The future for tenders? Design for solar electric catamaran revealed

24 November 2015 • Written by Sophia Heath

Could this be the future for tenders? A new design for an autonomous solar electric catamaran could be a “sustainable alternative to conventionally powered boats”, according to its designers.

The SoelCat 12 has been designed by Soel Yachts and Naval DC for the fast growing ecotourism market and is 100% sustainable. The 11.8 meter vessel can operate at 6 knots entirely on energy provided by the sun and can also provide surplus solar energy when moored.

The SoelCat 12 is 100% sustainable

Designer and naval architect Joep Koster from Soel Yachts hopes that the catamaran will fill a gap in the eco-tourism market.

“It is great to see a lot of green initiatives at resorts these days, however, water bound transport always seems to be neglected,” said Koster. “Taking your guests on a lagoon tour without the noise and smell of combustions engines opens up unique PR values for the industry, given that the people will experience the sustainable technology hands on.”

The SoelCat 12 has a total lithium battery capacity of 120kWh and uses Naval DC’s electric propulsion systems. It has a maximum speed of 15 knots and can operate for 6 hours at 8 knots on its battery power.

The first eco friendly SoelCat 12 is due to be launched next year

“Lightness is key to the vessel’s performance: Our marine grade lithium polymer battery systems weigh in at just 8kg per kWh and we can remotely monitor all electric propulsion system vitals worldwide via our Naval UI alarm and monitoring system,” said David Czap from Naval DC.

As well as its green credentials the SoelCat 12 has generous deck space, which is fully customisable. It also features a reinforced hull build from lightweight fibreglass composite which means that the yacht can be beached.

The first SoelCat 12 is due to be launched in the third quarter of 2016 and its price is expected to be revealed early next year.

Solar power technology has already been adopted by some of the best eco-trendsetter superyachts and tenders. Earlier this year the first Luxi33 eco yacht tender was launched thanks to crowd-funding.

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