Solar-electric catamaran camper pursues next-gen exploration
Swedish startup Pol Boat is seeking a purer, simpler form of on-water escape and adventure with its all-new Lux. Much like a water-bound crossover or multi-sport mini-campervan, the sleek, silent catamaran encourages folks to leave behind the hustle and bustle of urban life for open-ended relaxation, recreation and exploration. Supporting them on the journey are clean, logical Scandinavian design, a solar-fed zero-emissions electric drive, a modular deck, and a deployable tent for overnighting.
First conceived by naval architect and ardent rower Gustav Larsson, the 25.6-foot (7.8-m)-long Lux is purposefully designed to chart a course far removed from the oversized, overpowered boats that dominate coastlines and marinas. In fact, it seems like it's designed to escape that lifestyle as much as everyday life in the city. So think of it less as a pared down alternative to a cabin cruiser and more a larger, lightly powered seafaring alternative to kayaking or canoe camping.
For that purpose, the 12-knot (22-km/h) top speed and 7-knot (13-km/h) cruising speed aren't a limitation but an advantage, a way to slow life down and experience every minute passing through the natural surroundings with all five senses. Plans also call for a pure solar mode, in which the solar panels power the e-drive directly at speeds up to 4 knots (7.4 km/h). With help from those solar panels, Pol reckons the Lux can wander 60 nautical miles (111 km) before desperately needing a recharge.
To get to where he is now, Larsson worked with Swedish tech and design agency Above, turning a rough model he carried in his backpack into the version pictured. The two parties collaborated to grow, evolve and fine-tune the vision through to a working prototype and onward to a polished, finalized version now nearing production.
The Lux's dual hulls support a large, flat deck without bringing on the bulk and water resistance of a single hull. It's on this deck that buyers can exercise their imaginations in customizing the space to their needs. Pol and Above imagine it becoming an overnight explorer, river-cruising day boat, daytime picnic party boat, and even, possibly, a seatless, stripped-down short-distance cargo vessel.
The offset helm station opens up extra uninterrupted space for modular creativity, putting a very simple set of forward, reverse and steering controls in the captain's hands. Rearrangeable wraparound bench seating offers plenty of space for sitting and socializing during the day, transforming into a bed at night. A fabric tent wraps around the four frame poles to deliver weather and insect protection from roof to deck. For extra sleeping space, a hammock sets up over the helm station using straps secured to all four poles.
In order to feed its passengers, the Lux carries a removable modular rear table that attaches to the rails. It could be used to simply hold a portable grill or stove, but, seemingly inspired by the Snow Peak Iron Grill Table, Pol and Above make it a modular design on which a tabletop panel swaps out for an insertable grill or cutting board.
"Pol Lux addresses the needs of a new generation of boat owners that love to explore the great outdoors," described Above design director and cofounder Jonas Samrelius while announcing the Lux in January. "Heading out over the weekend with full batteries, they have prioritized the silence and the journey itself over high speed, pleased about leaving no trails behind."
Pol Boat has not set pricing yet, but it says that it is preparing to begin building the first production vessels. It intends to offer the first test rides this spring, with initial deliveries to follow in the coming months. Interested parties can contact the company and sign up for a spot on the waiting list through the company's website, linked right below.
Source: Pol Boat