Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Eco tourism target for solar powered cat

Published on January 19, 2016 by   ·   No Comments


This year, with the price of solar panels plummeting, solar yachts are in the ascendancy.

With the convenience and autonomy of a powerboat and the low running costs of a sailing boat, what’s not to love? The latest solar yacht to be announced is the fully autonomous SoelCat 12 which will be launched next year.

SOEL stands for SOlar ELectric and 12 for, well, 12 metres and, according to the yacht’s creators, is pronounced like “soul”.


4_!The SoelCat 12 maxes out at 15 knots but is most efficient at her cruising speed of six to eight knots when she can operate directly off the solar panels and can essentially run forever. If you want to travel after dark or in cloudy conditions, the SoelCat 12 can operate for six hours on the 120kWh batteries.

The Company is run by two Naval Architecture graduates from the Delft University of Technology – David Czap and Joep Koster.

Czap is a solar boat entrepreneur and already has a string of companies under his belt. After graduating in 2003, he cofounded Czeers Solarboats in 2006 and two years later set up Naval DC before joining forces with Joep Koster to form SOEL YACHTS in 2011.

Czeers were forerunners in the solar boat business and manufactured the Czeers Mk1 which claimed to be the world’s first solar electric speed boat, a stylish Riva-esque 10 metre carbon boat which achieved speeds of up to 30 knots.

As the SoelCat 12 doesn’t need to be plugged in…ever, it is also an ideal base for scientific research and marine life expeditions.

The first incarnation of the SoelCat 12 has been designed as a versatile passenger carrier rather than a personal craft; think dive boat or water taxi.


Being a catamaran there is plenty of deck space and it’s fully customisable.

For pared down eco tours you can fit it out like a bus with forward facing bench seats, or for a more luxurious feel add limo-style sofas port and starboard, the possibilities are endless.

The perfect fit for this green boat is eco-tourism. You can get to the dive site quickly and silently without pumping out diesel fumes, so much better for the environment, and the stable multihull design lessens the sickening pitching and rolling that you often get on dive RIBs.

To cap it all off there’s plenty of room to get kitted up and store your tanks securely.

The vessel is constructed from lightweight fibreglass composite with marine-grade lithium polymer battery systems which weigh just 8kg per kWh.

“We can remotely monitor all electric propulsion system vitals worldwide via our Naval UI alarm and monitoring system”, says Czap.

He brings a lot of experience to the table and the SoelCat 12 benefits from Naval DC’ s nine years of proven electric propulsion experience in harsh environments.

“Our integrated electric propulsion systems have logged more than 350,000 blue water nautical miles in the Pacific, so far,” he says.

So if you’re running an eco resort or a dive centre then maybe this is the green option you’ve been looking for, if not keep your eyes peeled as there is a SOEL Weekender in the pipeline for those of us that want a solar pleasure boat all to ourselves.

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