The ZEN50 solar electric catamaran is the premier model from Zen Yachts
Zen Yachts has just showcased their ZEN50 solar electric catamaran that’s capable of unlimited range on the high seas. The young European yard is still under construction for its zero-emissions catamaran but it’s set to arrive with a high-tech fully-automated wingsail, two kitchens, and Starlink internet from SpaceX.
Short for “Zero Emission Nautic”, Zen Yachts was founded just last year in Malta. The company has merged wind sailing with electric power to help boost the popularity of zero-emission yachts both on and off the sea.
Julien Mélot, a renowned naval architect, developed the design of the ZEN50 solar electric catamaran from scratch. Spanning over 50 feet, it features racing hulls made from lightweight carbon fiber weighing at around 16 tons. It’s also equipped with a massive solar roof that can generate up to 16 kW. Two 40 kW electric motors store the solar energy in a high-capacity 160 kWh main battery, allowing for quiet cruising. With an advantage over other yachts in its class, the ZEN50 has a solar power/weight ratio of 1:1.
Even with the solar backup, traveling at sea on electric propulsion alone could be difficult. This is where the OceanWing wingsail puts in the work. The ZEN50 solar electric catamaran can reach a top speed of 14 knots (16 mph) when combined with the electric motor. The wingsail and solar panels work together to deliver 6-10 knots of speed for continuous cruising (7-11.5 mph). The boat then combines all three technologies to provide a 24-hour range of nearly 180 nautical miles.
According to Zen Yachts, the ZEN50 solar electric catamaran may be equipped with various zero-emissions technology, such as a dive compressor, e-foil, electric jet board, or even an electric water maker. The company stated that they’re still calculating the overall carbon footprint of the ZEN50’s production and would make that information public once it’s been added.