Silent-Yachts boldly trumpets the Silent 80 as “the most spacious solar electric catamaran ever”
It’s not exactly a crowded field but this shouldn’t lessen what the Austrian outfit has achieved with this brilliantly ambitious project.
The smaller Silent 55, which blazed a trail with its adoption of solar/electric propulsion, proved the theory but did so looking a little rough around the edges. The $4.92million Silent 80 is a different beast altogether, having been drawn by Too Design’s Marco Casali of Itama, Greenline and Canados fame. He’s worked some magic and penned a yacht that despite being just shy of 80ft long and over 35ft wide doesn’t appear tall or cumbersome.
The patchwork of oddly-shaped windows that pepper the Silent 55’s topsides have been replaced by one lean stretch of glazing; the profile as a whole is much more cohesive.
On board, the living spaces are simply enormous. The flybridge, which can be can open with a hardtop or fully enclosed and climate controlled, covers 90m² and features acres of sunpad on the aft end in its open guise with three dinettes and a four-person bar.
There is another bar in the cockpit with an intimate dinette tucked to starboard up against the sliding doors. The enclosed flybridge features a skylounge that opens up on to the aft deck in a scaled down superyacht fashion.
There are four different interior layouts but the one that jumps out is the option to have the master suite in the enclosed top deck with private access to the aft balcony. There are more formulaic layouts if that’s a little too adventurous, however.
With so much surface area to play with there is a lot of space available for the array of solar panels that are so critical to the Silent 80’s modus operandi. There are 64 panels split across the hardtop and forward wheelhouse coaming rated for approximately 25kW peak.
Solar energy is harnessed and stored in a 280kWh battery bank, which feeds a pair of up to 250kW motors for a top speed of 16 knots. At the optimum cruising speed of 6-7 knots the Silent 80 should be able to cover 100nm per day without burning a litre of fuel. In the right conditions the boat’s range is virtually unlimited.
If the weather isn’t ideal then there is a 20kVA inverter to run the boat’s domestic energy feed and a 100kW generator fed by a 3,000-litre fuel tank that can be used to charge the battery bank or run the electric motors directly.
The first Silent 80 isn’t due to launch until later in the year but five have been sold off plan alone. With ocean-crossing range and the ability to cruise noiselessly and emission-free in style it’s not hard to see why.
LOA: 79ft 7in (24.3m)
Beam: 35ft 9in (10.95m)
Engines: Twin electric motors up 250kW
Top speed: 16 knots
Price from: €4.92m (ex. VAT)