[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he first owner who believed in the power of this new generation mega catamarans, launched on the market with the Austrian brand Silent Yachts, was Neil Murray, a South African entrepreneur, who in 2003 co-founded the leading email and data security company, Mimecast, today listed in the NASDAQ. “To me, this yacht is a great synthesis of form and function”, he said. “My intent is to promote the concept of solar yachting and I want people to see elegance in the concept, not just practicality.”
The vessel is now under construction in Ancona, Italy. The delivery is planned for early 2020. Three more units have also been sold to owners and will be delivered later in 2020.
“We’re extremely happy to confirm that the project that was first announced in the end of 2018 as a 79-footer has gained one foot in length during negotiations with a client,” said Michael Köhler, SILENT-YACHTS Founder and CEO. “I’m sure Mr Murray and his lovely family will be having many memorable moments cruising together in pure silence and absolute comfort on board their new yacht.”
SILENT-YACHTS’ solar-electric catamarans are completely new type of boats that open a new era in modern yachting. These yachts use silent electric propulsion for unlimited range without noise or fumes and minimal vibration. They are self-sufficient and virtually maintenance-free. An extensive use of solar power via special panels, liion batteries and electric motors by SILENT-YACHTS sets a new trend in terms of ecologically oriented and careful yachting that respects nature and guarantees owners full comfort in total silence.
Michael Köhler has created the SILENT 80 concept, while Amedeo Migali of MICAD is responsible for naval architecture. Marco Casali of Too Design designed the exterior and interior of the new yacht. In terms of styling, the SILENT 80 is an evolution of the company’s vision. It carries the DNA of the smaller SILENT 55 model but on a much larger scale.
“I think, solar-electric boats are the future that is why I immediately agreed to work with Michael Köhler on his exciting venture,” said designer Marco Casali, who has signed superyacht projects for ISA Yachts, Columbus Yachts, Itama and Canados. “Solar power is about square meters, so we need to dedicate as much surface to the solar panels as possible, while keeping the overall balance in shape. In my opinion, we managed that with the SILENT 80. What I tried to achieve is an interesting Italian design, sophisticated and refined. This is a nice-looking yacht that meets efficiency.”
The SILENT 80 exterior is clean and timeless with straight lines of huge windows. They also allow abundance of natural light filling the saloon and guest spaces while providing panorama views throughout. Carrying solar panels, the flybridge adds sportiness to the look thanks to horizontal air grills inspired by supercars but with eco appeal. Both aft and forward outside spaces are spacious to host large, yet intimate, social areas. The cockpit in the aft has a lounge and a bar, while the front area is perfect for chilling under the sun, as it is equipped with a sea-facing sofa and sunpads.
The new yacht is built using vacuum-bagged resin infusion to create a lightweight glass-sandwich composite construction that has sound-and temperature-insulating qualities.
Like the SILENT 55, the new SILENT 80 is an oceangoing solar-electric catamaran that uses silent electric propulsion for unlimited range without noise or fumes and minimal vibration, she is self-sufficient and virtually maintenance-free. The catamaran is fitted with a pair of electric engines (80 kW each in standard “Cruiser” version, 250 kW each in “E-Power” version). In the most powerful version, the SILENT 80 can reach up to 18 knots but this yacht’s mission is not focused on speed for sure. However, it offers total autonomy with no fuel, fumes, exhausts or noise. The system works quite simple and virtually without any maintenance needed.
The catamaran is capable of going at 6-7 knots in complete silence and with unlimited range passing around 100 nautical miles per day. With 70 high-efficiency solar panels rated for approximately 25 kilowatt-peak, the SILENT 80 uses maximum power point tracking (MPPT) solar charge regulators and the same lithium batteries as used by Tesla, which provide capacity for all-night cruising, while a 20-kVA inverter provides power for all household appliances.
The energy production and propulsion systems require hardly any maintenance and produce no fumes or noise. Because of that, the operational costs of the vessels are substantially lower compared to power yachts using traditional propulsion systems.
The SILENT 80 has a generator too but this is only used to recharge the batteries in the rare case when higher speed is required for longer periods or if the weather is bad for several days. In addition, a “Hybrid Power” version of the SILENT 80 has a pair of 220 HP diesel engines combined with two 14 kW electric motors.
The SILENT 80 is also available in several different layouts. The interior of the SILENT 80 is completely customizable. Since the SILENTYACHTS’ heritage is about being green and eco-friendly, the yacht is principally decorated with lightweight and recyclable materials that respect the environment. The base price of the SILENT 80 is 4.27 million Euro, with many options included as standard.