If you’re interested in electric boating then a catamaran might be the way to go, with slim, relatively-low drag hulls and expansive deck and roof areas for solar panels.
Headquartered in Austria with manufacturing plants in the Far East and Italy, Silent Yachts’ new Silent 60 comes with a pair of electric motors of 170kW each, battery capacity of up to 286kWh, and solar panels capable of generating 17kWp (the ‘p’ stands for peak, or optimum sunny conditions), for a claimed cruising range at six to eight knots of around 100 nautical miles.
Naturally there are diesel generators too, both for battery charging and for powering the electric motors, in which case the 60’s maximum speed is 20 knots, with a cruising range defined by the size of the fuel tanks.
A variety of internal layouts is offered, with up to six cabins in the hulls, all ensuite, and including one for crew, plus the option of a big owner’s suite spanning the bridge deck up at the bow.
The main deck saloon is of course a spectacular space, with acres of seating and floor area, windows all round, and an optional door at the front onto the foredeck.
The deck spaces are as generous as you would expect of a boat that is nearly 30ft wide and some tweaks to the flybridge improve comfort levels over the Silent 55.
The hydraulic hard top is carried over, which clamps down flat to the deck to securely close off the top deck and maximise the efficiency of the array of solar panels.
The Silent 60 also comes with a kitesail as an auxiliary power source, which is flown from a stanchion and winch assembly on the foredeck. The standard size sail is 9m2, with 13m2 as an option. For comparison, the sails you see off windy beaches being flown by mad kitesurfers typically range in area from 5m2 to 15m2.
Its builder claims that the 29-ton Silent 60 can make four to five knots powered by the kite alone.
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We know this boat’s predecessor, the Silent 55, well here on MBY. Deputy editor, Jack, spent a few days on board in 2019 to see if Silent Yachts’ claims of noise and emission-free cruising rang true.
His time aboard the Silent 55 proved that the boat’s revolutionary power management and propulsion systems worked, but the boat itself needed improvements. The Silent 60 aims to fix this with a redesigned hull that has a longer waterline and reverse bow to improve efficiency, and styling by Albert Nazarov that apes the flagship Silent 80.
The Silent 55’s awkward looks have been replaced by a design that is far kinder on the eye and makes room for even more living space plus a boost in solar power acreage on the roof from 30 to 42 panels.
Silent 60 specification
LOA: 59ft 0in (17.99m)
Beam: 29ft 6in (8.99m)
Engines: 2 x 340kW electric
Solar panels: 42 x 17kWp
Battery capacity: 286kWh
Top speed: 20 knots
Starting price: Available on application