Solar-powered yacht surfs towards electric-assisted sailing

Silent-Yachts’ Silent 55 takes the form of a battery-electric catamaran – however, the vessel will cost you €1.4 million

A solar-powered yacht is to be unveiled at the 2019 Cannes Yachting Festival.

Silent-Yachts’ Silent 55 takes the form of a battery-electric 56-foot catamaran – the firm says the €1.4 million (£1.27m) vessel has a much smaller carbon footprint than traditional boats, as well as lower operating costs, thanks to its 30 high-efficiency solar panels and lithium batteries.

The panels mean it theoretically has an unlimited range, as long as the sun is shining – its motors also produce no noise or air pollution, generate minimal vibration and are virtually maintenance-free.

Silent-Yachts claims the catamaran is able to cruise non-stop through the night, with its solar and battery units also able to run the lights, air conditioning, windlass and powered swimming platform.

One Silent 55 has already been built, with three more currently on order.

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