LONDON: The superyacht formerly owned by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is getting a green makeover – of the environmental, not philosophical, kind.
British designer Rory Coase will lead the Che Guevara’s transformation, pledging to give it a new lease of life as the world’s first zero-emission high-speed luxury yacht.
His ambition is to install hydrogen fuel cells and an electrically driven pod propulsion unit beneath the hull.
Alongside the environmentally friendly redesign, it will also receive a new name: Hydrogen Viking.
The green tagline would have meant something completely different to its former owner Gaddafi, who famously set out his political theory in the “Green Book,” and turned Libya’s flag entirely green during his 42-year rule. The design was abandoned after his overthrow and death in 2011.
The boat had been used by his footballer son Al-Saadi as a “party boat,” Coase told Boat International, and the Norway-based building team had received it in very poor condition. The boat was badly damaged when it hit a reef in Malta in 2012.
“There was a big jacuzzi on the aft deck. When the boat hit the reef, the jacuzzi smashed right through the glass doors into the interior and flooded the entire thing,” Coase told The Times.
“Things like Gaddafi’s toilet remain, so we will hopefully be putting that online and selling it for a share in the project,” he added.
“There is something nice about taking something that was so notorious and turning it into a modern, forward-thinking, Scandinavian showcase for green technology.”