Rendering van de EC: elektrische catamaran

The idea that electrically-powered vehicles struggle with their speed is no longer true. Take the Lucid Air for example, which is to be launched in the US this year. This electric car reaches a top speed of 270 kilometers per hour. The same also holds true for watercraft.

The project is the brainchild of François Gabart, the successful ocean sailor who also runs a company that builds catamarans

This year will also see potentially the world’s fastest electric catamaran being readied for use in one of the prestigious ocean races (such as the America’s Cup and The Ocean Race). The craft will have a cruising speed of 22 knots, a veritable racing beast. The project is the brainchild of François Gabart, the successful ocean sailor who also has a company that builds catamarans.

Two electric motors

This high-tech catamaran will be equipped with two electric motors. Its propulsion is provided by a U-shaped hydrofoil, which connects the two hulls of the catamaran. The boat will be 12 meters long and five meters wide and there is room for eight people on board.

More details about the craft’s performance are not yet known. The catamaran is being commissioned for an as yet undisclosed client and is the initiative of the American architectural firm SDK. The main contractor is MerConcept, which is also working with the French company VPLP. This is a marine architectural firm known for its winning racing catamarans and also once built the world’s largest racing trimaran. Construction of the catamaran is set to start in the summer of 2021 at MerConcept’s yard in Brittany in France.

Fastest solo sailor around the world

The 37-year-old François Gabart is a well-known name when it comes to competitive sailing on catamarans and trimarans (which are made up of three parallel hull sections). For starters, the 30-meter trimaran, which Gabart sailed during his successful 2017 world record attempt as the fastest solo sailor to sail around the world, was equipped with solar panels and a wind turbine. He completed his round-the-world trip in a time of just over 42 days, reaching speeds of up to 35 knots. During his pursuit of the world speed record, Gabart also broke several other solo race records, including the fastest sailing of the Pacific Ocean and the longest distance covered in 24 hours.

As well as being a successful sportsman, Gabart is also a successful entrepreneur. He founded MerConcept in 2006, a company that specializes in building catamarans and trimarans.

Read about the plans they have in Italy for an extraordinary electric-powered yacht.

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About the author

Author profile picture Ewout Kieckens is a Dutch journalist in Rome who writes about Italian lifestyle and culture. He has written books on diverse subjects such as the Vatican and Italian design. He is very interested in innovations, especially Italian contribution to progress.