Island Pilot has used this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to debut its new hybrid motoryacht - the DSe Hybrid12m. Combining diesel, solar and electric power (hence "DSe") and with wind-power to be added to the production model, the 40ft vessel can take advantage of a sunny day by cruising at speeds of up to six knots indefinitely using only solar power. Not only does this save fuel, it eliminates the rumble of diesel engines to bring one of pure-sailing's greatest attractions to the motoryacht format - silence.

The DSe Hybrid, which underwent water trials in China earlier this year, is powered by a twin Diesel Parallel Hybrid Propulsion System from Steyr Motors at the stern with the bow housing the 48 vDC battery banks made up of AGM-style deep cycle batteries from Enersys. In diesel mode the yacht achieves 13 knots and in electric mode, the permanent-magnet motors provide the silent 6 knot cruising speed. The hybrid system also means that there's no need to fire-up the diesel motor before casting off, in fact the company estimates that, if you're not in a rush, you can get up to 4 hours out of solar, wind and stored battery power before requiring the diesels, which in keeping with the design philosophy, are housed in sound-deadening enclosures.

The DSe 12m will also be equipped with a pair of omni-directional, 1.5 kW wind turbines that will produce energy whenever the wind is in excess of 8 knots.

The structural design of the 39’ 6” x 17’ 0” x 35” craft ensures the maximum amount of horizontal area on which to mount the 6 kW Solar array, a system that also provides power for air conditioning and on-board electrical appliances like the entertainment system, fridge and microwave.

The comforts of home are not overlooked either. The yacht includes the amenities of other luxurious cruising yachts such as an on-deck master stateroom with a forward-facing queen-sized “sleigh bed” and a 270 degree panorama view provided by 30” high windows on three sides. Other features include an extensive dressing room, a guest room with ensuite, dressing room and island queen bed, a spacious “great room” and galley, two couches and a 26” HDTV with Bose home theater system.

The bridge of the yacht can seat up to eight, while those in charge can sit on twin helm chairs at the centerline console. Technological amenities include a Garmin 15” touch screen with HD radar, Tecnautic “Fly by Wire” controls and gyro autopilot, four zones of air conditioning, hi-tech refrigeration with ice maker, and a KVH Satellite TV antenna with DirecTV receiver.

Island Pilot is currently taking reservations for sales of the luxury USD$600,000 DSe Hybrid 12m and the company also has two new hybrid vessels in the pipe - the downsized, 12m SPRQ (“Solar Power — Real Quiet”) and the flagship DSe 18m which will include two forward-facing staterooms, a spacious eight person deck house, a gourmet galley with a breakfast bar and a bigger hybrid drive system. The SPQR is expected in 2009 with the DSe18m to follow in 2010.

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