New cruising catamaran from Silent 55 powered by solar energy

Silent 55

Silent Yachts unveiled at 2018 Cannes Yachting Festival (September 11-16, 2018)  the new production cruising catamaran powered by solar energy

Silent 55The yacht uses silent electric propulsion for unlimited range, with no noise or fumes and minimal vibration, and is self-sufficient as well as virtually maintenance-free.

Silent Yachts was founded by Heike and Michael Köhler, who have spent 5,000 days aboard cruising more than 75,000 miles all around the world. They launched the Solarwave 46, the first fully self-sufficient blue-water catamaran in 2009 after years of testing solar-powered propulsion.

Silent Yachts features four models: the new SILENT 55, the SILENT 64, the SILENT 55 VIP Ferry, and the SILENT 79, revealed in August 2018.


Silent 55Available in up to five power configurations to suit a variety of cruising applications, the SILENT 55 can be equipped as a “Cruiser” version, with a pair of 30 kW motors or as an “E-Power” version with 2 x 250 kW motors.

A “Hybrid Power” version has 2 x 220 hp diesel engines and two 14 kW electric motors. The “Sailor” version can be equipped with all the previously mentioned drivetrain configurations is rigged with a mast and sails to provide additional propulsion in fair winds.

With 30 high-efficiency solar panels rated for approximately 9 kilowatt-peak, the SILENT 55 uses maximum power point tracking (MPPT) solar charge regulators and lithium batteries, which provide capacity for all-night cruising, while a 15-kVA inverter provides power for all household appliances. The systems require hardly any maintenance and produce no fumes or noise.

Silent 55According to Michael Köhler, Silent Yachts CEO, the brand produces the first and only oceangoing solar-electric production catamaran in the world.

What this represents to the yachtsman, among other features, is the ability to cruise for many hours at normal speed, and throughout the entire day and evening at reduced speed – Köhler says. Silent Yachts sets the standard for an entirely new dynamic and a new class in yachting, combining the advantages of a sailing boat (silence, powered by free natural energy) with the luxury of a motorboat (power available whenever needed). Pure solar-powered luxury.

Five different layouts

The SILENT 55 is available in five different layouts ranging from three to six staterooms with three or four heads. A full-width central owner’s stateroom is the centerpiece of three of the layouts, with guest staterooms located in port and starboard hulls. All staterooms offer double or twin berths, and heads all include a separate shower. Other layouts are available on request.

The construction

Silent 55The SILENT 55 is built using vacuum-bagged resin infusion to create a lightweight glass-sandwich composite construction that has sound- and temperature-insulating qualities. The hull is reinforced with carbon fiber at stress points, and uses vinylester resin to prevent osmotic blistering.

Designed with sealed deck sections and collision compartments for safety, the SILENT 55 uses watertight bulkheads and integrated interior furniture to create a torsion-resistant hull structure.

SILENT 55 E-Power – Brief specifications

Silent 55Length overall: 16.70 m (54 feet 10 inches)

Beam overall: 8.46 m (27 feet 8 inches)

Draft: 1.20 m (3 feet 11 inches)

Light displ. (EC): 17.2 tons

Water: 500 – 1,000 liters (113 – 227 gallons)

Waste-Water: 2 x 500 liters (2 x 113 gallons)

Fuel: 500 – 1,600 liters (113 – 363 gallons)

Solar Generator: 9,000 Wp

E-Motors: 2 x 250 kW

Generator: 100 kW

Cruising Speed: 12 – 15 knots

Top Speed: approx. 20 knots

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