Silent-Yachts demos kite sailing catamaran

Silent-Yachts has demonstrated its kite sail system for the first time with its Silent 60.

The first Silent 60 is fitted with a compact nine or 13 sqm kite wing – the kite wing system is available on all Silent models.

“The main advantages of a kite over a conventional sail system are that it does not throw shade on the solar panels, does not need a tall mast, and generates up to ten times more power per square metre than a traditional sail. In addition to that it saves about 1.5 tons of weight compared to conventional rig and costs much less,” says Silent-Yachts’ Michael Köhler. “It makes even more sense for the Silent boats that run on renewable solar energy because the power generated by a kite easily exceeds the energy consumption of the system, so you can charge the batteries while cruising under kite power. And besides that, it’s great fun!”

Image courtesy of Alberto Cocchi

The new solar powered catamaran carries 42 solar panels for 17kWp of solar energy to power two electric motors of up to 2x340kW. Backed up by a battery capacity of up to 286kWh, the yacht can cruise solely on solar power, producing no emissions, for up to 100 nautical miles a day.

Silent Yachts unveiled its new flagship 100 Explorer at September’s Cannes Boat Show, with the first unit scheduled for delivery in 2023.

“We tested the performance on different headings and at wind angles of up to 40 degrees with the 9sqm kite,” says Silent-Yachts’ captain Mike Wandler. “Unlike a conventional sailing boat, the best results were directly downwind. Under kite power with no engines on or propellers turning, the boat speed was between 4 and 5 knots. We then switched on the electric motors drawing just 1kW each to reduce drag from the propellers and improve the flow of water over the rudders for better steering, this led to boat speeds from 6 to 7 knots over the same headings – a significant improvement on our original predictions.”

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