Can SILENT yachts be built for commercial use, for instance as passenger ferries?

Yes, we did it already! For commercial use the boat probably has to be customised to your needs. Just as a ballpark figure – for commercial use as a public transport ferry, e.g. with up to 50 seats, the boat requires less interior but more safety-equipment and typical commercial adaptions. Depending on the applicable regulations and required certifications as well as on the chosen options (high power motors, larger battery capacity, VIP version or simple transport version) the price can vary significantly.

Can you summarise the testing process of the first Solarwave 46? What did you learn that has had the biggest impact?

We ran the following long-term tests:

2005-2009 with a converted Fountaine Pajot 37, in which we installed the same household appliances as on our current boats – fridge, freezer, washing machine, electric oven, induction cooktops, coffee-machine, bread-maker and a water-maker. In addition we installed solar-panels and wind-generators and all necessary equipment to measure the energy production and consumption.

2010-2013 with Solarwave 46, a dedicated solar-yacht which we launched in 2009. More then 12.000 miles exclusively solar-powered, you con find more information here://www.solarwave-yachts.com/english/history
We found out, that spending less is the key factor, so we worked a lot on reducing the energy consumption e.g. by insulation the hull to increase the efficiency of the AirCon and we optimised the hull and the propulsion system for higher performance and less consumption.

How was the decision made to be fully hybrid-electric, with no fuel onboard (except the diesel generator set as a range extender)

After several years of testing we found out, that the overall energy balance of solar-panels is much better than of a sail. In an average application – holiday boat or world traveller, the energy produced by the solar-panels – which are specially designed for this purpose – exceeds by far the energy produced by the sails for propulsion. It is a simple fact, that you use a sail only a fraction of the time, whereas the solar-panels produce energy every single minute of daylight, energy you can use for propulsion AND for cooking, cooling the boat, refrigeration, washing-machine, water-maker etc.

What yachts are currently under construction? What are your future plans?

As of Winter 2018/19

Boats in water:
* 1 Solarwave 46 Cruiser – launched 2009
* 4 Silent 55 “Sailor” – launched 2017
* 1 Silent 55 “E-power“ – launched 2018
* 3 Silent 64 “Cruiser” – launched May 2016, December 2017 and October 2018

Boats in production:
* 2 Silent 55 “Cruiser”
* 2 Silent 64 “Cruiser”
* 1 Silent 79 “Cruiser”
Several more are ordered.

Sea-trials:
* Silent 55 “Cruiser” – winter 2018/19 in Mergui Marine National Park/ Myanmar
* Silent 64 “Cruiser” – currently in Nassau/ Bahamas, summer 2019 in the Med
* Silent 55 “E-Power”, summer 2019 in the Med