Austrian yard Silent Yachts has premiered 16.7-metre (55-foot) solar-powered catamaran Silent 55 at the Cannes Yachting Festival. Silent 55 uses silent electric propulsion for unlimited range with no noise or fumes and minimal vibration – she is completely self-sufficient and largely maintenance-free.
Available in several power configurations to suit a variety of cruising applications, all of which adhere to Silent Yachts’ philosophy of relying mainly on solar power for propulsion and on-board power needs.
The Silent 55 on display at Cannes is an E-Power version with 2 x 135kW motors and can reach up to 14 knots. The model can be equipped as a Cruiser version, with a pair of 30 kW motors or a Hybrid Power version with 2 x 220hp diesel engines and two 14 kW electric motors. A Sailor version can be equipped with all the previously mentioned drivetrain configurations and is rigged with a mast and sails to provide additional propulsion in fair winds.
With 30 high-efficiency solar panels rated for approximately 10 kilowatt-peak, the Silent 55 uses maximum power point tracking (MPPT) solar charge regulators and lithium batteries, which provide capacity for all-night cruising, while a 15-kVA inverter provides power for all household appliances.
The operational costs of the vessels are substantially lower compared to power yachts using more traditional propulsion systems because the systems require hardly any maintenance and produce no fumes or noise.
Michael Köhler, CEO of Silent Yachts, said, “What this represents to the yachtsman, among other features, is the ability to cruise for many hours at normal speed and throughout the entire day and evening at reduced speed. Silent Yachts sets the standard for an entirely new dynamic in yachting: No fuel. No maintenance. Pure solar-powered luxury.”