Ship & Boat International eNews: September/October 2020
2020 probably wasn't the ideal year to launch a new company. However, the yacht sector has remained enviably buoyant throughout the COVID-19 crisis. After all, if you have the means to spend lockdown on the waves, or socially isolate from the comfort of a sun deck, why wouldn’t you choose to do so?
Step forward the newly formed Alva Yachts, a German shipbuilder on a mission to design and construct environmentally friendly motor and sail yachts for an increasingly selective clientele. Milan Henn, Alva Yachts CCO, tells Ship & Boat International: “Travel restrictions, the slowed economy and almost no boat shows are only a few of the challenges we’ve faced because of the COVID crisis. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that we can be part of a new, sustainable economy after this recession."
Alva Yachts isn’t completely new to the sector: the group has grown from former company Pica Yachts, which had built and sold more than 40 electric-powered yachts by the beginning of 2020. Milan, along with his father (and Alva Yachts CEO) Holger, also heads up naval architecture firm Henndesign, and they are joined at Alva Yachts by MD and company co-founder Mathias May.
“Our shipyard in Bad Pyrmont can build up to four boats at the same time, depending on size,” Henn continues. The yard specialises in producing vessels in carbon-reinforced GRP. “The maximum size we can build at present is around 30.5m. We build the yacht interiors with a Germany-based partner who specialises in luxury business jet interiors. The interiors are built in state-of-the-art furniture workshops here in Germany, and afterwards assembled by our partners in Turkey.”
If Alva Yachts could be said to have a ‘flagship’, it may well be its forthcoming Ocean Eco 90 – a solar-powered catamaran promised to boast “virtually unlimited range", care of a 200m2 array of solar panels, rated 40kWp (40kW peak performance).
The hybrid version of the Ocean Eco 90 will be fitted with two 250kW electric drives and twin 456kW diesel engines. The fully electric version will rely on a pair of 500kW electric drives fed by a 360kWh battery pack, which will be powered by the solar panels and two diesel generators, the latter units delivering 100kW apiece. Should customers choose, the diesel generators can be swapped for two hydrogen fuel cells, to completely eliminate fossil fuels from the mix. Alva Yachts calculates that the Ocean Eco 90 will be able to attain a range of 100nm in battery-only mode.
In addition, Alva Yachts has designed a smaller sibling, the Ocean Eco 60, which will measure 18.4m x 10.2m and draw 1.2m. Depending on whether the customer opts for hybrid- or all-electric operations, this variant will feature a battery pack power capacity in the range of 150-250kWh, and its solar panel spread would be rated 20kWp.
Interior features for both Ocean Eco 90 and 60 types will include hydraulic balcony openings in the hull for VIP guests and the owner. “Furthermore, we will have a remote maintenance system for all our yachts that is operated from our HQ in Germany,” Henn reveals.
Ocean Eco 90
2 x 500kW electric drives / 2 x 100kW generators (all-electric mode) /
2 x 250kW electric drives / 2 x 456kW diesel engines (hybrid-electric mode)