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Will hydrogen be the new 'wonder' energy source? - MarineBusinessWorld Oceania newsletter

by Peter Rendle 12 May 15:00 PDT
Emirates Team New Zealand's Hydrogen powered foiling chase boat undergoes sea trials on the Hauraki Gulf - May 2022 © Emirates Team New Zealand

While the debate regarding zero carbon emissions in Australia by 2050 continues, the need to find alternative power solutions to accommodate those targets is still under review. There is continued evidence that hydrogen may play an increasing role in finding a solution. The marine industry has already introduced hydrogen power on a number of vessels and this week we received an update from New Zealand regarding an America's Cup chase boat.

Emirates Team New Zealand have been continuing the successful commissioning and testing of their hydrogen powered foiling chase boat 'Chase Zero' on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf since its launch just five weeks ago. The team have now run Chase Zero for 36 hours of motoring so far and over 1042km (562.6 nautical miles) have been covered on the water, with the only emissions of its operations being pure water.

Chase Zero Operations Coordinator Nick Burridge, who has been overseeing the on-water operations program, has been quietly impressed with Chase Zero's performance. "Our hydrogen powered chase boat is cutting edge technology, so like we do with our race yachts we have been cautiously stepping it through the commissioning process. But in saying that, we have progressed through it quite nicely and really ticked off some key milestones, some of which have really exceeded our expectations."

Sustainability has become an integral part of our vocabulary these days and it was interesting to hear how industry member Navico has joined the current trend. Navico, a division of Brunswick Corporation's Advanced Systems Group, announced it has joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) as a Supporter Member this month, becoming the first company focused on marine electronics to join the world's largest industry coalition dedicated to corporate social responsibility in global supply chains.

"We are a strong believer in the vision and mission of the RBA, which continues to drive sustainable value for workers, the environment and business throughout the global supply chain," said Tara Norton, Chief Sustainability Officer at Navico. "We joined the RBA due to their experience, extensive tools and member network, to support us as we begin our journey to influence the sustainability performance of our value chain."

As the marine industry continues to expand in Australia, shore-based maintenance support is increasing its ability to service clients. In Queensland, The Boat Works is set to welcome a new ship lift, the Italian-built BL90 Telescopic Boat Lift, the first of its kind in Australia. The BL90 represents the latest in boat lift ingenuity with several unique features allowing for versatile options for set down, including a hydraulic cross beam that enlarges or decreases the overall machine's footprint to suit, maximising the set down footprint. Mechanical pivoting and all-wheel 90-degree steering allow the boat lift to spin 360 degrees on the spot and 'walk' sideways - ideal for adapting to wide and narrow boats and for parking in tight places.

An interesting communication was received from Inmarsat this week regarding superyacht cyber-crime. Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has launched Fleet Secure Unified Threat Management (UTM), as a standard option on Inmarsat's award-winning Fleet Xpress service, protecting superyacht networks against cyber attacks. Fleet Secure UTM completes a portfolio of Inmarsat cyber security solutions for superyacht owners and managers, which includes Fleet Secure Endpoint and Fleet Secure Cyber Awareness Training.

Developed in partnership with maritime Cyber Security specialist Port-IT, the resilience of Fleet Secure UTM protection is based on its consolidation of multiple network security tools in a single application. With cyberattacks on global businesses increasing by 40% in 2021, Inmarsat reports a tripling in data used by the average vessel since the onset of Covid. The growth reflects extra demand for crew connectivity but also increasing use of data to monitor vessel performance, optimize decision-making and support predictive maintenance.

Further news from exhibitors at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show next week includes Windcraft. With the welcome return of boating events, Windcraft is looking forward to exhibiting an exciting contingent of their highly-regarded brands at this year's show on the Gold Coast, from 19-22 May. If you are planning to go, please stop in and say Hi at their stand on Pier F on the marina. They invite you to inspect the six superb power and sailing models they will have on display. Please set up a meeting with their sales team from Australia or New Zealand.

Also at the show, Riviera will proudly host three premieres among a spectacular 12-model showcase. Headlining is the majestic new flagship 78 Motor Yacht, a new class of yacht for Riviera, delivering the perfect combination of family cruising, entertaining and blue-water passage-making capabilities, all in ultimate luxury and exceptional comfort. In a demonstration of innovation and design across its exceptional 24-model collection, Riviera will also showcase two additional premieres - the sophisticated new 4600 Sport Yacht Platinum Edition and another new yacht yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, from the sailing side of the industry, an opportunity to become a boat builder: Nacra Sailing and the International Nacra 17 Class Association welcome interested parties to become licensed builders. They are seeking excellent boatbuilders to join the existing builders to help supply the best of top-flight Olympic sailors worldwide. Builders should review the application overview and formally apply by June 30, 2022 to ensure successful bidders can be ready to supply the fleet for the LA 2028 quadrennial.

While it's aimed at the commercial shipping industry in this country, the Australian Major Haul Out, Refit and Maintenance Directory provides a handy information source for any large marine vessel including superyachts and ferries. The Australian Commercial Marine Group (ACMG) is pleased to announce the release of a new publication on haul-out facilities in Australia. The directory delivers detailed information on marine service providers with major haul-out capabilities located around Australia who service commercial vessels.

Presented on a state-by-state basis with location, types and number of lift options available, it also includes key information such as maximum tonnage and length capacities. The directory will provide easy access to core details for vessel operators when they are planning to haul out for annual refit and maintenance work.

More industry news is available at

Stay safe and dry!
Peter Rendle -

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