A charging point for electric cars stands outside the Spirit Yachts boatyard in Ipswich, UK. “Our customers show up in Teslas,” explains Nigel Stuart, managing director of Spirit Yachts. “They care about the environment, and wooden yachts are a genuinely ecologically sound means of moving across water.”
Spirit 111 Launch (Ian Roman/Waterline Media)
The charging point is more than just convenient for customers. It illustrates a more significant trend in the yachting business and the world: More and more sailors, boat builders and commercial enterprises are looking at electric mobility to power their vessels into the future.
The brand-new, 34-metre Spirit 111 is one of the largest sailing yachts with electric propulsion in maritime history. The yacht is powered by a Torqeedo Deep Blue 100i system with four 40 kWh Deep Blue batteries that can drive the boat at eight knots for up to 40 nm – emission-free.
“The owner wanted the most environmentally friendly yacht ever built,” explains Stuart. “Torqeedo supplied, installed and integrated an electric propulsion and energy management system that helped bring that vision to life.”
The Spirit 111 is a milestone in electric mobility on the water – and that’s why it fits that Torqeedo, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric motors for boats, has just delivered its 100,000th motor to the Ipswich boatyard. The 111’s tender will be powered by a Torqeedo Cruise 10.0 Tiller - the last piece in the puzzle that makes the Spirit 111 energy independent.
“Modern oceangoing yachts can now be truly CO2-neutral thanks to electric mobility,” said Dr. Christoph Ballin, CEO and co-founder of Torqeedo. “Loud, smelly diesel generators are obsolete or reduced to a backup role because sailing yachts can generate power themselves using solar cells, hydrogeneration, and wind generators.”
“As you sail, you replenish any energy used and return with full batteries,” Ballin said. “Silence, plenty of energy, freedom and independence - anyone who loves spending time on the water, as I do, will recognize the sheer beauty of this idea.”
“The Spirit 111 marks a major leap forward for electric mobility on the water, and it’s only fitting that this remarkable sailing yacht is not only powered by Torqeedo, its tender will be powered by our 100,000th electric propulsion system,” said Ballin, who noted that the German engineering company is also celebrating its 15th year of business in 2020.
“We now have the technology for genuinely climate-neutral travel and transport on the water,” Ballin said. “The future is now.”