The green shoots of change onboard Talitha
MY Talitha, the 1929 Krupp and Devonport, is probably best served to represent the navigation of change. During its distinguished service, it has witnessed shifts in innovation and human behaviour and seems fitting that she would be one of the bow waves pushing this transition into a new era of sustainability within the superyacht community.
While sustainability may not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking Superyacht, Captain Giles Sangster believes that the industry can be a leading light for others to follow. “Change comes from good direction and leadership. Therefore, it is our duty to act and lead well to influence everyone within our reach and drive forward a more sustainable yachting future.”
“It is our duty to act and lead well to influence everyone within our reach and drive forward a more sustainable yachting future.”
Giles’ perspective is part of a strong culture for sustainability that starts with the owners and captain, and resonates with every crew member. “The owners are very actively taking part in all sorts of environmental initiatives, and proudly promote and support our efforts onboard.”
This attitude plays a major role in decision making such as planning travel itineraries to minimise fuel consumption to the implementation of a number of sustainable initiatives onboard. Their latest trial at growing leafy greens for guests and crew is “limited but working well” and looking ahead, there are “ideas to refit one of our workshop areas into a greenhouse to support the yacht for some if not all our main fresh produce – fresh produce travels far and carries a significant environmental impact.”
“Think of the savings if Talitha could produce all leafy greens for guests and crew onboard. Leafy greens take up a lot of space, are short lived, and frequently perish only to be discarded. The technology required for a facility to grow seeds under natural sunlight is surprisingly small and simple to develop. To be honest, I am surprised every new yacht (and designer) over 50m LOA doesn’t have this as part of every design and sales pitch”.
The 80m LOA superyacht just completed a successful first yard stay on the 2,000t platform at MB92 La Ciotat for underwater paint works and the annual Lloyd’s inspection. Talitha has “built a growing relationship and familiarity between the yacht, crew and contractors with MB92 over the years” and the decision to undertake the work at La Ciotat, even under the cloud of COVID19, certainly paid off. “It is a beautiful region of France. Nicely secluded for a pandemic but suitably connected to cities and airports. Considering the circumstances, the facility and service was exceptional – very difficult to note any issues caused by the on-going global situation.”
The discussion naturally moves onto shipyard facilities and Giles is candid about the role that leading yards, such as MB92, play in the conversation for change. “Shipyards are the service centres for yachts. Therefore, they have a unique opportunity to develop, enforce and drive forward environmental policies that can only help influence environmental practises for yachts and educate Captains and crew.” In 2019, MB92 Barcelona installed sea bins throughout their facilities and Talitha were keen to support the project. “When we heard of the opportunity to be involved, we jumped at the chance. We support positively impacting changes to the industry.” However, there is much to do, and his advice is “don’t stop moving forward. Anything and everything in the right direction helps.”
Listening to Giles’ optimism and can-do spirit is infectious, and in a year dominated by the COVID19 pandemic, he chooses to see the possibilities and not the limitations. While “COVID19 has clearly affected and changed our lives, it is clear to me that we can all adapt to change”. It is hard not to be enthused by this approach.