- The Greenline 36 does not try to be all things to all men.
- It is a long-legged cruiser that aims to provide frugal family cruising.
- First impressions count with the Hybrid 36.
Innovation seems to be the keyword in yacht design today, and Greg Copp reports on an interesting example of this as he examines the pros and cons of the new Greenline Hybrid 36 …
Nowadays, resigned to either going slower or spending more, we expect that bit extra when it comes to living aboard, and Greenline seem to have subtly grasped this concept with their new Hybrid 36. That is not to say this is another floating caravan that packs in the accommodation and gadgets, because that is clearly not the case. Designed by J&J Design, the Hybrid 36 borrows from an old concept, but with a modern twist. I say ‘old concept’ because it has the flavour of a gentleman’s launch, combined with contemporary styling, clever design and modern technology.
My first glimpse of the Hybrid 36 was literally from the water, as it approached me while on board the photo boat. What struck me was how effective the vertical stem of the bow is as it cleaves its way like a First World War dreadnought. This is a slightly misleading impression as this boat does have a fair degree of beam for its size; it just doesn’t carry it down to the waterline for the first third of its length. It has to get its living space from somewhere, and like many modern cruisers, it gets it through some middle-length spread.
Driving it is a slightly surreal experience. I say this because as a hybrid it offers you that totally silent propulsion option. The 10kw hybrid drive located between the engine and gearbox will push you to about 5 knots in total silence. Fed by a 48v lithium-polymer battery bank, it has a range of around 20 miles at 4.5 knots, which out on the open water seems deathly slow. In the marina or on the river this is a different case. Having the world slip by at walking pace with the only sound coming from the water while sneaking up some deserted creek is a relaxing contrast after a day at sea. Electric motors are also capable of producing maximal torque from zero to maximum speed, making it very responsive when berthing, with the only noise coming from the bow and stern thrusters.
When the deep-discharge lithium battery bank gets too low, you simply engage fossil fuel and the hybrid drive then becomes a 7kw generator capable of punching totally exhausted batteries back into shape in 1.5 hours. On the coachroof sit two large solar panels totalling 1.3kw in output, which on a sunny day can extend the hybrid range by up to 25%. I am told that if you wanted to run purely on solar power you would be limited to just 1 knot – on a good day. The real bonus of the solar panels is that they can recharge the lithium batteries from full discharge to 80%, sun permitting, in one day. Alternatively they can maintain the 224L fridge/freezer indefinitely, without the power management system needing to dip into the battery reserve via the 3kw inverter.
For the open water the Greenline has two engine options: either the 220hp Volvo D3 with/without hybrid or the 370hp Yanmar 8LV-370 without hybrid drive. The D3 on the face of it seems underpowered for this 7-tonne boat, but it actually performs quite well. What struck me was the boat’s attitude at all speeds. There is virtually no discernible transition from displacement to semi-displacement speed. Having mounted an inclinometer, I was able to monitor what little bow-up attitude the boat displayed. It is evident that she is still running at displacement speed up to 9/10 knots, when she picks up 1 degree. This increases to just 2 degrees at 11.5 knots, which remains constant all the way to her top speed of 17 knots. Greenline refer to the 36 as having their fifth-generation hull – the product of extensive tank testing to produce efficient hydrodynamics and good seakeeping. This is the latest development of their ‘Super Displacement Hull’, which was first seen on the Greenline 33. Unlike conventional semi-displacement hulls it does not have a round bilge design; instead it has flat chines similar to a planing boat, a shallow-vee deadrise angle and a small keel protecting the propeller. The hull shape sharpens considerably going forward, and one could easily confuse it with a planing boat.
Being a new boat she had a very clean bottom, so one can expect a drop in performance by the end of the season unless you are disciplined over a mid-season scrub off, which I would certainly recommend. Unfortunately there was no means of monitoring the fuel consumption on the Garmin Glass Bridge chartplotter display. This was a shame as Greenline have made some ambitious claims over the efficiency of their previous 33 Hybrid, so I was keen to see how much fuel this boat really burns. Volvo’s figures show that the D3 will burn around 13Lph at 2500rpm, which equates to 9 knots on the 36, so at this unstressed displacement speed one can expect around 3mpg. However, pushing the boat up to 12 knots will see this drop to just over 2mpg. I will stress that these figures are estimates and it is not impossible that the boat will prove to be more efficient. My only comment is that as a 12m semi-displacement boat with just 220hp on tap and a length-to-beam ratio of 3 to 1, the performance figures I recorded show this hull to be fairly efficient. It is also worth noting that the 36 has a high displacement speed for a boat with a waterline length of 35ft.
Being a single-screw boat with one rudder, the turning circle is relatively wide. The lean-out effect that displacement and semi-displacement boats suffer from in hard turns is barely noticeable above 11 knots as a result of the stabilising lift produced. The boat was also pretty resilient to the beam-on swell that we were getting from the Red Jet ferries. Driving bow on to any chop produces a dry ride as very little spray comes topside. However, I did get the impression that had we been battling through some tough seas, I would have preferred the 4.47L Yanmar 8LV-370 to the 2.4L Volvo D3.
First impressions count with the Hybrid 36. No sooner have you stepped on board via the full-beam drop-down transom coaming, which becomes an extended bathing platform, than you are faced with the whole aft saloon window opening up to reveal the galley worktop. This highly innovative feature enables the galley to directly serve the cockpit – perfect for lunch at some sunny anchorage. The galley is spread across both sides, with the sink, convection hob and worktop to port, while the oven and 122L fridge freezer sit on the starboard quarter. There is a clinical neatness to the internal layout, which is enhanced by the light oak joinery, grey upholstery and the expanse of window space. I felt something was missing until I was shown a discreet button behind the helm, which had the television rising from a hidden compartment in the sideboard next to the oven.
When life heats up inside the Greenline you have the option of either opening the electric roof lights or switching on the air conditioning, which surprisingly comes as a standard fitment. On this matter, there is no generator, as all 220v appliances, including air con, are powered via an inverter fed from the main 48v lithium battery bank. If the battery capacity gets too low, the engine will kick in, powering the hybrid drive in generator mode, unless it is already running. This is the beauty of having a massive reserve of DC power, which, being lithium polymer, can be drained to the limit and recharged through countless cycles without damage. In the summer some of this power regeneration will come from the big solar panels.
The sleeping accommodation comprises two cabins – an under-sole mid cabin with two single berths and a double master cabin in the forepeak. The master cabin is remarkably spacious for this size of boat. It is very light and airy, and has a scissor berth set-up that can either be a double or two single berths. The heads is a sizable arrangement with a separate shower cubicle and full standing headroom.
Engine access is outstanding via a large hatch in the saloon, and all that extra cruising junk that you can’t do without fits in two deck lockers in the cockpit. Practicality and safety are also high on the agenda, as with an asymmetrical wheelhouse design you have a 15″ starboard side deck encased by a tall bulwark, which can be accessed via a helm side door – perfect for single-handed use. The foredeck is covered in non-slip decking, surrounded by sturdy guard rails and embellished with a deep anchor locker in which you can easily stash fenders.
The Greenline 36 does not try to be all things to all men. It is a long-legged cruiser that aims to provide frugal family cruising. Consequently it carries little surplus fat in the form of heavy joinery or a conventional generator– hence it manages a 7-tonne (dry) displacement. It does not scrimp on essential features such as a big fridge or large 700L fuel tank – necessary for it and its crew to stretch their cruising legs. It aims to be a serious sea boat, though I suspect it will require the bigger Yanmar engine option to fully demonstrate that in big seas.
Options & Upgrades
Incredibly the hybrid drive is £30k extra. This doesn’t really make sense as I can’t imagine anyone ordering a D3-powered boat without this. However, in contrast, to Greenline’s credit they fit air con as standard – something virtually unheard of. You can have golden teak interior over the light oak for an extra £3.6k, and venetian blinds will cost you a staggering £3k. There is also a dark blue hull option, which for around £9k is comparatively better value. Many of the domestic fittings, such as an electric toilet, are extras, which is naughty, but unfortunately this is often the case in this industry. Though this boat was fitted with Garmin electronics, there is a full Raymarine package available including radar for £11.5k – unless you fancy your chances with a sextant and a lead line.
Speed & Trim
RPM Knots Trim angle
1000 4.0 0.0
1500 5.0 0.0
2000 7.0 0.0
2500 9.0 0.0
3000 10.0 1.0
3250 11.5 2.0
3500 13.0 2.0
3750 14.0 2.0
4000 16.5 2.0
Top speed (wot): 17.1 knots (2-way average)
- LOA: 11.99m
- Beam: 3.75m
- Hull: Semi-displacement
- Displacement: 7000kg (dry), 9000kg (fully loaded)
- Power options: 220hp Volvo D3 (with or without hybrid), 370hp 8LV-370 Yanmar. Both on shafts.
- Fuel capacity: 700 litres (154 gallons)
- RCD category: B
- Test engine: 220hp Volvo Penta D3/hybrid on a shaft
- 17.1 knots (2-way average), moderate sea conditions, with 50% fuel and 3 crew
- As tested: £339,684 (inc. VAT)
- From: £281,000 (inc. VAT) with Volvo D3 (no hybrid)
- From: £312,000 (inc. VAT) with Volvo D3 (with hybrid)
- From: £300,000 (inc. VAT) with Yanmar 8LV-370
Inspiration Marine Group
Hamble Point Marina
Hants SO31 4NB