The luxury yacht that sails with solar energy and does not pay taxes

Recreational navigation can also be linked to the protection of the environment. Although at the moment the proposal is only within the reach of a privileged minority, the catamaran Soel Cat 12 is presented as the cleanest alternative of the oceans. It is not the first or the only yacht powered by photovoltaic technology but it is undoubtedly one of the most advanced and luxurious models in the world.

The pollution caused by this yacht originating in the Netherlands and manufactured in New Zealand is so small that the local authorities of Bora Bora (French Polynesia), where one of the prototypes of this modern catamaran sails, have decided to apply a significant tax credit.

Some media have chosen to qualify SoelCat 12, as "the Tesla of yachts" (in reference to the well-known brand of electric vehicles). Two elements give the reason. On the one hand, it is a ship driven by the electricity of the photovoltaic cells installed on its roof. In addition, the price of the first prototypes of this catamaran of the firm Soel Yacht are only available to some privileged: about 500,000 euros, according to some sources not confirmed by the manufacturer.

The first yacht of the Soel Cat12 model, baptized as Okeanos Pearl, has been developed by the company Soel Yachts, with the collaboration of the Okeanos Foundation and the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort. This luxury boat is offered for cruises to visitors from this area of ​​Polynesia, with the added value of being a new proposal in favor of the ecological tour.

The electric boat is completely silent and when it is not sailing it becomes a small electricity production station to supply the local network. The promoters assure that the photovoltaic plates of this ship can produce the necessary electricity for quartan homes in this area of ​​the planet.

In addition, whenever possible, the electricity from these plates is used to run a local seawater desalination plant (with a production of up to 4,000 liters of fresh water every hour, says Soel Yacht.

In a normal day of navigation and sun, the photovoltaic plates allow a speed comparable to catamarans powered by combustion engines and, in addition, their batteries can accumulate the energy necessary to continue sailing for another eight hours (without sun).

"The dependence of tourism on fossil fuels is problematic, especially in remote areas. In the interest of the boat operator, the solar option is much more attractive, "according to Susanne Becken, director and professor of Sustainable Tourism at the Griffith Institute of Tourism.

The SoelCat 12 model has two groups of 60 kWh lithium-ion batteries, with a total capacity of 120 kWh. The Okeanos Pearl yacht has capacity for 16 people and is currently being used for tourist routes in Bora Bora and rent for days.

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