Carbon Fiber Propulsion for Megayachts

By Eric Haun at June 08, 2016 14:58
Filed Under: Azimuth pod, Motor Yachts & Boats, Propulsion systems, Thrusters

Image: Rolls Royce

A new generation of high-performance lightweight steerable thrusters is the first to make comprehensive use of carbon fiber materials.

Developed by Rolls-Royce, these new propulsion systems, dubbed Azipull Carbon, were designed to provide lighter weight options for fast yachts, with further potential applications for passenger vessels and workboats, using carbon fiber material for load carrying parts to cut weight.

Roll-Royce said it has already garnered orders for the first thruster in this new series, Azipull Carbon 65 (AZP C65), via a contract with Italian yacht builder Benetti, who will include the composite thrusters in a new line of megayachts.

The contract covers a number of thrusters planned for delivery over the next three years and delivered to RINA Rules for Classification of Yachts. The first yacht, a 125 ft Fast Displacement called Ironman, has already been delivered, while the second and third hulls are presently under construction with delivery expected in the coming months.

AZP C65 is designed for a power rating of 2 MW and fitted with a fixed pitch, pulling type propeller (forward facing). The driveline is designed with two spiral bevel gear sets, installed in a supporting structure that ensures optimum load carrying capacity in all operating conditions. The thruster can be steered using a hydraulic system. An Automation and Control system, based on Rolls-Royce’s Common Controls building blocks, has also been developed to match the new thrusters, which each weigh 2,800 kg (dry).

Rolls-Royce said the new thrusters also facilitate a better vessel layout while maintaining high propulsion efficiency, excellent maneuvering capabilities, easy maintenance as well as low noise and vibration levels.

“Efficient and lightweight propulsion is key to reducing the environmental impact of a modern yacht,” said Vincenzo Poerio, Benetti, CEO. “We have been working closely with Rolls-Royce on a journey towards an excellent propulsion system for our new line of exclusive megayachts. The successful result of this collaboration has been confirmed by facts, indeed five units have already been sold and more units are already under construction to shorten delivery times and meet the increasing demand for this model.”

“This new development has greatly benefitted from the very good cooperation we have had with Azimut Benetti,” said Gary Nutter, Rolls-Royce, EVP Propulsion and Engines. “Their skills as a yacht builder and their engagement with us in creating the perfect vessel is an inspiration.”


Photo: Benetti

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