An increasing number of large-yacht builders are delivering or researching alternatives to straight diesel propulsion. The most common scheme today are hybrids that comprise diesel main engines with generators or batteries that can provide slow-speed maneuvering power in ports or primary power for short hops. Clean, full-time, non-diesel propulsion is rising in the small-boat world, but has been elusive on superyachts.

Rossinavi-Sea Cat_Exterior Render-8

Italy’s Rossinavi, never shy about innovating, has developed a concept with designer Fulvio de Simoni that could change the game: a solar-charged, battery-powered super-catamaran called the Sea Cat 40 (42.75 meters/140 feet).

“With this catamaran, we created very big steps,” says Rossinavi COO Federico Rossi. “For this reason, it represents a new generation boat.”

According to Rossi, the Sea Cat takes its inspiration from phytoplankton, a species of marine algae that converts sunlight into energy. When disturbed at night, phytoplankton glows, a phenomenon often seen in the surf by beachgoers and by those aboard moving boats.

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