Quietly Confident: Silent-Yachts Silent 55
The hushed arrival of the Silent 55 was largely unheralded but this white catamaran entirely powered by the sun, has much to shout about.
Solar cell development is moving at a pace that is constantly creating wider uses for it, something of which Silent-Yachts company founder Michael Köhler is acutely aware. Many years of voyaging on conventional power boats led him and his wife Heike to build their first electric prototype, which they sailed for five years and 15,000 nautical miles before launching the company and constructing their first production model – the Solarwave 46 – in 2009, which was the first renewable powered blue-water catamaran.
The Köhlers’ five-year sea-trial commenced in 2010. With friends, they crossed Europe by river and sailed across the Black Sea, the windy Aegean, and the Mediterranean. The solar catamaran accommodated the two skippers and eight guests, using its electrics to power cooking, water-production, cooling and heating. That’s pretty impressive.
To read all of this article, pick up a copy of the May/June issue of Asia-Pacific Boating magazine, or buy it online from www.magzter.com. Also available for download from the App Store and Google Play.