What Companies Make Solar Powered Yachts?

What companies make solar powered yachts?

Solar powered yachts are boats that utilize solar energy as their main source of power. They have solar panels installed on the deck which convert sunlight into electricity to run the yacht’s propulsion system and onboard appliances and equipment. Unlike conventional motor yachts, solar yachts do not require fossil fuels and thus produce no emissions. Their energy source is renewable and sustainable.

The solar yacht industry has seen steady growth in recent years, with major companies emerging as key players. As concerns over climate change and fossil fuel dependence rise, solar yachts provide an eco-friendly alternative for yacht owners seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. While still a niche market, advancements in solar panel and battery technology are making solar yachts more viable and affordable. Major manufacturers like Silent Yachts, Vision of the Fjords, and Soel Yachts are pioneering solar powered yacht models equipped with efficient electric propulsion systems.

Benefits of Solar Powered Yachts

Solar powered yachts offer several key benefits compared to conventional engine-powered boats. Most significantly, solar power provides environmental sustainability. Solar panels produce clean electricity without any emissions or pollution. This allows solar yachts to operate free of noise, fumes, and carbon emissions. According to https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/solar-boats.php, solar power reduces the carbon footprint and ecological impact of boating.

In addition to sustainability, solar powered boats provide major fuel savings. By relying on the sun rather than gasoline or diesel, solar yachts eliminate the ongoing cost of fuel. The electricity generated from solar panels is free once the initial equipment cost is paid off. As noted by https://www.bluettipower.com/blogs/news/all-you-need-to-know-about-marine-solar-panels, having your own on board solar electricity source means no money spent on fuel.

Lastly, solar systems require less maintenance than engine-based propulsion. With fewer mechanical parts and no need for oil changes or tune-ups, solar yachts have reduced operating costs compared to conventional boats.

How Solar Powered Yachts Work

Solar powered yachts utilize solar panels, batteries, and electric propulsion to harness the power of the sun for propulsion on the water. The solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity, which charges onboard batteries. The batteries then provide power to electric motors that propel the yacht through the water.

Marine-grade solar panels are mounted on the deck, cabin roof, and other surfaces of the yacht to maximize sun exposure. High efficiency monocrystalline panels are commonly used to produce a lot of power from a small footprint. The panels feed into lithium-ion batteries that store electricity for when the sun isn’t shining (Jackery).

The electric propulsion system uses the stored battery power to drive quiet, emission-free propeller motors. Many solar powered yachts utilize pod drives or azimuth thrusters for maneuverability. This allows them to cruise silently and cleanly using only power from the sun.

Major Companies in the Market

Several companies around the world are investing in solar power for yachts. Some of the major companies in this market include:

Silent Yachts – Based in Austria, Silent Yachts is a leading manufacturer of solar-powered catamarans. Their yachts utilize solar panels on the roof to provide 100% of the energy needed for propulsion and household electrical systems (Source). Some of their models include the Silent 55 and Silent 80.

Vision of the Fjords – This Norwegian company operates solar-powered passenger vessels for sightseeing tours. Their hybrid catamarans combine solar panels, batteries, and diesel generators to operate emission-free in scenic areas (Source).

Soel Yachts – Based in the Netherlands, Soel Yachts makes long-range solar-powered catamarans. Their SoelCat 12 model can cruise at 8 knots using just solar energy and has backup diesel generators (Source).

Other companies developing solar yachts include Frauscher Boats in Austria, Guannab in China, and WhisperPower in the Netherlands (Source). While still a niche market, solar power is gaining interest in the yacht industry for its clean and quiet operation.

Silent Yachts

Founded in 2009, Silent Yachts is an Austria-based company that exclusively designs and manufactures solar-electric-powered catamarans from 32 to 120 feet in length (Silent Yachts website). Their yachts are equipped with high-efficiency solar panels and lithium batteries, allowing for almost unlimited range. According to Silent Yachts, their solar catamarans can cruise for 100 miles per day using just the power generated by the sun.

Silent Yachts currently offers three models: the Silent 55, Silent 80, and Silent 120 Explorer. The Silent 55 is 55 feet long and can accommodate up to 12 guests in 5 cabins. The 80-foot Silent 80 has a flybridge design and can sleep 8 guests in 4 cabins. The newest and largest model is the 120-foot Silent 120 Explorer, which can host 12 guests in 6 cabins and has a range of 100 miles per day (Silent Yachts).

Some unique features of Silent Yachts catamarans include 360-degree panoramic visibility from the salon and flybridge, a low-noise electric propulsion system, and minimal vibration. The solar panels give the yachts unlimited range without needing to stop for fuel. Owners can continuously monitor the energy production and consumption through the advanced power management system.

Vision of the Fjords

Vision of the Fjords is a Norwegian boat operator that offers sightseeing tours on zero emission passenger vessels along the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord. The company was founded in 2014 and launched its first hybrid electric passenger catamaran called Vision of the Fjords in 2016 (The Fjords | Store reiseopplevelser).

Vision of the Fjords currently operates three hybrid catamarans – Vision of the Fjords, Vision of the Fjords II, and Vision Explorer. The first two vessels have a passenger capacity of 400 people each, while the Vision Explorer can accommodate 300 passengers (OUR SHIPS).

Some unique features of the Vision catamarans include their silent operation, indoor/outdoor seating, large panoramic windows, and sustainability focus. The vessels are powered by hybrid systems combining batteries and diesel engines, allowing them to operate emission-free in the UNESCO fjords using only electric propulsion. They were also designed with accessibility in mind to accommodate wheelchair users and passengers with limited mobility.

Soel Yachts

Soel Yachts is a Dutch company founded in 2002 that specializes in building high-performance solar electric yachts. They were one of the first companies to successfully integrate solar panels into the hull and deck of luxury boats and yachts.

Some of Soel Yachts’ models include the Soel Senses 62, SoelCat 12, and SoelCat 67. The boats range in size from 12 meters up to 67 meters. Key features of Soel Yachts include:

  • Efficient solar power systems with semi-flexible solar panels integrated into the hull and deck
  • Silent electric propulsion with high cruising ranges
  • Spacious, luxurious interiors with smart home technology
  • Hydrogeneration and high-capacity batteries for continuous power

Soel Yachts stands out for its expertise in solar electric systems, having powered over 27 circumnavigations around the world. The solar panels provide enough renewable energy for most household needs on board. This allows for silent, emission-free cruising while still providing all the comforts and amenities of a luxury yacht.

Other Notable Companies

While Silent Yachts, Vision of the Fjords, and Soel Yachts are the most prominent solar yacht manufacturers, there are several other notable companies in this market:

Hanse Yachts (https://www.hanseyachts.com) is a German yacht builder that offers solar panel options on many of their sailing yacht models. For example, the Hanse 588 has an available 8.7 kW solar array.

Arcadia Yachts (https://www.arcadiaryachts.com) is an Italian company that builds eco-friendly yachts focused on solar power as well as light-weight materials. The Arcadia 85 and 100 models have large solar panel arrays integrated into their design.

Greenline Yachts (https://greenlinehybrid.com) offers solar-assisted hybrid yachts. Their boats use a combination of solar power, diesel engine, and electric motor technology for propulsion and onboard electrical needs.

Solarwave Yachts (http://www.solarwaveyachts.com) in the Netherlands custom designs solar-electric ships of various sizes using efficient modules that can be installed flush with the deck.

While still a niche market, the solar yacht industry has expanded in recent years as the technology improves and becomes more affordable. These companies show the growing diversity of models integrating solar power for clean, quiet, and sustainable boating.

Future Outlook

The solar powered yacht industry is poised for strong growth in the coming years. According to CNBC, the market for solar-powered boats is projected to grow 14% by 2031 to $2.4 billion. Several key trends are driving this growth.

First, improvements in solar panel and battery technologies are making solar power more viable for marine applications. Lighter, more efficient solar panels allow boats to capture more energy from the sun. Meanwhile, advances in lithium-ion batteries are increasing storage capacities while reducing weight.

Second, rising fuel costs and environmental awareness are spurring demand for sustainable electric propulsion. Solar energy allows boats to tap into a renewable resource and avoid the need for expensive diesel fuel.

However, the industry also faces challenges. Saltwater corrosion remains an issue for solar components. Systems need to be durable enough to withstand the marine environment. There are also regulatory hurdles regarding safety and right-of-way rules for electric vessels in some jurisdictions.

Nonetheless, with investment pouring into solar marine technologies, the future looks bright. Innovations like thin, flexible solar panels and improved energy management systems will make solar power increasingly attractive for all types of boats in the years ahead.


Solar powered yachts represent an emerging niche in the yachting industry. As we’ve seen, companies like Silent Yachts, Vision of the Fjords, and Soel Yachts are pioneering solar powered boats and yachts that are self-sufficient, eco-friendly, and luxurious.

The benefits of solar powered yachts are clear: they can cruise indefinitely without refueling, produce zero emissions, and provide a serene, silent boating experience. The technology works via an array of solar panels that charge large banks of lithium batteries to power electric motors.

While the upfront costs are still high, the long-term savings on fuel are substantial. As production scales up and solar technology advances, solar yachts are likely to become more affordable and popular.

With concerns about climate change and fossil fuel usage growing, solar powered yachts represent the sustainable future of luxury boating. We can expect to see many more environmentally friendly solar boats and yachts launched in the years ahead.

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