet Strut Keels© dampen roll and pitch moment by their generated form stability. Research shows there is substantial pitch dampening and any reduction in pitch and roll translates directly to reduced fuel usage, increased comfort for passengers and increased performance for the yacht.
- I. Stability is equal to yachts with extreme beam without suffering all the detrimental effects of an extreme beam. Righting moment is enhanced, which, once again, gives a more comfortable ride.
- J. With Velocijet Strut Keels©, the boat can take groundings and stay level, while protecting the running gear both from groundings and water borne debris like logs. On a large, central keel yacht, it is a fallacy to believe the central keel will protect the gear from anything other than a minor grounding. When a deep keeled yacht goes aground, it heels way over. It will look like the character on the tricycle on the popular television show “Laugh In” of a few years ago. It goes along and all of a sudden careens over, usually damaging the rudder, prop, and sometimes the shaft.
So, why does the industry continue to pursue old technology? Frankly, we have wondered the same thing many years. The old status quo, or “fat and happy” syndrome probably explains it. It is a lot of work to do the research and development and they have orders in hand for the old stuff now, so why bother. That mentality is personified by many large companies in the marine industry who continue to use common polyester resin in their laminates when the evidence is clear it blisters easily, is a poor adhesive and emits volumes of harmful chemical vapors into the ozone layer.
Of necessity, this discussion is less technical than required for a thorough examination of the complex issues surrounding the hydrodynamics of Velocijet Strut Keels©.
We hope it sheds a bit of light on the subject for you. We will continue to think with a “clean sheet” and pursue innovative answers to complex problems.
TECHNICAL INFO ♦ Fuel Efficiency
Our efforts in reacting to the probability of increased cost of fuel has been a relentless pursuit of technology resulting in yachts that are roughly twenty percent lighter than a single skin solid laminate of materials normally seen in “heavy” displacement yachts.
We embrace Kevlar and other highly engineered fabrics specifically designed to absorb the loading seen on board a yacht on any sea. We further refine that technology by infusing a SAN foam sandwich, resulting in an I-Beam like cross section of the hull laminate. To maximize the enhanced strength characteristics of this virtually bullet proof technology, we utilize modified epoxies that are matched to the strength of the individual fibers selected. It would be of little or no value to laminate these exotic high strength fabrics with a common polyester resin whose ultimate yield strength is only a fraction of the surrounding fabrics. In other words, the resin would fracture and fail long before the enormous strength of the fibers was utilized.
By embracing this advanced technology, we are able to reduce the weight per square foot of laminated area significantly, while producing a laminate far more rigid than a common single skin of roving, chopped strand mat and polyester resin. Were one to design a single skin laminate equal in strength to sandwich construction, the weight of the total laminated component would be several times that of cored construction utilizing today’s materials and technology. In lieu of attempting to build such an outrageously thick laminate with its attendant liabilities, most manufacturers reduce the unsupported panel size by elaborate stringers and framing to reinforce the physically weaker panel. This leads further into the rapidly escalating domino effect of more weight, less usable volume for a given size and a much more restrictive layout choice due to the need for additional framing, bulkheads and gussets, to say nothing of the loss of valuable sound and vibration dampening the sandwich construction brings.
Since fuel usage is directly tied to the mass that must be moved, all things being equal, it behooves us to reduce unnecessary weight wherever possible. In so doing, the canoe body draft can be and is reduced by simple immersion data; e.g. for each 64 lbs of additional weight on board, one cubic foot of immersed surface must be added to carry it.
Other benefits that are part and parcel of the quest for lighter structures are the automatic lowering of the center of gravity of the yacht. Weight above the center of gravity of a yacht could never be described as a benefit under any condition. Since the center of gravity on a well designed yacht fifty or so feet in length is typically only 3-5 feet above the design water line, a bit of simple mathematics shows us the detrimental effect of raising the center of gravity. In comparing a heavy solid laminate that has been unequivocally shown to be weaker for a given laminate schedule compared to a cored one, the superstructure with its large amount of framing can weigh up to 50% more than a modern cored structure. This additional weight must be carried by the propulsion system at higher horsepower and therefore additional fuel cost. To further evaluate the effect of older technology still in use, if the center of gravity is raised by only one foot, a very serious reduction in form stability results. Our own data suggests that much or all of the original economy achieved by the rounded sections can be lost if additional active stabilization is required for comfort, since active stabilizer fins work by throwing a large fin in counter to the water flow past the yacht. This motion adds significant drag to the displacement trawler, with the figure increasing significantly as the sea conditions increase.
Since the righting moment created by the combination of heavy superstructure and round sections is compromised, the normal tactic is to load the bilge with iron or lead to act as a counter to the heavier superstructure and topsides. Once again the domino effect rears its head, requiring more draft to support the ballast and more horsepower to keep it underway.
The subject of ballasting a yacht is one that can provoke a lively point-counterpoint by those fully versed in the dynamics of roll moment and the pendulum effect. An example of that argument can be found in the disastrous Fastnet race where more than one dozen fine sailors as crews on ocean racing yachts were lost due to the complete rollover of their vessels. It is interesting to read the findings of the investigative committee regarding the frequency and severity of the capsizes. The conclusions reached were that even though the yachts were fully ballasted, the loss of the mast by violent winds or wild gybes virtually guaranteed capsizes. The obvious inference being that despite the enormous ballast far below the center of gravity, without the stabilizing effect of the mast to act as the pendulum so to speak, the yachts were not as stable as if they were constructed without ballast. That evidence certainly gives one cause to carefully consider a heavy topside opposed by thousands of pounds of ballast. If one can simply reduce the weight of the topside while increasing its strength dramatically by more advanced engineering and materials, it would be difficult to make a plausible argument against doing so, other than economy.
It is interesting to note the rapid move of US and other world government’s militaries to advanced composites or far lighter metals in superstructures of virtually all new ships. Reduced fuel costs, greater armament against enemy attack by utilizing higher technology and vastly increased comfort for the men and women who man the posts aboard. I am not aware of any new military designs underway today that embrace the full displacement theme. In fact quite the opposite, we see more and more Wave Piercer technology being introduced due to increased comfort, seaworthiness and economy of operation. I suspect that if heavy, deep and slow were viable concepts, our battle fleets would be made up of Bismarck like battleships typical of WW11 in lieu of the Arleigh Burke Frigates being launched routinely at Bath Iron Works
On the subject of economy, while there can be no argument that a well designed full displacement cruiser can, even with the liabilities mentioned, achieve greater fuel economy in a very narrow speed range, compared to the best semi displacement designs, this economy is rapidly lost if the captain finds the lower speeds to be inadequate. A well designed full displacement cruiser will achieve outstanding economy at Speed/Length ratios of roughly 1.1 times the square root of the water line length. If we assume a 58’ yacht has a waterline length of 49’, we find a square root of seven. Multiplying 1.1 times seven yields a real cruising speed of 7.7 knots. Any attempt to increase that speed runs afoul of a rapidly increasing resistance curve that can easily triple fuel consumption for a modest one or two knot increase in speed. An attempt to exceed a Speed/Length ratio of more that about 1.34 times the square root of the waterline length ( 9.38 knots) causes the full displacement design try and climb its bow wave, which it cannot do due to laws of physics, no matter how much power is applied. Even at S/L ratios of 1.25, a very substantial fuel penalty is incurred.
Considering all the above and numerous other factors such as the apparent shortage of leisure time our modern lifestyles have afforded us, it is our opinion that a more middle of the road design is a better choice. By careful design of the underwater appendages and canoe body shape, together with a meaningful weight study and advanced construction techniques, we can achieve fuel economy remarkably close to the full displacement design if we choose to operate the vessel in Speed/Length ranges of 1.1 or thereabouts. If we are willing to pay the additional costs or time dictates, we also have the advantage of speeds in the twenty knot range with comparatively modest horsepower. If we are willing to pay even more, we can easily power the yacht with larger horsepower offerings, taking the speeds up into the thirty knot range. Beyond this general area, other design modifications should be considered, as the resistance curve of the semi displacement hull for we have designed becomes less efficient compared to a flatter, more “hard” section shaped yacht.
In weighing all these factors and carefully considering the average number of hours the typical owner will use their yachts over a period of years, it is not difficult to see the time advantage versus relatively minor cost tradeoff that most have chosen.
What will the future bring?
In our view, the increased cost of fuel coupled with the unlikely luxury of more time will cause slight adjustments to current hull design resulting in reduced skin friction to enhance a yacht’s “slipperiness” through the water. A softening of the chines will provide some of this gain with relatively minor reduction in inherent stability. Further technological gains in structural strength for a given weight will allow the reduction of waterline beam, providing still more gains. Engine manufacturers will join the fray by continuing to improve B.S.F.C.
Development of alternative methods of electricity production will reduce the required fuel to produce a Kilowatt of energy, driving the cost down even more.
SOLAR POWER ♦
In Februrary of 2009, Marlow Yachts introduced the new ME 70E Mark II complete with a solar array installed. Marlow Yachts' commitment to the environment, and particularly our seas, have resulted in the formation of our award winning Green Yacht Manufacturing Systems. In conjunction with other high-tech, green companies we have developed a unique Solar Power Hardtop that contributes up to 1.5kW of green electricity in sunny climates. It is estimated that in latitudes of 26 degrees (Florida) the ME-70 can remain off the power grid and enjoy greatly reduced operation of onboard generators. Seamless integration of solar power into the ships electrical system is accomplished by use of advanced Monocrystal Solar panels imbedded in the hardtop of the Explorer and sophisticated controls to ensure the cleanest power signature possible.
The future of yachting in the southern climates will never be the same. Solar power is a cost effective and environmentally friendly way to supplement power to your electrical systems. While cruising, the new Mark II Series Explorer’s will see the most benefit of the new power configuration. The normal power requirements of a Marlow Explorer 70 underway is approximately 1400 watts, or roughly 1.5kW. This means that under normal running conditions the power for the ships systems could be supplied entirely by the solar panels, quietly and efficiently. This would reduce the generator run time and conserve fuel and generator hours. The savings in onboard power cost per kilowatt and generator maintenance can be enough to impact an owners bottom line operating expenses for the year.
Docked power consumption is also positively affected by solar power. The panels would be able to supply power for onboard appliances eliminating, or greatly reducing, the requirement for shore cords, battery chargers or generators. For yachts at metered moorings this means normal onboard usage is supplied by the solar panel in lieu of the electric grid, substantially reducing the cost of ownership and wear and tear on equipment. As this exciting new high output technology develops further, we anticipate supplying all or a large part of onboard power requirements for air conditioning needs and shipboard appliances.
Captain Bill Pike of Power&Motoryacht Magazine spent some time on the ME 70E Mark II to experience and report on the innovative Solar Array installed on this yacht. Here he examines the Monocrystal Solar panels in their intergrative intallation.
"It was a promising session. Although the array had apparently failed to produce the maximum 175-watt outputs our individual solar panels were rated for (most likely due to changing sun angles, cloudiness, and other meteorological factors), it had still averaged 125 watts per panel (25 volts x 5 amps) for a total outlay of 1,000 watts (125 volts x 8 amps). No wonder the lights were burning bright, the drinks were going down super-frosty, and Capt. Jack Sparrow was coming through gin-clear on the flat-panel TV."
Read his article on this technology and it's performance by clicking on the link below.