There's a growing interest in power options, for motor yachts and auxiliary sailing yachts alike, that are more sophisticated than the simple, traditional shaft drive. Fuel costs are a major factor driving this interest. While they're unusually low at the moment, they won't stay that way forever. And even if cost isn't much of a concern for you, range under power probably is—getting a bit of extra distance out of the same tankage volume can make a big difference to your cruising plans. Fuel consumption, though, is not the only factor that can spark an interest in more sophisticated powertrains. Perhaps you want:
- Lots of thrust at low speed for towing and for docking in tight quarters.
- Or the silent, odourless operation of an electric drive for poking around in quiet, unspoiled rivers.
- Or an engine that can provide an extra boost for motorsailing just as efficiently as it can drive the boat on its own.
- Or you just want to stop tearing apart your diesel to re-hone its badly glazed cylinder walls every time the thing acts funny. (Many yacht engines die from being used at low loads.)