Despite a Helicopter Pad, Greenpeace's New $23 Million Rainbow Warrior Ship is Greener Than Predecessors

Greenpeace/Public Domain

Ship ahoy! It's the launch of the third Rainbow Warrior and this one is greener than ever. It's not quite ocean-ready yet, so it was moored in London for a short time where it could be seen.

The ship is state-of-the-art, as it should be for the £14M (US$23M) that it is costing. The mast is 55 meters high and will carry much more sail power than usual for a boat of this size so that it can sail more and motor less. It will include systems to recycle the engine's heat and waste "grey" water, and a hull designed to minimise friction in the water, making it extra sustainable.

The hard coating on its hull is 100% free of biocides, the wood in the cabins is FSC-approved and there are onboard recycling systems and biological sewage treatment.

The mast design makes room for the radio masts, antennas, and domes that provide internet and satellite communications so that Greenpeacers can broadcast video from remote locations and tweet from any ocean. There is a video editing suite, a conference room, a campaign office, two fast action boats, webcams fore and aft and a helicopter hanger and helideck. The boat can accommodate up to 30 people.

Greenpeace/Public Domain

A bit of a surprise is the pad for helicopters, something associated with the private yachts of oligarchs rather than the environment. However Greenpeace defends it saying "If you're going up the Amazon to investigate deforestation, there are very few roads, so you need to have something like a helicopter to take aerial photos."

"The emissions from shipping are going up and are of increasing concern, so we have really got to think about how we can end our dependency on oil in this area," said Greenpeace's executive director. "This lets us provide a fantastic example."

Greenpeace/Public Domain

The boat is expensive but Greenpeace has almost 3 million members and contributions are high. This new boat will be the sixth in their fleet, which makes it larger than the navies of Madagascar, the Maldives and Mauritius.

Greenpeace is on a roll this week. They also learned that their lawsuit against EDF, the French energy company was successful. EDF had hired private detectives to hack into Greenpeace's computers in order to find out about their anti-nuclear campaigns. However a French court convicted EDF of industrial scale espionage, fined them £1.3M and jailed two executives. Greenpeace received €500,000 (£428,300) in damages.

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Tags: Boats | Ecology | Greenpeace