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Aura 51 Smart Electric - The first electric catamaran from Fountaine Pajot

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Electric propulsion is progressively making its mark in the automobile sector, and it was foreseeable that the marine industry would come to follow this trend. While many multihull manufacturers already offer zero-emissions motors, the next step was to shift up into mass production... This is now being achieved, as we saw at the Cannes Yachting Festival, where the very first Aura 51 Smart Electric was on display.

  • Test location: La Rochelle, France
  • Conditions: 6 to 10 knots of westerly wind, slight sea

This particular catamaran is one that we discovered as a preview in La Rochelle a few months ago, so it was already familiar to us. It had lived its first life as a prototype in the internal combustion engine version, in order to obtain all the necessary approvals as soon as possible. Immediately after the photo shoot organized last spring off the Glénans islands in Brittany and our test in La Rochelle - see MW184, the Aura 51 #1 came back to the shipyard to undergo a kind of transformation - switching from combustion to electric in just over a week! The objective of this article is not to describe again the behavior under sail, the deck plan and the fittings of this new 51-footer (very successful by the way) but to describe the brand-new electric version.

Electric… why do it?

Aboard our multihulls, the internal combustion vs electric debate is much less virulent than it is where cars are concerned. For those who don’t want to think about it too much, laws and directives should, in the medium term, be more or less the same in both worlds: no more combustion in the city, no more comb...

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