Glimpse Into the Future of Yachting at the Maritime Museum in Falmouth

Usually the pontoon outside the Maritime Museum in Falmouth Cornwall is home to historic yachts and boats from the past, but from 29 June to 1 July, visitors to the museum will be able to get a glimpse into the future of yachting

Moored on the pontoon will be what appears to be a standard cruising yacht, but you should never judge a boat by its cover.  Look below decks and visitors will discover that it houses a state-of-the-art hybrid propulsion system – the most advanced of its kind in the world.

Armorelbias been converted to hybrid propulsion as part of an EU funded research project called HYMAR (Hybrid Marine).  She is being used as a floating laboratory to test the latest developments in hybrid technology, a system which provides a mixture of electric and diesel propulsion.  In harbour the boat uses electric drive and only switches to diesel once at sea.  The project is led by the International Council for Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) and has taken three years of work by nine partner organisations from six different countries across Europe.

Falmouth based Triskel Marine Limited (TML) developed the unique energy management and control system for the boat and the conversion was carried out at Mylor Yacht Harbour.

HYMAR Project Manager Ken Wittamore said: “The key objective has been to demonstrate that hybrid propulsion in small craft is practical and delivers worthwhile results.  Virtually all boats run on diesel fuel at the moment and we all know that it is a finite resource.  On the HYMAR boat we’re using cutting edge technology to minimise the use of diesel and maximise the use of electrical power.  To do this we are harvesting energy from the marine environment by using wind and solar power whenever we can.  Alongside we can plug in and use electricity from the grid to recharge our batteries. On a good day we won’t need to run the engine at all!”

“With Cornish firms TML and Mylor Yacht Harbour heavily involved in the project it’s great to have the opportunity to reveal our boat to the public for the very first time at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.”

Recent sea trails have resulted in some very strange looks from people ashore. Not because the hybrid looks different from any other boat but because it makes no noise.  Leaving port, she cruises along at 5 knots under electric power and onlookers are puzzled because while clearly moving the boat is silent.

The HYMAR hybrid will be officially unveiled to the world at the PSP Southampton Boat Show from 17 to 19 September, but for an exclusive preview visit the National Maritime Museum Cornwall from 29 June to 1 July.