on 19 Jun 2019
The solar-electric catamaran has improved battery, more powerful e-motors, structural improvements and better noise reduction
Silent-Yachts, the Austrian company that produces oceangoing solar-electric production catamarans, is delighted to announce that the new upgraded version of the Silent 55 will attend the Cannes Yachting Festival (Sept 10-15, 2019).
The new Silent 55 has a completely revised drive-train with significantly more battery power, two times more powerful e-motors, structural improvements and significantly better noise reduction compared to the previous 2018 version. The yacht uses silent electric propulsion for unlimited range with no noise or fumes and minimal vibration. She is self-sufficient and virtually maintenance-free.
More power, more comfort
“Our best-selling 16.7-metre innovative solar electric catamaran has been upgraded and become even better than it used to be”, said Michael Köhler, Silent-Yachts Founder and CEO. “We did these updates and changes because we always try to improve and to install the best and latest technology available to satisfy our clients. We have built one new Silent 55 already and we’ve got three more orders for this model, which shows that we’re heading in the right direction”.
Among other features, the new Silent 55 has a pair of 250 kW e-motors, 210 kWh battery capacity. The shipyard has also enhanced noise reduction and made structural improvements to ensure the ride and guests’ experience is as comfortable as ever.
With 30 high-efficiency solar panels rated for approximately 10 kilowatt-peak, the Silent 55 uses maximum power point tracking (MPPT) solar charge regulators and lithium batteries, which provide capacity for all-night cruising, while a 15-kVA inverter provides power for all household appliances. The 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 more traditional propulsion systems.
“What this represents to the yachtsman, among other features, is the ability to cruise for many hours at normal speed and throughout the entire day and evening at reduced speed”, Michael Köhler comments. “Silent-Yachts sets the standard for an entirely new dynamic in yachting: No fuel. No maintenance. Pure solar powered luxury.”
The Silent 55 that will attend the Cannes Yachting Festival 2019 has a standard layout with large airy saloon on the main deck and four spacious cabins below decks, including a full beam master suite in the bow area.
The Silent 55 is available in five different layouts ranging from three to six staterooms with three or four heads. A full-width central owner’s stateroom is the centrepiece in three of the layouts, with guest staterooms located in port and starboard hulls. All staterooms offer double or twin berths, and all heads include a separate shower. Other layouts are available on request.
In all configurations, careful attention has been paid to onboard ergonomics. The staterooms, heads and saloon on the Silent 55 are all created to welcome every person into spaces that are adapted to human size and create a comfortable environment for living, even for extended cruising. Large portlights and flush deck hatches admit natural light.
On the Silent 55, the interior layout is centred on a shared onboard space, a huge 40 m² combination of saloon, helm and galley, with enough space for the crew to gather. The skipper will never be lonely at the lower helm as plenty of companion seating and an aft galley will keep the crew around. Three of the layouts feature a forward owner stateroom that capitalises on the 8.46-metre beam of the yacht for a spacious layout with a walkaround double berth. Other accommodation plans optimise the space with additional staterooms, as Silent-Yachts uses a modular construction and efficient design methods that allow additional layouts at reasonable prices.
With wide side decks for safety moving fore and aft, the Silent 55 has a spacious cockpit sheltered by a large hardtop overhang, and enormous open foredeck space. In addition, the flying bridge promises to allow the helmsman and guests to enjoy time together while underway, with superior lines of sight all around the boat.
The Silent 55 is equipped with the company’s aeration system, which provides cool and fresh air to all accommodations, heads, and in the saloon. The air-flow in each space is individually adjustable and can be used when the weather conditions require the windows to be closed. In addition, a reverse-cycle heat-pump system can be used to heat the interior when necessary, ensuring all-season comfort. The insulated hull ensures efficient achievement of desired onboard temperatures.
The Silent 55 is built using vacuum-bagged resin infusion to create a lightweight glass-sandwich composite construction that has sound- and temperature-insulating qualities. The hull is reinforced with carbon fibre at stress points, and uses vinylester resin to prevent osmotic blistering.
The Silent 55 hull shape was designed using extensive tank testing for optimal efficiency. The molds were then created using CNC milling for true replication of the refined, enhanced shape in the tooling. The Silent 55 has a shape both above and below the waterline that is designed to slip through the wind and waves with minimal resistance.
Designed with sealed deck sections and collision compartments for safety, the Silent 55 uses watertight bulkheads and integrated interior furniture to create a torsion-resistant hull structure. The electrical system can allow such features as a powered aft swim platform, a 1,500-watt electric windlass, and other features yachtsmen have come to expect on excellent ocean-going cruising yachts.
Because the Silent 55 is designed to range everywhere as a true ocean-going cruising yacht that is self-sufficient, she is equipped to keep her crew happy and comfortable for virtually any voyage. It starts with the benefits of the propulsion system. The Silent 55 can cruise efficiently for up to 100 miles a day for weeks. At the same time, the arrangement of the components enables the system to power all onboard systems without need of fuel to power a generator. Because of her revolutionary design, the Silent 55 travels just with the sound of the wind, and the water streaming past the hull, with no smoke, noise or vibration of engines.
“The generator is only used to recharge the batteries in the rare case when higher speed is required for longer periods of time or if the weather is bad for several days,” Köhler says.
In addition to the ergonomics of the living spaces, the Silent 55 – thanks to her advanced conveniences – offers a comfort level that sparks peace of mind. A water-maker powered by the solar-electric system, produces enough water to supply a full six-stateroom company with reasonable rate of consumption. On the Silent 55, all onboard appliances operate on the 220/110-volt system, to which her crew might be used to from their homes. The galley has refrigerator and freezer space to sustain the crew and an efficient induction cooktop, precluding the need for carrying propane.
“Under normal, average holiday conditions, the boat is self-sufficient with unlimited range without burning fuel,” Köhler says.