The Prius of Boating: the Baylis Hybrid


This TreeHugger grew up on a sailboat, and had to read this twice to figure it out. The New York Times says "Like a hybrid car,the....vessel can use two means of propulsion. Equipped with sails and a diesel engine, it uses lightweight construction, efficient airfoil shapes and a streamlined hull". which sounds to me like a description of just about every sailboat over 20' long in North America. It has an un-stayed (no wires) mast with a wishbone rig, just like my dad's Nonsuch 30 from 25 years ago, and calls the rig "virtually self -tending", which they told my dad too, but I remember a big sail with a lot of mainsheet and I tended. The "composite hull" of fiberglass and balsa core is hardly new, and the airfoil shaped rudder and keel? When in the last millenium were they not? All the energy saving benefits and virtues seem to exist only in comparison to commercial diesel boats without sails, whereas people have always and continue to do research (and fish) from sailboats, many with diesel engines. Nice looking, efficient sailboat, reimagined for commercial use? Sure. "Hybrid" or "Prius of the Seas"? Hardly. ::New York Times


treehugger slideshows