Tucked away at the back of Sterling Yacht Services’ boatyard in the centre of Port Bannatyne is a small but potentially significant pioneer: John Rushworth’s yacht, Elektra.
Elektra is the first sailing yacht in the UK boasting purely electric propulsion, built to the strict construction and safety standards of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
And while it might not be taking a huge chunk out of the country’s carbon footprint compared to the number of cars ploughing up and down Britain’s roads every day, you don’t have to spend long talking to John to realise how proud he is of his conversion of Elektra from diesel to electric propulsion.
“My background is in marine engineering,” he says, “and I used to work away on offshore wind farm transfer vessels.
“But my health situation changed, I had to come ashore, and I wanted to do something. It’s taken me a year to get this far: it’s a modular project, you do what you can afford and you build it up as you go along. And it’s kept me out of mischief.”
* To read the story of Elektra’s conversion in full, pick up a copy of the October 11 issue of The Buteman - on sale now.