Royal Huisman, the 44m Juliet converted to a hybrid

After almost two hundred and fifty thousand ocean miles since her launch in ’93, Royal Huisman’s 44m cruising ketch Juliet returns to Amsterdam. This is where the yard’s refit services are based and will be working on her conversion for hybrid sailing.

Royal Huisman is not new to the world of hybrid propulsion: first the 58m/190ft ketch Ethereal (the world’s first hybrid superyacht, delivered in 2009), then the 52m/172ft ‘NextGEN’ Elfje, as well as a number of hybrid conversion projects (by Huisfit), including an as yet undisclosed 30m/99ft cutter.

royal huisman juliet

At the heart of Juliet’s hybrid conversion is a new gearbox, connected to the electric motor/generator. This facilitates indirect electric propulsion, either generated by the main engine or drawn from the new high-performance battery bank or generator. Traditional shaft drive directly from the engine is also an option.

The main engine becomes the primary source of power generation, but the system is configured to handle peak shaving of the batteries, for example during sail raising and manoeuvring, saving energy.

The propellers are also electrically driven and not hydraulic. The same battery bank will allow the ship to operate in silent mode, including air conditioning and utilities.

Under sail, electricity will be generated by the rotation of the propeller. Rapid recharging of the battery bank is provided by the electric motor/generator driven by the main engine or generator. At anchor, the energy from the batteries replaces the generator sets as the main power supply, eliminating noise and air pollution.

The Huisfit team is seeing increasing interest in these hybrid conversions. Attracting owners and captains would be the promise of a better quality of life on board, but also the intention to make a forward-looking investment in view of future global environmental regulations.

(Royal Huisman, the 44m Juliet goes green – Barchemagazine.com – June 2021)