Solar-Powered Silent 55 Prepares for Debut

Look for the Silent 55 at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September.

silent yachts 55
The Silent 55 will debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival September 5-9.Silent Yachts

Austria-based Silent-Yachts is on track for the world premiere of the Silent 55 at September's Cannes Yachting Festival.

The Silent 55 — a solar-powered catamaran — will be the new entry-level model in the builder’s lineup, which also includes a Silent 64 and a Silent 79.

Heike and Michael Köhler founded Silent-Yachts after launching the Solarwave 46 in 2009. It was billed as “the first fully self-sufficient bluewater catamaran.” The pair have spent 5,000 days cruising more than 75,000 miles all around the world, proving their concepts.

With the Silent 55, several power configurations are available. The Cruiser package has a pair of 30 kW motors. The E-Power version includes twin 250 kW motors. The Hybrid Power package combines twin 220-horsepower diesel engines and two 14 kW electric motors. The Sailor edition has any of the above plus a mast and sails.

In all configurations, there are 30 solar panels aboard, each one rated for about a 9 kW peak. Maximum power-point tracking is used to regulate the solar charge, which feeds into lithium batteries that have enough capacity for all-night cruising, according to the builder. A 15 kVA inverter powers onboard appliances.

silent yachts 55
With a 27-foot7-inch beam, the Silent 55's salon (top) is a wide-open affair. There are five different layouts available, ranging from 3 to 6 staterooms. The master stateroom (above) is seen here. Note the extensive use of glass.Silent Yachts

“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, CEO of Silent-Yachts, stated in a press release. “Silent-Yachts sets the standard for an entirely new dynamic and a new class in yachting, combining the advantages of a sailing boat (silence, powered by free, natural energy) with the luxury of a motorboat (power available whenever needed). Pure solar-powered luxury.”

silent yachts 55
The Silent 55 has five power options, ranging from E-power to hybrid power to adding a mast and sails.Silent Yachts

Five layouts are available aboard the Silent 55. They range from three to six staterooms, with three or four heads.

How is the Silent 55 built? With vacuum-bagged resin infusion. The hull is reinforced with carbon fiber at stress points, and uses vinylester resin to prevent osmotic blistering.