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Silent 55: An all-electric catamaran

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Over the past ten years or so, various multihull manufacturers have been trying out all-electric power - though they have been backed-up by a generator. Silent-Yachts is going one step further: they are the first manufacturer to offer a complete production range. We tested the smallest of their models, the Silent 55, in the warm waters off Majorca.

Not a sound, almost no vibration or wash created, zero fumes... an electric multihull has a magical air to it! At the helm is Michael Kölhler: following ten years of testing in almost every sea and ocean in the world and the construction of a one-off catamaran (the Solarwave 46), this pioneering sailor launched the Solarwave 64 and then his Silent shipyard. A complete range (Silent 55, 64 and 79), with at least 10 models already completed... but what is so special about Silent? From the outside, not much distinguishes them from other catamarans in this category. They have a modern design, with large glazed areas, and apart from the impressive square footage of solar panels that cover the coachroof and T-Top, there’s nothing very new. It's inside the hulls where there’s a difference. The Silents are fitted with electric motors powered by a very large lithium-ion battery bank – which will be even bigger aboard future models. At a time when all car manufacturers are producing their ranges of hybrid and now all-electric vehicles, the idea of using this technology on board a boat is very relevant. First of all, because the quality of the equipment on offer - electric motors, solar pa...

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