Multihulls Special 2021: Silent’s Bold New Generation
In Yacht Style’s annual Multihulls Special, Austrian-owned Silent-Yachts unveils the first of its new generation of solar-electric catamarans, which are being built in Italy and Thailand.
The first Silent 60 cruising in the Gulf of Thailand
Silent-Yachts recently launched the first Silent 60, which is expected to show at the Cannes Yachting Festival (September 7-12) and is just the start of a fast-selling new line-up of models from 60-80ft. The range effectively succeeds the Silent 64 built in Turkey and Silent 55 built in China that made the Austrian-owned brand a pioneer in solar-electric catamarans.
Having built a total of 11 units of the 64 and 55 in the past five years, Silent’s eco-friendly proposal has enjoyed a huge rise in popularity according to the order book for its new models, which are being built in Thailand and primarily Italy. As of May, the builder announced 13 sales of the Silent 60, three of the Silent 62 3-Deck, three of the Silent 80 and five of the Silent 80 3-Deck.
Michael Köhler, founder and CEO of Silent-Yachts, says: “Covid affected the demand for Silent-Yachts in a very positive way. In terms of sales, 2020 was our most successful year and we expect even more orders this year.”
PMG Shipyard near Pattaya is building several units of the Silent 60
While Covid has given a belated boost to the industry, Köhler believes the increased interest in his brand’s solar-powered catamarans is also a reflection of a growing interest in sustainability and awareness of finite resources.
“We believe people are now more aware than ever of the fact we live in a fragile ecological system. People are looking for yachts even more independent from fossil fuels than sailing boats. Silent-Yachts offers the solution as our catamarans are powered by the sun,” Köhler says.
“However, sometimes people still have difficulty believing we harness the energy from the sun not only to supply the household appliances but also for the actual propulsion of the yachts. This continues to amaze people when they start to realise what our propulsion system is capable of.”
The Silent 62 3-Deck can have an open or enclosed flybridge
In conjunction with its new line-up of models, Silent-Yachts has had to develop new production lines, teaming up with PMG Shipyard in Thailand for some Silent 60 units and creating its primary facilities in Fano, just north of Ancona on Italy’s Adriatic coast. The builder estimates that the new 30,000sqm facilities can produce up to 15 models built on the 60/62 platform and eight hulls of the 80 models.
This year, the company has announced two e-mobility experts as the first members of its Advisory Board. First appointed was Jochen Rudat, who spent a decade with Tesla in Europe including as Director of Central Europe, reporting directly to Elon Musk.
In March, Silent-Yachts announced the addition of Michael Jost, who began his new role after concluding his roles as Volkswagen’s Head of Group Strategy Product and brand Chief Strategy Officer in May.
The Silent 80 is available in a 3-Deck version
“Jochen and Michael bring lots of valuable know-how and experience. Tesla is the electric-car pioneer within the automotive industry and Volkswagen committed itself to a major electrification plan a few years ago. Both men played key roles in these developments,” Köhler says.
“Silent-Yachts can already be described as the technological pioneer in the yachting industry. Compared to the automotive industry, though, the nautical industry is still a few years behind in some areas such as digitalisation, so Michael and Jochen will support us in continuing to shape the future of solar-electric yachting.”
The builder is also cooperating with Jost on a joint-venture to develop a base in a marina in Croatia where a Silent 62 3-Deck will be available for sea-trials from next year. The set-up will complement the company’s Spanish facility at Port Adriano in Mallorca.
A world leader in solar-electric catamarans, Silent-Yachts has opened new offices in both Europe and USA.