All-electric cruising catamarans are catching on, and a Singapore-based builder recently joined the quest for a pollution-free, electric-propulsion yacht that can go 24 hours a day while only relying on solar energy.
Azura Marine recently tested its Aquanima 40 vessel near Bali, Indonesia. During a four-hour sea trial, the Solar Eclipse achieved a WOT of more than 8.5 knots and cruised continuously at 4.5 knots using less than 2kW of electricity an hour while producing more than 8kW from her 30 solar panels. After several high-speed tests, the yacht returned to her mooring with full batteries.
The 43-foot vessel features a 10kW solar roof and a 60kWh battery bank. The company claims the generation and storage aboard the vessel allow unlimited continuous range, “day and night,” with no need for shore power or fossil fuels. The solar roof acts as a rainwater collector and is also usable as an upper deck.
“Customers are wanting something different and to ditch fossil fuels completely,” said commercial director Simon Turner. “These people are not interested in thrashing around at 30 knots but more in having a joyous, silent, cruising experience safe in the knowledge that they are not harming our oceans and marine life, let alone not incurring a single cent of fuel cost.”
The Aquanima hulls were developed at Harbin Engineering University, China, with research overseen by Harbin Engineering University professor and Azura Marine cofounder Xueqian Zhou.
The Aquanima 40 will have an option for more powerful e-motors, hybrid propulsion and sailing packages. All yachts carry an emergency generator that will automatically kick in when the batteries run low. The company is also planning a larger catamaran with a flybridge, the Aquanima 45.
More information can be found at the Azura Marine website.