Nova Luxe Converts
Power Catamarans, WHY?
Multi-Hulls are more efficient then Mono Hulls.
They require less power and have more space for guests and stable platform for a large solar array.
Electric motors can be any size, in fact the best cruise ships always use electric motors but they power those motors with giant generators. If you decouple the generator from the motor then you wont be able to replace its power needs with enough battery power. We find the battery as the limiting factor when choosing the right electric motor. Batteries are not as power dense as diesel fuel. For a yacht to be great as electric it must also be a fuel efficient hull design. Right now, we can match a fuel burn of 13 gallons per hour, more then that and the number of batteries required for power becomes prohibitively expensive.
No Sail, Why?
Sure a sailboat with an electric motor is a great sailboat, we agree with that. We also understand that electric pod drives on a sailing catamaran can be used to generate a significant amount of power while sailing. This is great too. But you already know this and can specify electric when buying from any of the major manufacturers.
We favor a large solar array in lieu of sails because of its simplicity and ease of use. Sailing is great but it requires physical work which older sailors may no longer be capable of and above 35' you'll need a crew or very capable first mate. All our yachts can be single handed and sailing experience is not needed.
Sails and a solar array is not efficient as only a solar array as the sails inevitably cover the solar panels. Also, the duel layout is very expensive. Sails and all the rigging can easily cost 100-200k. Add to that the expense of electric batteries and the yacht becomes unnecessarily expensive.
On the wide structure of a catamaran the solar array can be large, very large. Why don't Tesla's have solar panels? The roof is too small for significant power generation. Sure, one panel on the roof could charge your cellphone but it wont add range to a Tesla. In contrast, a boat with a beam of 16' and length of 40' could have 600 square feet of solar resulting in an array over 10kW. This is a significant amount of power generating surface, its more then enough for the house needs and excess power is sent to the high voltage batteries for unlimited range.
Cost of Electric.
It is not cheap to be on the cutting edge and re-fit your yacht with electric. The systems parts can easily cost $250k with the lion share of that cost in the high voltage batteries. For a conversion to make sense it must be done on valuable yacht. A four bedroom 40'+ catamaran yacht is a high value item. The cost to re-power even with diesel is high and as such our products are only incrementally more expensive. The Hinckly boat company uses the same system to power a 17' runabout. The boat is priced over $500k, can achieve speeds of 20 knots and run for about an hour. Very few people would consider this a practical purchase considering you can buy a very well equipped gasoline boat for 50k that triples the speed and can run all day. Our products are about a 20% premium to diesel and the speed and range is comparable. We think this approach yields a product with a larger market.
Unbalanced Power Distribution.
One of our hybrid designs uses an unbalance of power between the port and starboard side of the yacht. On first thought you may think the catamaran will drive in a big circle but that is not the case. Catamarans are famous for 'tracking' straight. Sailing cat owners often use just one of the two engines to motor around. Power cat manufacturers with outboards often boast of excellent performance when only one engine is in the water.
Imagine pushing someone on skis down a hill, if you push from the right or left side the skier will still go straight.
The two deep hulls will act in the same way resisting lateral movement.
Many sea keeping devices are available to reduce roll, pitch, heaving and the other un-pleasant motions of a boat. Those devices are not necessary on a catamaran. The experience of guests who may be prone to seasickness is much better on a catamaran. They are famously stable in adverse conditions. We recommend this video to describe the pros and cons of a multihull.