Breath of nature

Breath of nature

Feadship's "Biological Concept"

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For the fifth year in a row, at the opening of the Monaco Yacht Show, Feadship and its designers from De Voogt Naval Architects present another stunning design project in the Feadship Future Concept series - each time a new one. This year, the company's next breakthrough in innovation and progressive thinking is called Breathe. In many ways, it is the most daring project to date. In the Breathe design, based on the bionics concept, many of the witty natural mechanisms are reproduced in the context of a superyacht for the first time ever.

Bionics studies the principles of functioning of living things and plants and how these principles can be applied to engineering tasks. The Dutch shipyard Feadship has used this approach as widely as possible in developing Breathe. The boat's design includes natural ventilation and cooling systems, solar panels made from natural materials and natural lighting for interiors using light guides. Sealed wedge-shaped hull rims are also designed to increase the efficiency and economy of the boat.

The 2009 'Future Feadship' project called Aeon has proven that building a motor yacht with minimal environmental impact is possible. The Breathe concept goes even further in this. It shows how renewable energy can be used to reduce the cost of ownership of a yacht. The carefully designed Breathe propulsion system - with a minimum of parts and reduced energy consumption for both boat movement and life support - proves that environmental responsibility and economic benefits are not mutually exclusive. Research shows that this is, after all, the key argument after which owners begin to think about ecology.

Breathe's first sketches were based on simple lines, often found in nature. The designers specifically tried to create a calm, solid image, not cluttered with an abundance of unnecessary details. Breathe glass shells perform the same function as animal skins, protecting the yacht and passengers from the weather. They regulate the temperature on board and absorb sunlight, while their transparency keeps the boat occupants in contact with the outside environment.

The name of the boat, which translates as "Breath", indicates the natural ventilation system on board. Its principle of operation is borrowed... from a zebra! As it turned out, the black and white stripes on the zebra skin contribute to the fact that the air close to the animal's skin heats up differently. Due to the difference in temperature, a small air circulation is created which cools the skin and allows the zebras to feel comfortable even in the midday baking of the savannah. In the Breathe project, the natural air flow through the outer decks is created by a combination of a light hull and dark shells and chimneys. This improves ventilation on board and allows less use of air conditioning.

Just as the hide serves as an animal's thermal insulation, the air between the glass shells is used at Breathe as an insulating layer between the heated air outside and the coolness inside. Again, just like in nature, many functions are combined here. In addition to solar protection and weatherproofing, for example, the casings also serve as solar panels, feeding the boat's on-board systems.

The Breathe propulsion system is notable for its simplicity and minimum of components. Unlike most conventional yachts, Breathe costs only one engine and propeller shaft. Even the generators on it are only two together with the usual three. Nevertheless, the authors of the project guarantee high reliability of the boat.

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