Go back Back
Blog Articles
CAT 12.0 Cruise
Silent Yachts
Soel Yachts
Sun Concept
ZEN Yachts
Electric Сatamarans
Electric Catamarans: Is it a real option? 

It is hard to establish the first electric catamaran manufacturers, as some brands are stronger in communication, while others focus their efforts on in-house work and prototyping. Some seem huge brands, others are much bigger and look small. The reality of the markets and online marketing, together with the information/misinformation that invades our lives every day, makes it quite hard to define. Anyway, besides these details, I believe that to address the electric-powered catamarans' first steps theme, there are 3 brands we must always consider. Silent Yachts, Sun Concept and Soel Yachts. I must say that these have opened the path to a new reality, the reality of existing vessels with electric and/or solar-powered characteristics. Today, we have many brands that promote this type of sustainable propulsion, not only exclusively electric brands but also big players, that have taken the bait and entered this sustainable propulsion model, being early adapters on this reality. 

The need for this thrives with the market’s attention to sustainability and the climate crisis. Sustainability was, for many, many years, used by politicians, salesmen, and other specific groups as a nice word that could be of interest someday. Well, not anymore! We live now in an era where this is a reality, a part of our daily lives, where electric cars are admired (also hated at the same time, but hatters will hate!), where fuel brands promote carbon neutrality, where young people come to the streets demanding climate actions. We live in a sustainable era, and we should embrace it. Am I an extremist, and we should abolish fuel? No. Is the electrical solution for all cases? No. At least not yet! There is room for both solutions in our world. We do not need to abolish the use of our known resources, but we really need to balance it. And for that, electrical propulsion is a very good help; that is a fact. 

Back to the electric catamarans. Today, we have many different options in the market. Some of them are still ideas and concepts, but already much more advanced and with a facilitated life than 5, 6, 8 years ago. Today, we can find simple catamarans for day cruising or tourism, weekend on-board catamarans with all the exact characteristics of sailing or power cat’s or even big catamarans with several rooms, toilets and all the comfort of a beautiful 60- or 70-footer sailing cat. Buying an electric catamaran is now a real option, with competitive prices and more than enough performance for most uses. Would you like to travel all around the Mediterranean, Adriatic, or Caribbean for several weeks, stopping in the beautiful cities and spending some nights in the beautiful bays along the way? Sure! Why not? But pay attention; you might get too used to the fantastic sound of silence! And of course, with the help of the sun, you might even forget what it feels like to spend money! Or are you the kind of user who just loves to go on a Sunday, enjoy a good afternoon with family and friends, sail for a few miles, and enjoy a good bottle of wine? Yes, that is an option, fully electric, sustainable and every time you get to the boat, it will be fully charged and ready to go. No pump stops, no money spent, nothing! Yes, all these uses are perfectly available in electric catamarans today. Will you ask if everything is so perfect? What about limitations? Yes, there are. Would you like to cross the Atlantic at 12 knots? Sorry, you cannot go electric just yet… Do you consider a 20 knots cruise speed ideal? Well, probably not the best option. Possible, though, but maybe not for you. 

This brings us to the most famous theme of electric boating in general. The autonomy! Some years ago, it was not easy and much less cheap to find efficient power trains. And even worse, integrated power trains would work without bugs or other problems. So, the path for higher autonomy was based on the hull shape. A well-designed shape for a strategic cruise speed could lead to good performance. Still, with the problem of specifying too much and having bad performances at different speeds, it would basically make it mandatory for the owners to follow the manufacturer's recommendations. And let’s face it: we own the boat, but the boat does not own us! 

Today, keeping up the hull design efficiency, together with the massive development in power trains and the lowering of battery pricing, the limitations are less and less. Today, if you want to buy a catamaran, talk to an expert and explain your dream. He will most likely tell you that electric power is a valid option with many advantages. If not, well, so be it; you will have to choose a different way. But don’t forget, I wrote: talk to an expert! I did not write: talk to a friend that has a friend that heard… Today, a user who buys an electric boat is still considered an early adopter. But not for long. We no longer look at an electric vessel as something from the future. It is here, it exists, and it is a real option. Will electric catamarans become better, more efficient, and have a higher range in the future? I believe so, like cars, houses, phones and everything else. But we do not really need 400 nautical miles of autonomy if the longer journey we ever made was 80 nautical miles. Combustion engines had the advantage of avoiding stopping so many times in the pump station, but with electric power, that does not happen. When you arrive at the marina, you plug it in, same as always, and that’s it! Done! 

If you are considering buying an electric catamaran, there are several aspects you should think about and ask yourself. First of all, what kind of usage are you looking for, what cruise speed suits your needs, and what aspects do you value most in a boat? None of these questions will answer directly if you can have an electric vessel, if you must follow the combustion engine line, or even if a sailing catamaran would suit you better. But they are definitely a baseline to start with. While thinking about a boat, you must dream and consider reality at the same time. Of course, if you are looking at a 60-foot catamaran, you may think someday you will travel around the globe. But will you? Consider your reality, what gives you true pleasure, what do you see yourself doing the next weekend or in a couple of months, when you have 3 weeks off. Also, a different point of view that happens often, you might buy a boat for you to enjoy, but meanwhile, you may consider making some money out of it through charters. It is also an option, and in this case, you have to consider also the point of view of the charter company that you consider that could operate your boat.

In VOLTA, we leverage our extensive experience in electric boating, which dates back to our founding in 2016, to offer tailored consulting that aligns with each client's unique objectives and constraints. Our connections with global electric catamaran manufacturers enable us to find the best fit for you, welcoming you into the exciting world of sustainable sailing.

When considering a new boat, balancing dreams with reality is essential. Think about your actual use, what brings you joy, and how you might utilise your boat in the near future or during a long-awaited break. Also, if you're contemplating earning from your investment, consider the perspective of potential charter companies that might operate your vessel. Whatever your boating aspirations, electric catamarans offer a viable and enjoyable path to a more sustainable and innovative boating experience.

Related media
Join VOLTA at the Palma International Boat Show!
Discover VOLTA's innovative electric boats at the Palma International Boat Show, April 25-28. Visit us at Mooring 412-1 to experience the CAT 12.0 Lounge.
Report from La Vanguardia at the Boat Show, with an interview with Artem Loginov from VOLTA
Interview from La Vanguardia with Artem Loginov
La Sexta News Feature on the CAT 12.0 Lounge at the 2023 Barcelona Boat Show
La Sexta features Artem Loginov from VOLTA explaining the sustainability of the CAT 12.0 Lounge
VOLTA Presents the CAT 12.0 Lounge at the Barcelona Boat Show 2023
Join VOLTA at the Barcelona Boat Show from 11th to 15th October. Discover the CAT 12.0 Lounge, our latest electric catamaran, and explore our diverse range of sustainable boating solutions in partnership with leading shipyards. Experience firsthand the future of eco-friendly sailing with VOLTA.
Benefits of having an electric boat in 2023
Electric boats are becoming an increasingly popular choice for boating enthusiasts, and for good reason. In addition to the economic and environmental benefits already discussed, electric boats also offer a number of other advantages over traditional combustion engine boats.
Why Green Boating Is So Much More than a Trend
Green boating has become a hot topic with many new companies and products appearing on the market. Learn how you can make the most of it in this article.
Sun Concept CAT 12.0 wins the 2021 Multihull of the Year Awards!
We’re excited to announce that CAT 12.0 has been selected as the winner of the 2021 Multihull of the Year Awards in the “Multipowers” category. It proudly shares the first place with Aquila 54, as they both got the same amount of votes.
Interview with João Bastos
Today we had a chat with João Bastos, the General Manager of Sun Concept shipyard.