The quiet arrival of the Solarwave 64 went unheralded at La Grande Motte 2017. But crowds soon gathered around this gray ghost ship powered entirely by the sun. The Solarwave glided out into the Mediterranean at 10 knots as the twin electric motors hummed quietly, consuming 64 kilowatts.
Throttling back to a cruising speed of 6.6 knots cut consumption to a more sustainable 31 kilowatts.You can steer with the Raymarine autopilot dial and twin throttles, though but a conventional wheel clips into place for traditionalists. The 42 solar panels generate 15 kW, stored in a bank of lithium batteries weighing 590 kg. A Fischer Panda 25 kW diesel generator can drive the electric motors during overcast weather.
The Silent 55, a new sail-solar model launches in June, and the Swiss builder has full order books. Hulls are built in weight-saving epoxy-carbon and the company claims the 64 is half the weight of a conventionally constructed and powered yacht.