Finland’s Baltic Yachts continued its streak of attention-grabbing sailing superyachts with the launch of the Baltic 117 Perseverance in 2021. The yard has made sustainability a watchword in its drive to create the greenest, most technologically savvy and sexiest sailing superyachts in the world. Perseverance continues this tradition at Baltic.
Dykstra Naval Architects, known for combining new thinking with classic looks, was recruited by the yard and owner to do the design work. Dykstra has pushed the adoption of the DynaRig as a sailing alternative while also being closely associated with the classic J-Class racing yachts.
“This is a beautiful and extremely well-detailed yacht for a very keen sailor,” said Baltic Yachts executive vice president Henry Hawkins. “We’re very proud to have built a yacht which so successfully blends traditional looks with the latest technology in superyachting.”
A quick look at the exterior of Perseverance backs up that statement. A Bermuda rig with cutter sailplan recalls yachts from an earlier era. The profile, with its plumb-bow, raked stern, timber-clad deckhouses, and high bulwarks, harkens back to the 1890s era of transoceanic sailing yacht design.
There’s no silver bullet to making a yacht completely eco-friendly” – Henry Hawkins, Baltic Yachts
The owner opted for a metallic bronze finish on the hull, which manages to be both surprisingly modern yet complementing the classic look of the deckhouses and deck finishes.
Of course, every sailing superyacht owner wants performance under sail (or they should). The carbon mast stands nearly 53 metres and supports a cutter rig. Southern Spars created the in-boom furling system, which also allows the main to be tensioned along the foot at individual points along the boom. This allows for even more precise control of the mailsail shape. The yankee sail is supported by a 3.8-metre fixed bowsprit in carbon fibre. The downwind sailplan covers nearly 1,600 square metres of sail – the equivalent of six tennis courts.
Reducing emissions with clever engineering
The superyacht industry has begun to explore alternative fuels to reduce emissions. But energy efficiency is often described as a “pillar” of any switch to fossil-free energy use. On Perseverance, the quest to conserve energy and fuel consumption covered every operation onboard, even apart from being a sailing yacht.
At night, a guest cabin aircon system set to a low temperature will slowly re-set to a warmer temperature overnight, thereby reducing energy consumption
“There’s no silver bullet to making a yacht completely eco-friendly,” said Henry Hawkins, “but by looking at energy usage, potential reduction for all systems and integrating the latest technologies, it is possible to make a difference.”
The list of ways in which Baltic Yachts sought to make Perseverance a clean running boat is long and detailed.
The yacht has a large bank of lithium-ion batteries that can be hydrocharged by a free-wheeling propeller while under sail. These batteries then power the 278KW Danfoss electric propulsion system.
The yacht’s two six-cylinder Volvo diesel generators are IMO Tier 111 compliant, low emission units and are PLC-controlled to ensure that they are optimally loaded. One of these generators can help power the electric motor for longer distances. The computer system aboard Perseverance ensures that the diesel generators run at full load when used for propulsion or for charging the batteries, which guarantees optimal fuel burn and lower emissions.
Air conditioning is one of the most energy-intensive parts of the hotel load on a yacht. Baltic Yachts used a system that captures the heat energy removed from the air by the aircon units and uses that energy to heat the yacht’s water system.
The air conditioning units are designed to reduce power consumption through clever programming. At night, a guest cabin aircon system set to a low temperature will slowly re-set to a warmer temperature overnight, thereby reducing energy consumption without awaking guests.
The crew can program the climate control system to reduce energy consumption by cooling cabins only as needed. Automatic lighting control as occupants enter or leave cabins also reduces energy needs. Even the seawater cooling pumps have features to reduce energy consumption.
Baltic estimates that its energy-saving measures would reduce diesel consumption by 70 litres per day, based on a typical week’s cruising in a warm climate destination compared to a traditional diesel engine and generator sailing yacht of comparable size.
On and below deck
On deck, the doghouse and deckhouse, coamings for the cockpit and companionways are all covered in a 6mm oiled teak veneer, which covers the lightweight carbon fibre construction and gives the classic yacht look and feel.
The cockpit is protected by a solid Bimini set on four telescopic pillars that can be electrically lowered with the press of a button. In 30 seconds, the Bimini stows into the coamings, creating a sunbathing area. It is also great while sailing, as it gives the helm excellent forward views.
A side boarding platform folds in and out of the hull hydraulically. A set of removable, lightweight carbon davits locate into deck sockets and can provide the owner with a quick getaway once he has arrived aboard by hoisting the tender over the transom.
Baltic estimates that its energy-saving measures would reduce diesel consumption by 70 litres per day, based on a typical week’s cruising
Down below, guests and owner are treated to a spectacle of wooden wonder. The interior design, by deVosdeVries design, continues the classic-modern combination by combining a palette of textured wood finishes and furnishings with light grey upholstery and large windows. The owner’s suite is forward, along with three double guest cabins. Crew accommodation for six has been set aft.
A large galley serves the below-deck dining area. They can be separated for private functions or connected for a more convivial experience. There is even an espresso bar fitted into one of the guest areas.
Given Perseverance’s world cruising capabilities and charter code, she could certainly be seeing guests from all over the world. Given her energy-saving credentials, she will be the envy of many sailors around the world as well.
Technical Specifications – Baltic Yachts Perseverance
Draught (Max): 6M
Gross Tonnage: 148GT
Hull: Composite/prepreg carbon
Electric engine: 1 x Danfoss Editron 280kW@800rpm
Battery bank: 200kWh
Generators: 2 x Volvo D7TA
Sails: Doyle Sails. Downwind sail area: 1,559 m2. Upwind sail area: 754m2.
Naval architecture/exterior design: Dykstra Naval Architects
Interior design: deVosdeVries design
Cabins: 4 guest / 3 crew
Classification: DNV-GL 1A Yacht Sail Battery Power