Asia-based solar-electric yacht builder Azura Marine has just announced the completion of a circumnavigation of Bali by its recently launched 13.25-metre Aquanima 40, Solar Eclipse.
The 225-nautical mile cruise was completed on solar power alone, with solar panels driving the electric motors and charging the batteries for night-time cruising, as well as covering the hotel load of the boat, filling five dive tanks and charging the electric outboard on the Zodiac tender.
During the cruise, Solar Eclipse encountered a range of conditions, from calm, clear weather to 25-knot winds and three-metre swells, and completely cloudy days. The boat also traversed the 2,000-metre wide strait between Bali and Java, facing four-knot currents.
The yacht maintained an average speed of over 5.5 knots, with maximum speeds of over 8.5 knots with zero emissions.
The yacht anchored in several stunning bays under the gaze of volcanoes, letting the four-man crew take pictures and dive in pristine marine parks.
The cruise demonstrated the Aquanima’s ability to run non-stop on her solar panels only. Typical daytime production of eight kilowatts per hour was met with consumption of between two and six kilowatts per hour to run the motors and all systems, with the excess keeping the 60 kilowatt/hour battery bank fully charged for night-time use.
“We now have the data to show customers that the boat is truly autonomous and it is absolutely clear that our customers are wanting something different and to ditch fossil fuels completely,” said Simon Turner, commercial director for Azura Marine. He added that his clients were more interested in a yacht that doesn’t harm the ocean and saves fuel costs.
Azura Marine says the electric motors requiring nothing more than a simple and low cost bearing change at 20,000 hours.
The Aquanima 40 comes with four cabins and a convertible saloon double berth providing accommodation for up to eight guests overnight or 12 guests during the day. The yacht can be customised and include air conditioning, AV systems, CCTV and high quality domestic appliances. Customers can opt for a mast and sails package capable of upwind sailing.
The base boat Aquanima 40 costs €525,000 ex-shipyard.
Azura Marine will soon begin work on the Aquanima 45, with space for 10 guests and two crew.
“During these exceptionally difficult times with most of the world still under some form of lockdown, we are very grateful to the Balinese maritime authorities for allowing us to circumnavigate Bali. It has been incredibly exciting to see the yacht perform through such a wide range of conditions and we are joyed by the spirit of limitless cruising on a solar boat,” said Azura Marine CEO Julien Mélot, who skippered the yacht.