We’re cruising up the Beaulieu River on a 39ft, 220hp diesel cruiser and it’s totally silent. Okay, there’s the faint whir of an electric motor and the sound of the water rushing off the hull is a tad intrusive but, that aside, we are pottering along at 5 knots in near total quiet. Welcome to the Greenline 39 Hybrid.
Greenline and hybrid is a combination we have seen before but it’s no secret that the first generation of diesel/electric drives using the VW motor had its fair share of teething issues.
The new system is a collaboration between Volvo Penta and Siemens, which combines a single D3 220hp diesel engine with an inline 10kW electric motor. It worked seamlessly on test via the switch on the dash, simply flick between diesel or electric drive and use the Volvo throttles to control power using either drive system.
The truth is, the range is only around 20nm at 4 knots and even less if you slip along at full power, which doesn’t seem particularly useful on the face of it. However, in somewhere like the Solent, being able to blast across it at 18 knots and then switch into electric mode on one of the many rivers that feed it is a real treat. It was so still on our test day that it was even manageable to berth on electric drive, though the bow and sternthruster somewhat shattered the illusion.
If you’re not into the hybrid vibe then there is a 370hp Yanmar diesel option, though keep in mind that as part of the £30,000 you pay for the hybrid you effectively get a 7kW generator as part of the package.
What is the rest of the boat like? The deck layout is familiar Greenline with a drop-down transom (now activated via remote control) that becomes the bathing platform, a totally flat threshold between cockpit and saloon and a top-hinged window that opens the aft galley up to the outside space. It works well and the huge windows and standard electric skylights teamed with light oak wood make for a saloon that feels spacious and bright.
Read the full report in the May 2017 issue of MBY.