Electric yacht builder Silent-Yachts becomes the first boat developer to date to design and build vessels for the use of a kite sail system. Beside carrying 42 solar panels for 17 kWp of solar energy to power two electric motors of up to 2x340kw, the new SILENT 60 catamaran is also fitted with a compact 9 or 13-sqm kite wing. With the help of a battery capacity of up to 286 kWh, the yacht can cruise with zero emissions solely on solar power for up to 100 nautical miles a day for weeks.
The kite wing and all its components (an electric winch and a short, collapsible mast), are housed in a dedicated storage locker under the foredeck. On the first unit the mast is connected by four shrouds to pad eyes on deck that distribute the forces through the hull structure, However, other 8 units with the kite wing option that have been ordered to date, will feature the mast mounted on a baseplate inside the locker to leave the foredeck clutter-free.
After inflating the kite, it is released overboard to drift away on the surface of the water. Pulling on the lines launches it into the air and once it reaches the optimal flight height, it starts generating power to pull the yacht. The automated app controls move the kite to a position right above the boat where it has the least pull on the line. From here it can be winched down electrically and collapsed over the foredeck ready for stowage.
The kite flies in much higher altitudes and therefore gets stronger winds up there. As it pulls the boat, it needs good steering capabilities, which are compromised by the fact, that on a motorboat the rudder is typically pretty small and the propeller big. As on a sailing boat it is the opposite, it makes it difficult to steer a motorboat that is being pulled by a kite, but by turning on the motors, and by letting them run at a low speeds of 100 rpm this problem can be solved. The new SILENT yacht runs the electric motors at such a low rpm powered solely by solar energy and without consuming fossil energy.
The first SILENT 60 solar powered catamaran features four guest cabins on the lower deck, including a spacious master suite, but other layout solutions are available. There is a spacious main salon, an aft cockpit, a cosy bow area and a flybridge. The yacht also has high headroom throughout (up to 2.32m in the main salon). Two swimming platforms in the stern can be extended on owner’s request to carry a pair of electric jet skis. The lifting hydraulic platform between the two platforms can carry a 4 m tender.
The SILENT 60 is fitted with the company’s ventilation system, which provides cool and fresh air to all the interior guest spaces and can be individually adjusted to suit conditions. A reverse-cycle heat-pump system cools and heats the interior for all-season comfort.
A watermaker powered by solar-energy produces enough water to supply a full complement of guests. All on board appliances operate on the 220/110-volt system. The solar- electric system is configured to power all the on-board systems without the need of fossil fuels for a generator. Featuring a new, high-performance hull form with a longer waterline and reverse bow, the yacht has a cruising speed of 6-8 knots, but can reach 20 knots if needed.
The kite wing is optionally available on all SILENT models.
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