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photo of Solar Power Meets Luxury Cruising With Silent Yachts

Solar Power Meets Luxury Cruising With Silent Yachts

By Rob Bowman | Posted On May 05, 2019
Updated On Jun 03, 2020

As the yachting industry continues to evolve and innovate with new technologies, the progression towards environentally-friendly or "green" boating has risen in interest in recent years. The need to lower the carbon footprint left behind by two diesel engines and a diesel generator is a priority for some yacht owners. The idea of electric boating or even solar-powered boating has been tried, but no one has yet to achieve a fully solar-powered cruising yacht, until now. United Yacht Sales is proud to offer Silent Yachts to the U.S. market.

Imagine a virtually unlimited cruising range. You can actually hear the sound of the waves breaking on the hulls thanks to the absence of diesel engines and generator on board which vastly reduces the overall noise levels. And best of all, the impact to the enviornment is virtually non-existant for guilt-free yachting.

This dream is now possible with Silent Yachts, whose luxury catamarans give a new meaning to "power-cat".

The boating world has taken notice as well as the Silent Yachts 55 was recently nominated as a finalist for the 2019 Motor Boat Awards in the "Passagemaker" category. Silent Yachts was also nominated at the Ocean Awards 2019 in the "Innovation Award" category which was organized by Boat International magazine in partnership with the Blue Marine Foundation.

(Seen below: The Silent Yachts 55 cruising effortlessly under solar power.)

 Silent Yachts 55 solar powered luxury catamaran

Silent Yachts are the first and only oceangoing production yachts in the world that are fully solar sustainable and powered by solar energy. It’s pure solar-powered luxury, offering customers a completely new experience that lets them be more in tune with the sea while making an environmentally conscious choice that also reduces operating and maintenance costs.

Imagine eliminating the challenges of yachting—expensive fuel, costly repairs, long down time, pollution—without sacrificing the slightest bit of luxury.

It’s here.


After 23 years and 60,000 nautical miles of traditional sailing, husband and wife team Michael and Heike Kohler figured there had to be a better way of boating.

For five years they tested alternative power sources on yachts, focusing on self-sufficient power supply and electric propulsion — wind, solar and hydrogenation. This research and the resulting lectures they gave led to the publication of the book “Energieversorgung auf Yachten” (“Energy Supply on Yachts”).

Solar was, by far, the most efficient, powerful, and reliable source. After those five years and 15,000 nautical miles of sailing on a test catamaran they started the design and construction of the SOLARWAVE 46, a purely solar-powered yacht and the first fully self-sufficient bluewater catamaran. She launched in 2009 and was the first oceangoing yacht that powered the propulsion as well as the AC, water maker, and all appliances exclusively by solar.

This launched a rigorous and exhaustive five-year sea trial during which the Kohlers tested the functionality and sea-capability of the yacht across Europe’s rivers and on the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. She passed with flying colors, powering everything as intended and never requiring maintenance for the solar plant, the batteries, or the electric engine.

The proof was indisputable—this technology is unquestionably the best alternative power for nautical propulsion and the Kohler’s proprietary SILENT System is suitable for self-sufficient sailing and life on board.

Today Silent Yachts produces high-end luxury yachts in different sizes (55 and 80) and layouts that use the SILENT System to provide and manage the solar energy needed for propulsion, household appliances, and luxury life on board.


Silent Yachts has developed a modular, scalable, and proprietary system that reduces the operation hours of diesel engines, and thus the fuel consumption, to close to zero. The SILENT System is safe, simpler, redundant, requires less maintenance, and costs less than conventional fuel-dependent propulsion and energy-supply systems, leading to more luxury, comfort, independence, reliability, and safety.

The special configuration of the components guarantees that the solar-panels generate more power on an average day than the total consumption for propulsion at cruising speed as well as powering all household appliances on an average holiday trip to a typical holiday destination.

As noted on their website, the extraordinary energy efficiency of Silent Yachts is achieved by:

• Bionic design
• Towing-tank-optimized hull-shape
• Wind- and wave-drag optimized design
• CNC-milling of the molds
• Construction in carbon-composite with resin-infusion
• Light-weight and structurally strong layout
• Fully insulated hulls
• Durability and long- term maintenance of value by using high quality resins

(Seen below: Motor Boat & Yachting magazine reviews the Silent Yachts 55.)


Silent Yachts builds their luxury catamarans through two different shipyards. The Silent 55 has the hull built at the world-class Mazarin German Yachts shipyards in Qingdao, China. Mazarin’s innovative construction processes produce remarkably lightweight yet sturdy yachts. The design, engineering, as well as the technical components, are all done or sourced from the United States.

The Silent 80 is produced at the Italian-based shipyard Consorzio Navale, a prestigious consortium of builders and sub-contractors in the industry who have serviced many of the major Italian yacht brands such as Ferretti Yachts and Riva Yachts. Additionally, the Silent Yachts 80 features styling and design by Marco Casali and naval architecture by MICAD.

Whichever model you desire, you’re getting a truly luxurious world cruiser with noiseless and fumeless navigation, infinite range, and self-sufficiency for weeks. There are no compromises on any of the exhilaration, comfort, and luxury that you get from a conventional yacht when you’re traversing the open ocean powered by pure and clean solar energy.

And because all water and energy production is done on board, there’s no need for marina stops for fuel and water like with conventional gas-powered yachts.

Depending on the chosen motor configuration, a SILENT yacht offers a cruising-speed of 6-8 knots and a top speed of up to 20 knots, with a virtually unlimited range across the entire lineup. Owners can cruise up to 100 miles a day, going for weeks without fuel, in addition to powering all the household appliances.

For those rare occasions of several days of foul weather, or high cruising speed over a longer period of time, the on-board diesel generator serves as a range extender and automatically turns on when the batteries reach a specific low level. Once the sun reappears, the batteries recharge and the generator returns to hibernation mode. You save substantial amounts of fuel and money, protect the environment, and enjoy comfortable, relaxed cruising over long periods of time, independent of weather or external resources. And with the redundant system and backup generator, you’re 100% safe in all conditions anywhere on the open ocean.

This is made possible by two factors:

1.) Silent Yachts’ constant upgrades to the latest-generation lithium batteries. The lithium batteries used in Silent Yachts are the most expensive on the market, but also the most reliable, safest, and with the longest life span. Panasonic battery cells of the highest energy density available on the market today are used, similar to what Tesla uses.
2.) The diesel generator aboard (aka the Range Extender) that can charge the batteries and run systems during protracted periods of foul weather.

For those who crave a higher top end, hybrid-powered versions with larger engines can be ordered. 

The main differentiator is cruising speed. If the owner is living on the yacht for an extended period of time, rarely pushes to top speeds, and stays below 12 knots, then the regular E-Power set up is recommended.

The powerful lithium batteries also power cooling and heating via the unique aeration system, which is installed in all cabins, bathrooms, and the saloon, and provides individually adjustable cool and fresh air at any time. In reverse mode the heat pump provides a cozy interior for all-seasons use, so no matter the weather, you and your family and guests enjoy optimum comfort.

The Silent Yachts fleet also features only the highest quality materials and craftsmanship, which isn’t a surprise considering the shipyards that were chosen to produce these beauties.

All parts exposed to the marine environment are made of corrosion-resistant materials and all components are virtually free of maintenance. The solar panels are integrated in to the roof of the flybridge hardtop sections rather than being bolted on top, resulting in no wind load or resistance against them.

Service features include:

- Lifetime maintenance-free motors
- 25-year solar panels warranty
- 8-year battery banks warranty

- Beam: 27.7’
- Draft: 3.9’
- Cruising Speed: 6 – 8 kt / 12 – 15 kt
- Top Speed: approx. 12 kt / 20 kt
- Range: Transocean

- Beam: 35.9’
- Draft: 4.1’
- Cruising Speed: 6 – 8 kt
- Top Speed: 12 – 15 kt
- Range: Transocean

If these major attributes are important to you:

- Silent
- Environmentally friendly
- Economically friendly
- Self-sufficient
- Luxurious
- Unlimited range
- More days at sea; no marina stops needed
- Lower operating and maintenance costs

...then contact either David Sell or Darren Sell today to arrange a viewing of these sleek, self-sufficient, luxury yachts.

As Michael Kohler stated: “The future of luxury yachting is individualistic, noiseless, self-sufficient and honoring nature and environment.”

And the future is now.

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