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The Greenline 33 Diesel/Electric Hybrid Power Boat

Many people have a love of boating. But boaties tend to fall into one of two camps, sail or power - and the two seldom see eye-to-eye. Power boaties find yachts a problem because they always seem to demand right of way (even when not under sail!) and yachties turn their noses up at power boats for being noisy, smelly and so on - they call 'em "stink boats". But what if there was a power boat that could also appeal to yachties? There is: the Greenline 33.

By Leo Simpson

The Greenline 33 is a power boat but it is a power boat with a major difference – it is a hybrid.

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With a casual glance inside the Greenline 33 you'd never know it was one of the most innovative craft on the water – you'd just think it was typical of the many luxury cabin cruisers available. It's only when you "lift the lid" you find it's not quite as it seems!

In some ways it is like a hybrid car, in that it has an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. But the drive set-up is quite different to car hybrids like the Toyota Prius, Camry, Honda Civic, Lexus 450h and others.

Whereas most car hybrids can only drive a very short distance on electric power alone, if at all, the Greenline 33 can go for many hours when powered solely by its lithium-polymer batteries; 20 nautical miles at 5.5 knots in fact.

But even more impressive, it can run at about 2.5 knots under solar power alone. So while ever the Sun is shining, it can just keep going under electric power. And when the Sun goes behind heavy cloud or you want to move along faster, you can start the diesel engine and really motor along at up to 15 knots.

But while this boat can move at a very good pace, it does not have a planing hull and it does not gulp fuel when it is being pushed.

In fact, at low speeds its fuel consumption is similar to that of a 30-ft yacht when under power. Powered by the diesel alone, its range is up to 700 nautical miles. That would get you from Sydney to Hobart!

First impressions count . . .

As I write this, I have just returned from several very pleasant hours on Sydney’s Pittwater in the Greenline 33.

And while I came away from the trip with many impressions, the over-riding characteristic of the boat is its silence.

Under electric power it makes no more noise than a yacht under sail and even when running with the diesel it is very quiet. In fact, it can be called serene.

So as you can see, it can potentially appeal to yachties and power boaters alike. Yachties will particularly like its serene progress while power fans will like the fact that it just sips fuel while still being able to move along at quite a good rate when required.

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