Hybrid On The Water
By Bill Parlatore
The Greenline 33 Hybrid is a cool, innovative boat that is a thoroughly modern integration of solar, shore power, diesel-electric motor, generator, and lithium-polymer battery technology.
My first impression is that this is a boat with a fresh, sleek design with contemporary European style. The layout is what one would expect in a boat this size, with the master in the bow, and the head, shower, and a spacious saloon on the main deck level. The transom lowers electrically to lie flat, enlarging the cockpit even more, ideal when at anchor and guests want to swim or simply enjoy the surroundings. The boat’s openness is also enhanced by large saloon windows, some of which slide open.
There is plenty of headroom in the interior, 6 feet 4 inches at a minimum, and the light-colored laminate and cool colors help create a relaxing, comfortable living area. The galley comes standard with a large fridge and freezer, a microwave/convection oven, and an electric stovetop. Stowage is sufficient, but not overly so.
The saloon is roomy and comfortable, and the double helm seat can quickly convert to form the back of the saloon settee. Access to the engine space is under the saloon sole. A movable hi-lo table can be raised or lowered as required and expands thanks to a flip-up leaf.
The Greenline hull has a sailboat-thin bow and a hull that gradually flattens out toward the stern. This hullform won’t achieve planing speeds but is very efficient under 15 knots. There is a very pronounced knuckle high above the sharp-edged bow, giving the forward interior volume and making the boat very dry as the bow cuts, rather than plows, through waves, which are thrown out to the sides.
The boat I was on is equipped with a Volkswagen TDI diesel engine rated at 165 horsepower, now rebadged by VW as a 150 horsepower engine, enough for a top speed of just over 12 knots during our test.
On just battery/solar power, we traveled at 4 knots (with a reported range of 20 nm)—not exactly fast, but cruising slowly among the winding rows of yachts and homes along Ft. Lauderdale’s New River, we were doing the same speed as everyone else, with a silent ride with no wake. Above 5 knots and the boat produces a wake. Electric mode is perfect for creek crawling and no-wake zones.
Running at 1700 rpm at 5.2 knots, indicated fuel burn was just 1.3 gph, or 4 mpg. And visibility is outstanding from the helm seat, especially with the aft bulkhead swung up out of the way.
When I pushed the throttle up to high speed, the VW diesel inside its sound enclosure (standard with the hybrid version) propelled us to just over 12 knots, the boat cleanly cutting into the confused chop of the Ft. Lauderdale inlet. In this mode the electric motor becomes a generator, recharging the lithium-ion batteries. The diesel powers both boat and generator simultaneously through a specially designed clutch.
Unlike a hybrid car, the Greenline 33’s operating modes are dictated by the person at the helm. Select diesel power, and the engine comes on, when you want to change driving modes, simply turn off the diesel and switch to the electric drive. Your iPad and helm instruments make the transition seamless, and the indicators on the monitor gauges go from red (diesel) to blue (electric).
Greenline North America, 877-500-1686, www.greenlinehybrid.com
: 10,500 lb.
: 132 gal.
: 79 gal.
: 1/150-mhp VW Marine TDI-150-5 diesel
: $330,000 (with optional hybrid power)
Gelcoat colors ($4,025); ECO-teak cockpit and side decks ($6,116); QL trim tab system ($1,925); Stern thruster ($5,950); Electric sliding glass sunroof ($12,075.) Editor’s Note: Performance numbers provided by builder.
Air temperature: 73.4°F; Seas: 1'; Wind: 8 knots; Load: 32 gal. fuel, 26 gal. water, two people, misc. gear. Speeds are two-way averages measured by Raymarine GPS. Range is based on 90 percent of advertised fuel capacity.