This is what the yachting industry’s electric revolution looks like, and we love it!
Sunreef’s electric yacht range was unveiled in 2019 following increasing pressure from yacht owners and builders who wanted the yachts to be more eco-conscious. The use of fossil fuels is hugely damaging to the natural environment and not only because of the production of greenhouse gasses. Oil spills continue to pollute the oceans and the extraction process of the fossil fuels degrades the ecosystem. It was clear to Sunreef that a green-alternative needed to be created and available for people to buy.
Electric catamarans are low maintenance and provide ultra-silent, fume and wake-free cruising, with minimum impact on the environment while still offering the best of autonomy, comfort and performance one would expect from a luxury Sunreef catamaran.
This range combines high standard of luxury we expect from a Sunreef yacht, with a whole new world of technology to maximise energy efficiency whilst also being far more environmentally friendly with fume-free navigation. Eco-friendly yachts by Sunreef Yachts guarantee solid performance, low-maintenance and Atlantic-range, and deal with the serious issue of the consequences of fossil fuel use in the marine industry. Electric yachts are also saving owners money by significantly reducing costs for diesel and maintenance expenses.
So what makes these catamarans “eco”? These yachts have been designed to remain as sleek as your standard Sunreef, but with hidden features that means they are less harmful to the natural environment. Fossil-fuel free boats rely on energy from the natural elements, such as sun and wind, which is why this range uses a combination of solar panels and wind generators alongside the electric batteries that store the energy.
A significant feature is the integrated solar skin made up of light weight and flexible solar panels on the hull and superstructure, located perfectly to ensure the new elements do not impose on the elegant design of the classic Sunreef yachts. Made of photovoltaic cells, solar panels convert sunlight into electrical power, so the more panels fitted on the yacht, means more power can be generated. Customisation is still a possibility with the Eco range, and solar panels are designed and made by the shipyard so can be combined with any yacht’s surface and fit any customisation requests as they are easy to adapt.
Sunreef’s Eco-friendly yachts use hydro generation technology, designed to generate power whilst sailing. With this, power can be generated from the propeller rotation while the yacht is underway. This energy can be used to power the propulsion battery bank or the electronics onboard. It is a reliable and sustainable source of power.
These luxury eco yachts are fitted with hybrid drive systems, 300kw lithium batteries that can provide up to 24 hours of silent running. With the option of a hybrid engine, the Eco-friendly range provides the opportunity to significantly reduce C02 emissions whilst offering reliable propulsion that can also be used to re-charge they yacht’s battery bank for energy-efficiency purposes. Of course, you could also rely on the most natural way of powering a yacht; the wind. This range offers top quality rigging and fully-recyclable performance sails. The wind can also aid motor-yacht performance and the eco range can be fitted with high-performance kites to aid wind propulsion. Equipped with this kite, Sunreef Yachts’ motor yachts enjoy oceanic range, massive fuel savings, greater visibility and safety.
The Eco range also comes with the possibility of added wind turbines. The turbines are designed to produce power from the wind to keep the yacht’s battery bank charged. They are great for generating power throughout the day, but also in the night and in cloudy weather, when the yacht cannot rely on solar energy, and can operate in a range of wind conditions from very light breeze to storms.
The Eco-range is dedicated to using sustainably and ethically sourced materials for both the exterior and interior design which is becoming an important issue for the shipbuilding industry. Sunreef Eco yachts are using ethically-sourced teak or cork-based materials for the decking as a green alternative to traditional teak decking.
An effort has also been made to produce the structural elements of the yacht from naturally-sourced materials, rather than the traditional glass fibre and polyester resin alternatives. Basalt fibre is a dense rock of volcanic origin and an incredibly strong material that is far more environmentally friendly than glass fibre and produces no toxic reaction when in contact with air or water. Similarly, flax fibre is also used. Flax is one of the world’s strongest natural fibres, obtained with a minimal CO2 footprint and used as the main component of solid composite. Both fibres offer huge energy savings in production and outperform glass fibre, and so Sunreef will incorporate flax and basalt-based composites into the manufacturing process of Eco yachts. It is hoped that in the future, these natural fibres will be the standard material used across the boat building industry.
Sunreef have also used linen fibre which is the strongest and stiffest non-toxic natural fibre that has a minimal carbon footprint.
In order to reduce energy consumption on board, this range features carefully-calculated insulated interiors thanks to sustainable insulation materials. This means the yacht’s interiors maintain stable temperatures and retain both heat. The air-conditioning system is powered by batteries allowing for silent operation.
Eco range specification overview:
- Wind turbines
- Ultramodern Solar Panels
- Linen/Basalt structural elements
- Lithium battery bank (30% lighter than the average nautical battery)
- Kite Sail
- Non-toxic Bottom Paint
- Hi-tech water-maker and purification system reducing the need for plastic bottles of water
- High-performance green propulsion
- No Co2 emissions
- Silence and Comfort
- Hydro Generation can generate power from passive propeller motion
- Recyclable sails
- Rain collection system for water to wash the deck
- Carbon masts, booms and structural reinforcements for weight efficiency
- Insulated interior
- Highly-efficient air conditioning
- High-performance green propulsion
- Highly customisable