From 4th – 6th September, Spirit Yachts will be hosting a private event at its waterside headquarters in Ipswich, Suffolk. Interested visitors can pre-book an individual appointment to view a range of Spirit yachts in build and on the water.
Yachts on display will include the newly launched Spirit 44E and two recently refitted Spirit yachts on the brokerage market: a Spirit 46 and a Spirit 76. Inside the Spirit yard, visitors will be able to see several yachts at different stages of construction: the new Spirit 30 day sailor, a Spirit 55CR (cruiser-racer), a Spirit 65DH (Deckhouse), a Spirit 72DH and a Spirit P40 superyacht tender.\
Spirit Yachts managing director Nigel Stuart commented, “After much consideration, we do not yet feel ready to commit our staff, owners and visitors to a boat show. With our waterside headquarters and spacious build facility, we are able to offer a secure environment for people to come and see yachts in design, under construction and on the water.”
Nigel continued, “As Spirit yachts are all hand-crafted in the highest quality timber, nothing quite beats seeing the design and build process, and experiencing the finished article in person. It’s extremely important to us that our visitors are able to have that opportunity, but to feel comfortable and safe whilst doing so.”
In the absence of an official boat show launch, the private view will be the first time Spirit Yachts unveils its new 13.4m electric yacht, the Spirit 44E.
The yacht is a Spirit cruiser-racer (CR) design and has been completely customised for an eco-minded, overseas buyer. The project is the first fully electric yacht to be designed and built by Spirit Yachts. She has no hydrocarbons onboard and is the first yacht in the UK to be launched with solar panels integrated into both her main sail and deck.
Spirit Yachts head designer Sean McMillan commented, “From afar, the Spirit 44E looks like any other Spirit sailing yacht. Low freeboards, long overhangs, flush decks and the timeless beauty of quality wooden craftsmanship. Up close, she displays signs of the sailing yachts of the future.”
Two Solbian solar panels are integrated into the aft Lignia Yacht deck and colour match the hull so they blend with the style of the yacht. The panels charge Oceanvolt 48VDC batteries (total capacity 30.4kWh, made up of x16 1.9kWh batteries), which power her Oceanvolt ServoProp15 sail drive.
Spirit Yachts managing director Nigel Stuart commented, “The yacht’s owner has previously had an electric drive yacht, so he is knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to eco-friendly technology and its capabilities. He is extremely passionate about living sustainably onboard, which has allowed us to be bold with innovation and custom solutions.”
Nigel continued, “The lightweight electric drive system uses hydro generation via the propeller to regenerate the batteries whilst sailing. Regeneration depends on sailing speed, but it is realistic to see 1.5kW. The equivalent energy generated would be boiling a kettle, which is one of the highest power consuming appliances you would find on a yacht, or in your home for that matter. Weather dependent, the solar deck panels on the deck and main sail can regenerate an additional 625watts.”
Spirit Yachts has worked with OneSails GBR (East) to develop a solar solution for the Spirit 44E’s sail wardrobe.
John Parker from OneSails GBR (East) explained, “We have collaborated with Solar Cloth System to integrate thin cell PV panels into the yacht’s 4T FORTE™ main sail as a source of electrical generation.”
John continued, “Due to the high modulus construction of the 4T FORTE™ composite material, the impact of the PV panels will be minimal in terms of the sail’s characteristics and performance. The technology is cutting edge and to my knowledge it is first project of its kind in the UK.”
OneSails’ 4T FORTE™ sails are currently the only sails on the market made from a cloth that can be stripped of its hardware and recycled at commercial recycling plants.
Down below, the Spirit 44E’s eco credentials continue throughout. A reversible heating/air-conditioning Webasto pump heats and cools the yacht using minimal power. All lighting is LED and a Webasto 4.2gallon 115v/750W heater provides hot water. At the owner’s request, there are no hydrocarbons onboard and any cooking will be done on a stove that uses alcohol for fuel.