The Greenline 39 Solar is intended to be a coastal cruiser, with a hull that is designed to give the performance to operate at displacement speeds with diesel or electric propulsion with stability and comfort, or speed up to a semi-displacement hull speed to add flexibility to the cruising agenda, without sacrificing the ride. The efficiency of the hull, combined with the emissions-free electric propulsion, gives Greenline some substantial environmental credibility. The Greenline 39 Solar is the second-smallest of the five-model series of boats from Greenline Yachts, which range from the Greenline 33 to the 65 OceanClass. The Greenline 39 Solar uses the company’s proprietary “hybrid hull design.”
- • “Hybrid Hull” design
- • 110-volt electrical system allows use of household appliances, including air conditioning, a full-size refrigerator, hair dryer and more, without a genset
- • Available hybrid propulsion system
- • Fold-down transom/swim platform
- • Wide-opening aft bulkhead for indoor-outdoor feel from salon to cockpit
- • Smart use of natural light
Available Hybrid Propulsion
While Greenline boats are available with a hybrid propulsion system, our test boat didn’t have it. The hybrid system, which uses an electric motor linked to a diesel engine via a hydraulic-clutch system. The electric motor functions as a generator when the boat is using diesel propulsion, charging a bank of Lithium Polymer batteries.
When the hybrid boat is switched to electric propulsion mode, this is the coolest part: The diesels are switched off and the loudest thing one can hear are waves slapping the hull. It felt like we were adrift. Until we moved the throttles and heard the water start flowing by the hull.
The Greenline 39 Solar we tested has the same efficient semi-displacement hull that the company uses to make those hybrid-powered boats work in a range of conditions. The company refers to it as the “Hybrid Hull Design,” and this hull combines a few different elements: A plumb bow, a very sharp forefoot, hard chines brought all the way forward to knock down spray, a rounded bottom, and a propeller pocket.
The stern of the Greenline 39 Solar has a 15” (.38 m) platform, a walkway, really, with a boarding ladder to starboard. There’s a fold-down transom that forms a swim platform measuring 29” (.73 m) out from the hinge where it meets the cockpit sole. It’s 80” (2.03 m) wide. The boarding ladder is positioned so it can be used whether the transom is folded up or deployed.
The transom that folds out to become the swim platform is not hydraulically actuated, but instead deploys by a spring-loaded ram that pushes the swim platform out from its folded position. A line attached to the top corner on the port side unspools from a winch in the aft port bulkhead, and this power winch respools the line to refold the transom. There’s a stainless steel barrel-bolt-style latch on each end of the transom to ensure it stays folded.
With the transom closed, the cockpit is 6’6” (1.98 m) long and 6’3” (1.91 m) wide between the built-in seats, a full-length bench to port, and a corner seat to starboard. The hardtop overhang adds some shade with an overhead height of 6’10” (2.08 m) over the teak sole. Our test boat had a teak decking package that adds these teak surfaces but only where the deck is protected from the sun. In the sole is a large locker beneath two hatch lids that fold outboard, though there’s still a centerline divider that lets someone walk the tightrope to enter the salon with the hatches open. Under the sole, the Cummins Onan 5 kW genset, batteries, and other equipment are stowed. The genset through-hull, underwater exhaust, and other equipment is accessible here.
In the same hatch is access to the hydraulic steering system, a system of a single rudder behind a single prop. This old-school system has a distinct advantage, as our test captain showed. Thanks to a nut atop the rudder post beneath a deck plate, one can tiller-steer the boat as a backup to the steering system. We like that kind of thoughtful redundancy.
To either side of the aft bulkhead are large grab handles for safety in a seaway. The tinted, mirrored, all-glass aft bulkhead has a door on centerline that slides to starboard. To port, the top section of the mirrored bulkhead swings up on gas-assisted rams, opening the aft galley counter in the salon to the cockpit and creating indoor-outdoor space and a serving bar, thanks to a backsplash that folds down to serve in the cockpit.
Single Side Deck
The traditional shape of the Greenline 39 Solar belies some imaginative thinking, and, aside from hybrid propulsion options, the asymmetrical layout may be the most striking example. The deckhouse is situated to port, and there’s only one side deck that runs along the starboard side, 15” (.38 m) between the house side and the rail. The portside deck is 6” (.15 m) wide with 10.5” (.26 m) from the house side to the rail’s edge. While the port side can be transited in a pinch, it’s clear that the starboard side is the best way to get around the boat. The overhang that shades the cockpit also covers its aft end, supported by a fashion plate aft with a glass insert.
Forward, there’s a side door to the helm station to simplify shorthanded docking. The side deck has a step up just forward of the helm door, then two additional steps up to the foredeck. The side deck is protected by substantial bulwarks and the side rail starts rising just about where the helm side door is, providing comfort and protection for crew moving forward to the foredeck.
The broad, round-edged foredeck has nonskid all around a trunk cabin topped with a cushion. There’s a cutout cushion section that allows the hatch in the forepeak stateroom to be uncovered. An anchor sits on a roller pulpit, and the rode runs through a windlass.
The salon has a galley to port with a stand-up fridge to starboard just inside the sliding door in the aft bulkhead. The overhead aft is upholstered in vinyl and has both direct and indirect LED lighting. Our test boat was finished in golden teak (white oak and walnut are also available). With that galley window open, the airy space from helm station to cockpit is unified with the cockpit.
The galley consists of an L-shaped counter at the aft end of the salon, convenient to the cockpit. The counter has a sink recessed into it on the port side, and a two-burner induction cooktop on the aft side. Greenline provides induction-ready cookware to use on the cooktop. Beneath the counter and overhead and above along the port side bulkhead are lockers to stow food, crockery, utensils and glassware, and the drawers are all soft close.
On the starboard side forward of the fridge is a built-in console with locker stowage and above is a large side window. A popup flat screen TV emerges from that console at the push of a button. The joinery and finishes throughout the Greenline 39 Solar are impeccable.
Forward of the galley is a U-shaped lounge with a dining table. Our lounge had vinyl upholstery and a fixed solid-wood table. Leather upholstery is available as an option, as is a hi-lo pedestal for the table, which makes this lounge area convertible to a berth for overnight guests.
The forward end of the salon has a helm station to starboard. The helm console is covered in non-glare flat-finish vinyl, and has a nicely finished wood-and-stainless wheel at its center. Autopilot and Yanmar engine displays flank a touchscreen Raymarine multifunction display on the high helm panel, the lower panel, at a shallower angle, has switches for the electrical systems, all labeled with universally understandable icons, a system display, joystick controls for the Quick bow and stern thrusters, Bennett trim tab controls with LED indicators, a spotlight remote control, and the throttle-and-shift binnacle. On the front of the helm are the VHF to port and the backup throttle control to starboard.
An angled footrest below helps the driver find a comfortable position, and it also flips down to serve as a raised platform for shorter operators. There’s a fiddled bin that’s revealed when the platform is folded down, terrific for tucking a cruising guide or odds and ends. The platform prevents dangling feet for the operator and companion when seated at the helm. The door to starboard is a glass panel that slides aft, but there’s a high sill to step over to get to the side deck. There’s a trim panel to outboard of the helm, and it seems to encroach a bit on the space.
Our test captain found the sightlines from the helm to be excellent both forward and to the sides. It’s at the aft salon corners, where the refrigerator to starboard and the panel in the galley to port impinge on the view. But the helm door to the side deck solves much of that problem.
The helm seat is a fixed, two-seat bench with a one-piece fold-up bolster at the front. A two-piece bolster would allow the helmsman to stand at the helm while still allowing a companion to sit in comfort. The seat is mounted in a fixed position atop a cabinet that has the control head for a Fusion stereo and the electrical panel as well as battery switches.
The inverter control panel is located here too, which controls the charge that the solar panels impart to the boat. If the boat is being used, turn up the inverter to increase the power. If the boat is idle, turn it down to just allow a trickle charge.
On our test day, the Simarine system indicated the batteries were at 100% charge, even though our test took most of the day. During the time at the dock, the boat had the lights on, the 16,000-BTU air-conditioner running, and the full-size refrigerator operating, too. While the batteries would likely show some loss of charge if the second 16,000-BTU A/C were turned on, the South Florida sun was keeping up with the power needs of the boat.
The engine room is accessed through a large sound-proofed, insulated hatch in the sole of the main salon. The 370-hp Yanmar 8V diesel engine is flanked to port and starboard by fuel tanks linked with a large fuel line with valves at either end that allows the fuel system to self-balance, whether the boat is filled from one tank or the other in a crossover system. Fuel lines are all double-clamped as recommended by ABYC standards.
Through-hull fittings for main engine raw water as well as one for the air-conditioning system are easy to inspect and reach. There’s a fuel filter mounted on the forward bulkhead, with a secondary filter mounted on the engine itself. In the after section of the engine room is a fire-protection system, the underwater exhaust, and the hot-water heater, flanked by the water tanks.
Access to the lower deck is through a companionway on centerline to port of the helm station. Down three steps, our test captain found a two-stateroom, one-head layout. Forward is the owner’s stateroom. To port and aft is the guest double. The head is to starboard with a door for access to the forward master. There’s also a door at the bottom of the companionway for the head to be used as a dayhead.
The master stateroom has two berths that can be positioned as a V-berth or moved together to create a queen berth for couples. With an overhead height of 6’3” (1.91 m), the space is bright and airy, thanks to an overhead hatch, hull side windows, and also those windows around the foredeck trunk cabin. Light switches are placed in the overhead at the door. There’s 3’10” (1.17 m) of headroom over the berth.
A large hanging locker is located to port and to starboard are three cubbies, an inventive use of the space. The door to the head in the aft starboard corner. The master is also lined with storage in lockers above the hull side windows to both port and starboard.
The head has access from the master as well as from the companionway, so it easily serves as a dayhead. The finishes are all to the same level as the rest of the boat. A basin sink sits upon a vanity and a handy shelf ensures guests will have a spot to set down their dopp kit or makeup bag. There’s storage behind the mirrors as well as beneath the sink. A separate stall shower has a glass door and a European-style spray nozzle. The shower sole lifts easily to access the sump.
At the entrance to the guest stateroom, there is standing headroom and a place to sit on a comfortable chair that makes it easy to get dressed. A hanging locker stows the wardrobe. Twin berths slide together to form a queen berth. An opening portlight helps with ventilation as does a sliding panel in the overhead that opens into the salon.
The Greenline 39 Solar has a LOA of 39’6” (11.99 m) and a beam of 12’4” (3.75 m). With an empty weight of 16,580 lbs. (7,521 kg), 48.6 gallons (184 L) of fuel and three people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 17,477 lbs. (7,927 kg).
With the Yanmar 370-hp diesel powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 22.4 knots/25.8 mph at 3550 rpm. Because this is a “hybrid hull design”, she can run reasonably fast or slow and either way cut through the waves.
At 1250 rpm, she cruised at 6.4 knots with a range of 967.4 miles and 5.8 nmpg. At 2000 rpm, she cruised at 9.2 knots with an efficiency of 1.9 mpg and a range of 318.2 nautical miles. At 2800 rpm, she went 16.1 knots of speed and a range of 248 nm and a 1.5 nmpg efficiency. A variety of cruising speeds means skippers can have their pick of performance.
For acceleration, the Greenline 39 Solar had a time to plane of 5.4 seconds and a zero to 20 mph time of 11.2 seconds.
The Greenline 39 Solar is a single diesel coastal cruiser with a conventional shaft and rudder design. Her running surface is a rounded hull with hard chines on either side, and with bilge keels to help with stability and tracking. As mentioned, Greenline refers to this as a hybrid hull, which implies that it runs well at both slow displacement speed and faster speeds too, and we don’t disagree with that assessment.
At displacement speed, she tracked straight and responded well to controls. That open door to the side deck lets the driver really stay in touch with the sea and have a sense of what’s going on, lending ventilation on nice days.
We also checked out how the Greenline 39 Solar ran at higher speeds as well, since the boat is designed to be a coastal cruiser with semi-displacement speed. She topped out at better than 22 knots, tracking well and responding to the turns with a gentle inboard lean. Her semi-planing performance left no spray on the deck or windshield, thanks to the hard chine extending far forward, though, again, we had calm conditions on test day. When it gets rough, at higher speeds she will be wet. At displacement speeds she should be dry.
The single-diesel Greenline 39 Solar is easy to manage around the dock, with a good-size rudder working with the prop to put us in position easily. Of course, with bow and stern thrusters at the ready, the Greenline 39 Solar is simple to handle in tight quarters, easily rotating in her own length. The design recommends itself to short-handing on this couple’s cruiser, with the side door that allows the helmsman unobstructed sightlines along the entire starboard side of the boat. The open door also keeps one within easy earshot of crew on deck and dock, and lets the skipper leave the helm to tend to lines or fenders.
While her performance may not be what one would call exhilarating, there’s still fun to be had at a fast cruise of around 18 knots, which we consider a desirably speed for a cruising yacht. We could find no downside to the finish on the Greenline 39 Solar in finish or materials, and we liked the simplicity of the design.
We like the way this boat uses electrical power, which shows true innovation. 110-volt current is available throughout the boat to power appliances and provide many of the comforts of home, and without running a generator at anchor. The end result is that, after cruising under diesel propulsion to get to a secluded anchorage, one can use the electrical system to run the lights, the refrigerator, even the air conditioning, without a diesel generator running. The noise and smell and vibration are all over for the day, and just the sound of the breeze and sea lapping the hull remain.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Greenline 39 Solar (2018-) is 25.8 mph (41.5 kph), burning 19.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 72.29 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Greenline 39 Solar (2018-) is 18.5 mph (29.8 kph), and the boat gets 1.7 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.72 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 285 miles (458.66 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 370-hp Yanmar.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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