The World’s First Superyacht to Use Methanol Fuel Is Now Cruising the High Seas

Sanlorenzo made marine history over the weekend.

The Italian yard launched a new 164-foot steel superyacht with an innovative green methanol fuel cell system during an exclusive event in La Spezia on Sunday. The inaugural 50Steel, christened Almax, will be the first yacht in the world to use methanol fuel cells to produce emissions-free power for the hotel load, according to Sanlorenzo.

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“With the launch of the 50Steel, Sanlorenzo celebrates a fundamental milestone in its history, in the spirit of innovation and sustainability,” chairman and CEO of the Sanlorenzo Group Massimo Perotti said in a statement. “The new line of superyachts embodies the pioneering spirit and passion for challenges that have always guided us in the design and construction of our fleet.”

Sanlorenzo 50Steel Superyacht
The launch of the 50Steel in La Spezia, Italy.

Developed in partnership with Siemens Energy, the modular reformer fuel cell system first transforms biomethanol, a.k.a. green methanol, into hydrogen and then into clean electrical energy, meaning no hydrogen needs to be stored on board. The setup can generate up to 100kW, with the engines and diesel generators turned off. Sanlorenzo estimates the system will cover about 90 percent of the typical usage time of a superyacht with zero emissions. In terms of grunt, the 50Steel will be powered by MAN engines that enable a max speed of 16 knots, a cruising speed of 12.5 knots, and a range of 4,000 nautical miles at 11 knots.

Sanlorenzo 50Steel Superyacht
The steel hull.

In addition, the new 50Steel will feature an industry-first Hidden Engine Room (HER) that increases the amount of living space while keeping the yacht under 500 GT. The engine room, which typically covers two levels, has been cleverly integrated into the under lower deck with the propulsion systems spread out horizontally. The HER has created more square footage on the lower deck in which Sanlorenzo has added an Ocean Lounge.

With exteriors by Zuccon International Project and interiors by Piero Lissoni, the 50Steel showcases five staggered decks, clean, sleek lines, and that classic Sanlorenzo elegance. The main deck is home to a spacious salon and a dining room with ceilings that reach 11 feet at some points. The upper deck is outfitted with a second salon, while the lower deck features a gym, spa, and guest accommodation. (The layout includes four guest cabins and one owner’s suite in total.) In terms of decor, Sanlorenzo’s art director has created a sophisticated aesthetic with elements such as coffered ceilings and dark wood walls.

Sanlorenzo 50Steel Superyacht
The aft decks.

The exterior decks are nothing to sneeze at, either. At the aft, the sprawling beach club is equipped with a striking pool and three fold-out terraces that open to create more than 1,600 square feet of space at anchor. A second pool can be found on the sundeck.

The first 50Steel will be delivered this July.

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