Propulsion and on-board energy provide many options to do what people have always done on boats and more besides
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Jay Fleming
You can’t have it all, but at least you can get close. A hybrid engine satisfies an approach that seeks to keep the use of a diesel motor to as little as possible, given that it is difficult to do without one entirely. Using a boat is synonymous with freedom, of covering a lot of distance and it is not yet possible to do that using electric power. The range from electricity has certainly improved with new technology, but that does not yet mean that endothermic engines can be eliminated unless you only intend to use a boat for short trips.
Hybrid is thus a solution that leaves no room for excuses. It is not yet a perfect solution, but it is the best of those available. Greenline is a Slovenian yard, which has adopted this concept way back in 2008. There is no lack of hybrid propulsion, and over time it has evolved and can now provide boats with better and better performance while keeping emissions as low as possible. Five elements make up the system: a diesel engine, the transmission, an electric motor with a generator, a lithium battery pack and solar panels.
Anyone who wants to can have their Greenline set up as full electric, but hybrid is currently the system which means you do not find yourself putting up with constraints. Let’s start with the traditional part of the system. The engine room has two 370 horsepower Yanmars with the in-line-shaft transmission. They are optional, as the standard fitting has a pair of Yanmar 250s. With the two 370s, I did a top speed of 24.3 knots and got to the plane at 12. So that gives a 12-knot spread of cruising speeds to choose from, going from 2340 rpm at planing minimum to 3850 rpm at top speed. Those are good performance figures, which are in line with a lot of cruisers that you can find on the market. What makes the 45 Fly stand out is that it does not use much fuel. To start planning you need just 50 litres per hour in total, and at top speed that gets to 146 litres. To do 20 knots, around 100 litres per hour is enough. That is thanks to the design and not just the engines.
There is a lot of natural light and two very spacious cabins. It is just a shame that the flooring has a few too many changes in level.
The J&J studio designed the hull and the waterlines and the overall construction seems solid and tough, but without being excessively heavy. Confirmation of that feeling comes from the bow wave, which is clean and does not bring up much water. What convinced me less was the helm, because it is very soft, to the extent that turning is an effort. And then there is the hybrid mode, which means you can be electrically powered. It uses the total power from a 28 kW electric motor which means you can go 25 nautical miles at five knots. The top speed is 6.5 knots, but of course, that does restrict your range. But the Greenline 45 Fly is more than just that. The upper section of the hard top is covered with solar panels and the battery pack has the latest lithium types. The standard size of the panels generates 0.6 kilowatts, but the optional version allows you to double the number of panels which means covering the entire hard top. That way, 1.2 kW is produced.
Having an inverter and battery charger means you can use all of the onboard utilities when you are at anchor, without having to turn on the generator. So essentially this system means you do not have to do without anything. If you want to use the diesel engine to travel, you nevertheless get good mileage, and with the 1,500 litre fuel tank the range touches 300 nautical miles at cruising speed. When you are close to the coast, or in protected marine areas, you can use the electric mode and cover 25 nautical miles at five knots. And finally, the solar panels and efficiency of the lithium battery mean you can use the onboard equipment throughout the day without noisy and annoying generators.
THE SOLAR PANELS AND THE VERY LATEST LITHIUM BATTERIES MEAN YOU CAN USE ALL OF THE ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES WHILE YOU ARE
AT ANCHOR WITHOUT NEEDING TO TURN THE GENERATORS ON.
The deck layout and interiors are driven by the search for balance. They are not excessive, but neither are they limited. The side decks are sufficiently wide, you can get around easily and they make you feel protected. The stern platform is the right size: it does its job without being too bulky. The bow is set aside for the sun pad and the cockpit for the living area. The usable part of the flybridge is moved aft, because the forward section, above the dinette, is taken up by two large solar panels, which come as standard.
That version does not have a hard top, and a traditional awning protects from the sun. Anyone who wants to get more solar panel capacity can go for the option with a hard top covered entirely in panels. The other positive aspect is that the presence of the flybridge does not weigh down the lines. That is also thanks to the minimalistic shaping of the windscreen, which protects whoever is lying on the sun pad, although not so much the person at the helm. Below decks, you appreciate the large amount of natural light that seeps in from the outside. There are two cabins, the master stateroom midships and the VIP room in the bow. Both have good natural light, in part because of the second row of raised windows, and both of them have a bathroom with a separate shower cubicle. I was less convinced by the floor, both in the dinette and the accommodation area. There are too many changes in level which means it is not so easy to get around.
The two 370-horsepower Yanmars do not use much fuel. 100 litres an hour in total is enough to do 20 knots.
SI-4275 Begunje, Slovenia
T. +386 4 5727734
M3 Servizi Nautici
Via A. Divizia, 1/F, I-17051 Andora (SV)
T. +39 0182 80180
J&J Design (naval architect and exterior design) • Marco Casali Design (interior design)
LOA 15.57m • Beam 4.57m • Draft at full load 1.10m • Full load displacement 13,500 kg • Fuel tank volume 1,500 l • Water tank volume 600 l
2x8LV370 Yanmar • Outlet mechanical power 272 kW (370 hp) • 8 cylinders • Swept volume 4.46 l • Bore&Stroke 86mm x 96mm • Dry weight 435 kg
Starting from 577,000 €, excluding VAT (November 2022)
(Greenline 45 Fly, hybrid or not hybrid – Barchemagazine.com – Novembre 2022)