Rolls-Royce’s Tech-Forward Yacht Concept

The 203-foot Crystal Blue yacht and 138-foot support vessel Blue Shadow aim to enhance comfort and performance.

December 1, 2017

Rolls-Royce, looking to enhance guest comfort and performance without affecting the environment, introduced its 203-foot Crystal Blue yacht and 138-foot support vessel Blue Shadow as a dual-design concept at this month’s Global Superyacht Forum in Amsterdam.

Crystal Blue would use liquefied natural gas (LNG) — which Rolls-Royce describes as a relatively clean, odorless fuel — along with battery power in a system called SAVe-Cube for hybrid propulsion. Twin LNG-powered MTU 16V 4000 M65-N generators and a battery bank would provide 1 megawatt hour of genset-free power at port, the company says. Two Azipull thrusters would push the yacht to a top speed of 20 knots.

“Burning LNG has clear advantages over marine diesel oil for the yacht sector,” Henrik Alpo Sjöblom, project manager for the Rolls-Royce Blue Ocean team, stated in a press release. “There is no smoke, it doesn’t emit any unpleasant odors or fumes, and it meets stringent emissions regulations, allowing yachts to enter otherwise prohibited ecologically sensitive waters.”

Crystal Blue, Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce presents its 203-foot yacht concept Crystal Blue. Courtesy Rolls-Royce

LNG fuel does have range limitations, a challenge that Rolls-Royce says it addressed with the support-vessel concept Blue Shadow. It would function as Crystal Blue‘s LNG bunker, carrying fuel reserves to increase her range from 3,000 to 4,400 nautical miles.

Rolls-Royce also designed some unusual elements into the Crystal Blue concept. Her bridge deck, instead of being forward on the main deck, would be belowdecks, where the company says crew could monitor and control the yacht with sensors, cameras, displays and situational-awareness technologies. The system would be based on Rolls-Royce’s Unified Bridge design, which has technology that was used on a remote-controlled commercial tug launched this year.

Crystal Blue, Blue Shadow, Rolls-Royce
Crystal Blue is accompanied by the yacht support concept Blue Shadow. Courtesy Rolls-Royce

With the bridge deck belowdecks, the main deck forward could house guest accommodations with panoramic views. The aft deck would also be focused on the yacht’s 12 guests, with an infinity pool or beach; Blue Shadow would tote Crystal Blue‘s tender, helicopter and other toys.


A safe room aboard Crystal Blue would provide security for guests and let the 12 crew override controls and operate the yacht, or direct an onshore base to do so, in an emergency.

Also part of the concept: an “intelligent dynamic positioning system” for the twin Rolls-Royce azimuthing thrusters and TT1100 bow thruster. The system would secure the yacht’s position, sans anchor.

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