on 3 Apr 2023
Self-sustaining, sustainable and far-reaching, Silent-Yachts has launched the Silent 60 series of solar electric catamarans.
There are yachts with solar panels, and then there is the Silent 60, the newest creation of Austrian-owned Silent-Yachts out of the brand’s Fano, Italy yards, which it acquired in 2022.
Powered by twin 250 kW engines (or optional 340 kW versions for those who feel the need for a little more power) to a maximum speed of 14 knots, and with an option for an innovative kite sail system to aid longer crossings, the Silent 60, a significant step forward on the bestselling Silent 55, offers owners space, convenience and the ability to cruise up to 100 emission-free nautical miles each day just on the power of the elements.
At the heart of the new, constantly-evolving catamaran model, located forward, above and aft of the flybridge helm (which features a collapsible roof to maximise sun exposure when not in use), is an array of 42 solar panels that produces 16kWp of power, enough for those hearty engines and the yacht’s internal needs. Backed up by a battery capacity of 210 kWh, the new yacht offers owners not only silent cruising but also power autonomy. The array is located on the catamaran’s hard top and are integrated seamlessly into the angular, functional design persona.
While it looks quite boxy on the outside, thanks to vertical hull sides and a rather unforgiving reverse bow design, the Silent 60 offers owners functionality and flexibility. On the original Silent 60 layout, there are three guest rooms on the lower deck (with an optional configuration for six cabins plus one for crew) with signature Silent windows and glass-encased ensuites with separate showers. These are complemented by a spacious master suite in calming honey hues, located in the bow and featuring a king-size bed, ample wardrobes and an ensuite located forward and below.
Despite its green credentials, the Silent 60 is also every inch a pleasure vessel, and is also suitable for entertaining thanks to numerous social areas. These include the airy main salon with its lofty 2.32-metre-high ceilings (later builds will feature a risen main salon to create additional storage below), large windows, a very large risen dining nook, a well-appointed split galley with washer/dryer combo, and a basic helm station.
Beyond, through large sliding glass doors, is a vast aft cockpit with a L-shaped lounge and dining table catering to eight and additional reversable back rests that can slide to face towards the transom. This lowers on hydraulics to create an expansive beachclub accessible by stairs on either side or can act as storage for a four-metre tender when in the up position. The aft cockpit also features ample deck storage compartments.
The original Silent 60 design also features a spacious if not slightly utilitarian foredeck, with hatch access to a crew cabin and head; and an expansive flybridge with sun pads and lounges wreathing a pedestal table set. Wide external walkways run the length of the vessel from the spacious cockpit to the foredeck and midway there’s a pleasant window nook with sofa, as is found on the Silent 55.
However, as we mentioned, the Silent 60 is an evolving design and many yachts presently under construction will feature a ‘tri-deck’ configuration with a significantly larger flybridge area that can be open or configured as a glass-enclosed sky lounge, with a fixed rather than folding roof (also covered with solar panels).
The Front Exit version, built out of the brand’s Thailand shipyard, sees the master cabin moved to the forward lower deck to make room for direct access from the salon to the foredeck, which in turn is equipped with an open-air lounge space offering room for up to six people. The additional exit in the front not only provides guests on board with more flexibility to move around on deck, it also improves the circulation of air flow through the boat.
The yacht’s optional 9 or 12sqm kite wing, which, along with its electric winch and collapsible mast is stored and deployed from a dedicated locked under the foredeck, is another innovation that long-distance cruisers will be interested in. A big advantage of a kite compared to a conventional sail is that it flies at much higher altitudes and gets exposed to steadier and stronger winds. It also performs well at low wind speeds of less than 10 knots, when it would not make any sense to hoist a sail on a sailing boat of comparable size.
The result is a self-sustainable yacht with emission-free silent running, ample space for family and friends, a residential ambiance accentuated by plenty of innovative features, signature Silent styling, and the ability to roam far and wide with just the power of the sun and the wind.
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