Solar-Electric ZEN50 Catamaran Debuts Fully-Automated Wingsail
If you’re not familiar with ZEN Yachts, then the first thing you should know is that ZEN stands for Zero Emission Nautic—and that pretty much tells you exactly what the boating company is all about. The new ZEN50 is a prime example of what the brand can do. The catamaran is a fully solar-electric craft and ZEN claims that it is the only production yacht in the world to have a fully automated wingsail.
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The first ZEN50 Catamaran has already sold and is in production in Barcelona, Spain. Completion is set for 2023, with the second unit being started just as soon as the first is out of the mould. The catamaran came out of a desire on the part of naval architect Julien Melot’s desire to create the perfect vehicle for an eco-conscious client. The ZEN50 measures 15.7 metres, or roughly 51.5 feet, in total length. The beam comes in at 8.4 metres.
The catamaran can host up to 12 guests in six cabins. With the capability of being fully customizable, the interior can offer all sorts of configurations. It also offers the types of amenities you would expect in a yacht, such as a saloon, two wet kitchens, one professional galley, three dining areas, and more lounges than you’ll know what to do with. In keeping with the fully electric vision, the yacht comes with an e-water scooter, e-foil, electric jet boards, electric water maker, and a dive compressor all charged by the catamaran.
“The majority of solar catamarans currently on the market are equipped with a large generator, making them de facto hybrid diesel-solar-electric boats,” says Melot. “They offer great speeds in a variety of conditions but are less eco-friendly than true zero-emission vessels. We wanted the ZEN to be a true solar boat.”
To make that dream a reality, the rooftop of the ZEN50 is covered with solar panels producing peak power of 16kW. Two 40kW brushless DC motors provide propulsion and are powered by a 160kW lithium battery pack. The fully automated semi-rigid wingsail helps to extend the range. “Our customers are aware that they will be sailing a performance catamaran with zero emissions,” says the company. “Those who dream of sailing the oceans with their families do so without leaving a carbon footprint.”