Solar catamaran Silent 120 Explorer features U-Boat Worx submarine and VRCO aircraft for true adventurers
Silent 120 Explorer features U-Boat Worx submarine and VRCO aircraft
Solar catamaran builder Silent-Yachts is marking the logical evolution of boating and global explorer yachting with its new superyacht, the Silent 120 Explorer. The new project, which features powerful styling and interior design by Marco Casali, also offers owners the chance to make the most of their adventure cruising itineraries with space for two of the latest must-have toys for remote voyaging – an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for heli-cruising and a submarine for underwater discovery.
For a yacht of less than 37 metres to offer such extraordinary interior comfort and also space for such an impressive array of tenders is in itself remarkable, but the fact that the Silent 120 Explorer offers this powered largely by harvesting solar energy makes the 120 truly groundbreaking in superyachting.
The 36.74-metre Silent 120 Explorer, the first of which is currently in build and due for launch in 2024, features a 13.85-metre beam and an astonishing volume of 499 gross tonnes to offer extended cruising at 6-8 knots in economical mode, or up to 16 knots at full power. The supercat also heralds the next step in solar-powered cruising, with 40kWp (kilowatt-peak) panels providing enough energy to cover the yacht’s hotel loads (thanks in part to detailed and highly efficient systems design) as well as offering significant fossil-free cruising autonomy, with carefully selected range-extender generators in addition to the 800kW lithium-ion batteries driving highly efficient 340kW e-motors, giving unlimited-miles cruising potential.
The Silent 120 Explorer offers her future owners more than just a technologically and environmentally advanced luxury explorer platform with potentially unlimited range – the catamaran hull form combined with compact electric propulsion units offers significant space that enables the Silent 120 Explorer to carry both a revolutionary eVTOL aircraft and an all-electric two-person submarine, in addition to the usual tenders and toys demanded on a superyacht.
Silent-Yachts’ partnership with VRCO, designers and manufacturers of the Xcraft XP4 eVTOL aircraft, marks the first time a yacht builder and an aircraft manufacturer have collaborated, with the XP4 being customised to match the interiors of the Silent 120 Explorer. The XP4 can be landed on the roof of the Silent 120 Explorer, where large solar panels will slide outboard to port and starboard to reveal a touch-and-go landing pad.
The XP4, which is due for certification in 2024, offers convenient aerial personal transportation for up to four people, and is designed with an array of safety features including detection and avoidance technology, a ballistic parachute, and low-altitude crash prevention systems. In addition to utilising technologies such as nanomaterials and hydrogen-based range extension, the XP4 can not only be charged from the Silent 120 Explorer’s solar panels but can also deliver power from its own battery to the yacht as a back-up power source. The collaboration not only extends the remote cruising profile of the Silent 120 Explorer, but also marks a real advancement in carbon-responsible travel.
The U-Boat Worx NEMO submarine offers diving to 100 metre depths for two people in an all-electric package whose footprint is smaller than two jet-skis. The NEMO features the trademark acrylic pressure globe that gives pilot and passenger a breathtaking view of the depths, while the Manta control interface is both easy to learn and easy to operate.
Offering up to eight hours of autonomy, speeds underwater of up to 3 knots and positive buoyancy for automatic resurfacing in the unlikely event of an issue, the NEMO really does open up new frontiers for exploration, further made possible by the capabilities of the mother ship. The Silent 120 Explorer’s exceptional volume and deck space means owners will have two options for carrying their submarine – either in the port hull’s tender garage or on the main deck next to the pool.
“The trend is for bigger yachts and more luxury, more comfort, more water toys and more possibilities,” says Michael Köhler, founder and CEO of Silent-Yachts. “In the Silent 120 Explorer we designed a boat that is bigger in volume although not in length, and bigger gives the opportunity to store more of these toys.
“We build catamarans, which means more beam and more space,” he continues. “We also build our boats with solar power and electric propulsion, and that means we don’t have to give a lot of space to an engine room, which means we gain room for things like a gym or extra tender storage. Finally, the extra beam of the catamaran form means the roof can accommodate an eVTOL aircraft. We can plug it in on board and it will be recharged in a couple of hours.”