Eco-friendly Yachts: The first production motor yacht with zero emissions will be unveiled at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show at the end of October. The ship, the Island Pilot DSe Hybrid 12m, is powered by diesel fuel, solar energy, and electric power. The vessel is 12 meters long (39.5 feet) and can cruise at 13 knots on diesel fuel and 7 knots when in zero-emissions mode. A zero-emissions level is achieved with a 6 kW solar array and a 20 kWh battery bank. The yacht is the first-ever production motor yacht with zero emissions in America, according to Reuben Trane, president of Island Pilot, LLC.

There are so many reasons this boat makes sense in today's environment, said Mr. Trane. At a time with record high oil prices, we are bringing to market a product that will dramatically reduce the most visible expense of a recreational motor boat - the cost of diesel. The DSe's efficiency will make all the difference in the world when compared to other luxury yachts. Plus, she's ready for alternative fuels. The DSe's Steyr 'mono-block' engine runs equally well on bio-diesel [fuel].

The trilogy of technologies deployed to power the luxury yacht are provided by Steyr Motors' Serial Hybrid Propulsion System, Outback Energy Solar's controllers and inverters, and Enersys' Odyssey Batteries. While the boat is anchored, enough solar energy can be produced to operate the boat's essentials sans running a fuel-consuming diesel generator. Designing the ship with adequate horizontal space to mount enough solar panels played a significant role in its development.

This nearly 40-foot long luxury watercraft is the most eco-friendly yacht of the lot. The introductory price of a DSe Hybrid 12m is $600,000; Island Pilot is currently taking orders. The first green yachts are expected to hit the water in early 2009.

Visit or for more info.

For LxM James Rothaar