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Highfield Boats - Power - LEADERBOARD

The way forward

by John Curnow, Global Editor, Powerboat-World.com 22 Oct 19:00 PDT
Soel Senses 48 © Soel Yachts

From 15m to 150m the word 'impact' is well and truly part of the new vocabulary. Oceanco have just had their first NXT seminar, and then in the shorter LOA bracket, we have seen a lot of solar and hybrid action from Nova Luxe, Silent Yachts, and also Aquanima. Then there have been numerous dayboats and tenders that we have put on our website, too. (Say Rand for instance.)

Soel Yachts have just put forward their first yacht, the Senses 48. We had been chatting with them since they produced their first 'ferries' for a South Pacific resort, so it was a good time to go back to Managing Partner, Linda Brembs, for some more detail.

The company has been in operation since 2011, so what have they been up to? "In 2016/17 the SoelCat 12 was designed and built as a dedicated lagoon-cruising catamaran. The design focussed on maximising solar energy input and feeding directly into the high voltage batteries. The solar catamaran is commercially operated by the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa in French Polynesia," said Brembs.

"This success was followed up with the design of a dedicated Electric Passenger Vessel, the Soel Shuttle 14. This solar electric boat was designed in 2019 and currently two are under construction scheduled for delivery beginning of next year."

"Besides the design, engineering and production of solar electric boats, Soel Yachts works closely with partner company, Naval DC, to create and integrate turn-key packages."

So how are the ones going in Bora Bora? "The SoelCat 12 has been in successful operations at the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort since 2017, taking guests on unique sunset cruises, and charter tours."

Is the Soel Senses 48 in manufacture and where? "This is our newest model. The concept was just been released and has not been built yet. Additionally, we are currently developing the bigger sister of the Soel Senses 48 for two separate clients."

What does the solar-powered vessel market look like? In a time where old standards are being questioned, the opportunity to forge new paths is opening up. There is clearly a shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle, and the demand for meaningful and long lasting products is rising. While the earth is recovering during these times of limited travel, the awareness for the necessity of e-mobility is more present than ever.

"The market for solar electric boats is everywhere where people would like enjoy time travelling on the water without being disturbed by any noise or exhaust fumes."

One of the big considerations by many contemplating alternative power, is simply, is it cost effective or only for people looking to save the planet? "Compared to any conventional boat, the electric boat ensures significant cost savings for fuel, maintenance and rebuild for new engines every year."

Brembs finished by saying, "This makes operations not only truly green, but also very cost effective!"

Time to Marvel

Well, it does tend to make you think of superheroes when you get into the gigayacht bracket... Despite everything, the yards have been able to deliver vessels, and one was immediately available for charter. She's the 107m Benetti, Lana. Super stylish, her list of features was utterly commendable, yet the thought of the on board Hammam clinched it for me. Imagine the benefit of lying on the hot stones, a good scrub, and the clean skin that only this process can deliver... A 2.7m ceiling height in the guest areas, a 100m2 Master Stateroom, a 120m2 beach club, gym, spa and treatment rooms, as well as an 8m pool and cinema room certainly sealed the deal.

Yet seeing as this is all about the way forward, her hybrid dynamic electric propulsion system ensuring fuel saving was enough to complement her looks and get the guernsey here. Go vicarious, or if you happen to be in that bracket, then consider the possibilities! Watch the video!

The largest superyacht for charter right now is the 136m Lürssen, Flying Fox. Penned by the truly gifted Espen Oeino, and classed as six star, she may actually be more like interstellar. 12m athwartships pool, 400m2, two storey spa that includes a CryoSauna, the two storey Main Salon has a real fire pit, and outside there's a rotisserie, coal BBQ, and even a pizza oven. A decompression chamber heads up a superlative dive centre. . Go on - take a look!

Seeing as we are Powerboat-WORLD...

It meant we just had to jump to other side of The Pond and have a look at Hinckley, who are celebrating 25 years of the Picnic Boat with their first ever outboard-powered Picnic Boat in the new, resin infused carbon fibre 35 you see here. They also created special version of their existing range, making the most of all of the learnings over the years and offer the 34S, 37S, and 40S as a result.

Yet the one that caught my eye the most was the new Picnic Boat Refurbishment Program to ensure proper stewardship of boats that are approaching 20-25 years of age. It sort of reminded me of some of the great wine makers who go around and carefully check your prized bottle or bottles to make sure it will deliver on the promise when the time comes.

There are just 378 original Picnic Boats (built from 1995 to 2009), and you can repower, have different consoles over the engine box, extend the swim platform and a raft of other enhancements to bring the boat into the here and now. Nice.

Pretty in blue...

Reaction to the stylish Cape50 has been as strong and purposeful as her lines. Now resplendent in her French blue paint, and with her sheer line accentuated by the shiny new moulding, we are very much starting to get the picture...

Finishing up, or is that cleaning up?

Luxury Australian motor yacht manufacturer, Maritimo, is gearing up for a spectacular display at the forthcoming Sanctuary Cove Boating Festival (November 13-15). Maritimo will have a number of luxury vessels on display, including the race bred X50R (that we tested in August), and they will also be revealing details for the first time of a sleek new addition to its S series range.

The company will also be showcasing the 115 year old, fully restored (by Maritimo's own craftsmen and women) Katwinchar ketch that won the Veteran's Division in the last Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Maritimo will also display one of its 2019 UIM XCat World Championship winning race team's offshore powerboat racing catamarans.

OK. Today you will find that the website has an abundance of material from right across the globe, and if you cannot find something, just try the search button right up the top of the landing page, above our logo.

So as you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other parts of the group, go to the top of the Powerboat-World homepage and the drag down menu on the right, select the site you want to see and, voila, it's all there for you.

Speak with you again, very, very soon, John Curnow

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