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Solar-powered electric catamaran features a kite wing 

EcoNote | February 21, 2022 | By:


SILENT-YACHTS has unveiled its new SILENT 60, a solar-powered catamaran with a kite wing instead of conventional sails. The company, located in Mallorca, Spain, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., says that the yacht’s 42 solar panels generate 17 kWp to power two electric motors of 200 kW each. The 60-foot (18m) yacht is also backed up by a battery capacity of 286 kWh, allowing zero emission cruising for up to 100 nautical miles per day.

The kite wing and its components, including an electric winch and a short, collapsible mast, are stored in a locker under the foredeck. On the first SILENT 60 unit, the mast is connected by four shrouds to pad eyes on deck that distributes the forces through the hull structure, but on subsequent units, the mast will be 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 begins to trace a figure ‘8’ in the sky and generate power to pull the yacht. Reversing the process brings the kite down. Automated app controls move the kite to a position right above the boat where it has the least pull on the line, where it can be winched down and collapsed over the foredeck to be stored again. 

Among its amenities, the yacht has lower deck cabins, social areas, an aft cockpit, a cozy bow area and a flybridge. With a draft of under 1m, the yacht can access shallow bays, a crucial consideration for cruising grounds in Caribbean and Southeast Asian waters. 

The solar-electric system is configured to power all of the onboard systems without the need of a fossil-fueled generator. The yacht has a cruising speed of 6-8 knots but can reach 20 knots if needed.

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