The Greenline 39 Hybrid represents a fresh start for the Slovenian yard, we put it to the test - hybrid system and all - in the Solent
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.
The decks are asymmetric so the starboard deck is deep, wide and served by a side door at the helm that makes hopping out onto the decks to help with lines a simple job for the skipper. The door, and aforementioned roof hatches, make ventilating the saloon easy despite the amount of glazing in the superstructure.
Below decks the master cabin is forward with a rather cramped twin guest cabin amidships, reaching back beneath the saloon. The master, though, is a great cabin that uses the usual Greenline trick of dotting windows around the coachroof to improve the view out and the amount of natural light coming in. Both share a well proportioned heads with a separate shower cubicle and the master benefits from its own ensuite access.
The hybrid technology plays a small part in the overall appeal of the 39. The long-term reliability of the system is yet to be established but if the claims ring true the electric motor adds something to the overall package that many rivals can’t. That aside, though, the 39 is a fine year-round cruiser with a dependable hull and useful turn of speed. It’s not the last word in quality but it’s fuss-free, practical and it works.
You can read the full on the Greenline 39 Hybrid report in the May 2017 issue of MBY.
If you can appreciate the hybrid system as more of a silent cruising aid over anything to do with fuel efficiency then there are some real benefits to enjoy. The boat itself retains Greenline's sensible attitude to boat design and is a practical, year-round cruiser