Sun-Powered Sailboat: Yacht Features Flexible Solar Sails

solar powered yacht

Wind energy has long provided sustainable power for sailing the seven seas but when the winds go still the sun can continue to carry this dazzling vessel around the world.

solar sail ship

Dreamt up by Italian designers Marco Ferrari and Alberto Franchi, this performance fly-bridge ketch dubbed Helios spans 180 feet and accommodates up to 10 guests and 8 crew. Its most unique feature: 2,500 solar panels (cells made from silicon) that can generate arround 355 kWh of power, which in turn can be stored in a series of on-board batteries.

solar ship rendering

The accommodations are not lacking in luxury: a disappearing infinity pool, convertible cinema and space for jet skis, canoes and other auxiliary crafts are all tucked into the design. Practical considerations, however, were also made throughout: “The spinnaker is made of nylon and the mizzen staysail is made of Dacron because they must be light, handy and functional to be lifted up and then hauled down in the forepeaks.”

solar ship at night

“The exterior styling of the deck house is modern and is shaped from the soft curves of an oyster-shell. The height of the ketch rig allows the yacht to pass through the Panama Canal, and the sails are suitable for cruising and occasional race. Helios is a diesel-electric sailing yacht that, together with the reduced draft of 4 meters thanks to the lifting keel, can go in shallow waters or protected areas using only electric propulsion expanding its range for expedition.”

solar sailing vessel model

“The cockpit offers dining for 10 guests and is protected from the elements, while the deck which is clean from rigging, offers a wide space for relaxation and sunbathing areas for the guests. The fly-bridge deck has a dual helm stations with excellent all-round visibility and an infinity pool looking aft, but when the yacht is under way the water is pumped out and is converted into a sunbathing area with cushions.”

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See more in Concept Vehicles or under Transportation. March, 2015.