Marine

Silent 55 yacht promises up to 100 miles of solar-powered cruising per day

Silent 55 yacht promises up to...
The Silent 55 offers solar-electric yachting
The Silent 55 offers solar-electric yachting
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The Silent 55 offers solar-electric yachting
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The Silent 55 offers solar-electric yachting
Silent 55: 30 high-efficiency solar panels
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Silent 55: 30 high-efficiency solar panels
Silent 55: the boat might soak up sun your guests would prefer to grab for themselves
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Silent 55: the boat might soak up sun your guests would prefer to grab for themselves
Silent 55: double guest bedroom
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Silent 55: double guest bedroom
Silent 55: guest bathroom
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Silent 55: guest bathroom
Silent 55: main deck living area
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Silent 55: main deck living area
Silent 55: electric kitchen and living space
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Silent 55: electric kitchen and living space
Silent 55: not the biggest windows if you're driving from the main deck
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Silent 55: not the biggest windows if you're driving from the main deck
Silent 55: sitting up high gives you the best view, but much less room for company
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Silent 55: sitting up high gives you the best view, but much less room for company
Silent 55: limited lounging opportunities on the top deck
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Silent 55: limited lounging opportunities on the top deck
Silent 55: top deck
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Silent 55: top deck
Silent 55:side areas of the main deck
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Silent 55:side areas of the main deck
Silent 55: main deck sun lounges
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Silent 55: main deck sun lounges
Silent 55: night lighting
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Silent 55: night lighting
Silent 55: trampoline lounges
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Silent 55: trampoline lounges
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It seems we jumped the gun when we called the SolarImpact the world's first ocean-going solar yacht based just off its CAD renders. There's another company out there with boats in the water, and the Silent 55 can cruise for up to 100 miles (160 km) per day for weeks at a time on solar power alone.

Its 30 high-efficiency photovoltaic panels deliver a peak around 10 kilowatts into a 15 kVa inverter and a battery of unspecified size. That's not exactly a ton of solar power, really, considering that this thing can be specified in an "E-Power" configuration with 2 x 135 kW motors, or a "cruiser" version with 2 x 30-kW motors.

But Silent Yachts CEO Michael Köhler says it's enough to give the Silent 55 "the ability to cruise for many hours at normal speed and throughout the entire day and evening at reduced speed."

Clearly, you'll need to be very frugal with your use of throttles, appliances and whatnot if you want to go very far, but the Silent 55 also comes prepared to get a little noisy with a diesel generator capable of kicking in up to 100 kW.

Silent 55: main deck living area
Silent 55: main deck living area

If burning dinosaur bones ain't your style – and we'd assume it's not – you can specify it to include a mast and sails, or even a "sky sail" – a parachute-like kite that deploys up to 150 meters (490 ft) high, taking advantages of higher altitude winds that are up to 25 times stronger, without throwing any shade on the solar panels.

The rest of the yacht looks nice enough. The top deck is dominated by solar panels, understandably enough, while the main deck gives you a little more room to lounge about and soak up some sun for yourself, and the interior offers a decent sized 40-m² (430-ft2) living space. As for sleeping quarters, you can specify it in a number of different patterns, including one that puts nice, spacious double bedrooms at the front, left and right, sitting above the waterline and each with its own bathroom.

Silent 55: double guest bedroom
Silent 55: double guest bedroom

Down below, things get a lot less glamorous, but hopefully you won't have to spend much time down there anyway, as the electric powertrain is all but maintenance-free.

The price? The Silent 55 starts at €1.4 million (US$1.6 million), which isn't too bad for this kind of vessel, given that your fuel and maintenance bills will be going way down. The boat's party potential definitely drops with the solar panels soaking up sun your guests might otherwise prefer to themselves but, on the other hand, if you're going to do this kind of thing, this is one of the less wasteful and more practical ways you can go about it. And if you need to go bigger, Silent Yachts is working on 64- and 79-ft (19.5- and 24-m) versions that crank things up a level, both in space and luxury.

Source: Silent Yachts

SILENT-YACHTS SILENT 55 Solar-Powered Luxury Catamaran

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5 comments
guzmanchinky
I think it looks amazing! Imagine batteries with double the energy density, and solar panels with double the efficiency! You could cruise the world and never refuel or have to deal with sails (which can be a handful and require constant vigilance, especially on a catamaran). Or maybe someday a tiny fusion reactor with limitless power? One can dream of a silent future with limitless clean energy...
Joshua Tulberg
You are right about the film and photos. lol. Your comment was the only reason I gave it a look. So hey, I guess it worked.
minivini
This is the first boat I would consider if I won a decent lottery prize. I love some of the really cool yacht designs over the past decade, but most seemed designed to impress your closest Emirate peers. This one seems stylish, but tasteful.
The idea of a kite-sail is pretty intriguing, too!
Ralf Biernacki
Yeah, the main advantage of this is not bleeding heart ecology, but unlimited range. In warmer (less overcast) latitudes, this yacht can cruise for as long as it takes, free like a sailboat---but without the hassle of sails. Save the diesel for stormy days.
YuraG
I see a number of trade-offs the designer managed to get around quite nicely making an excellent start for a new class of yachts! Good job. If I were him, though, I’d try to cover as much surface with the panels as possible, even the most efficient once are so cheap compared to the price of yacht. The lower profile would improve range too. But the recreational qualities of the boat wouldn’t be the same.