With new fully electric and hybrid boats, the yachting industry is making strides toward an eco-friendly, solar-powered future.
Yachting hasn’t exactly garnered a reputation for being the most environmentally sensitive industry, but due to technological advances, growing customer demand and added benefits, many yacht builders are turning to the power of the sun. The Cayman-based Serenity Yachts, which debuted in the US at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2020, are one such forward-facing company. With two luxuriously modern solar-powered models, Serenity 64 and Serenity 74, Serenity Yachts offers environmentally sensitive products with plenty of other advantages—like the ability to sail endlessly.
“Whether you are looking for an eco-friendly yacht or not, it’s hard to deny the advantages of Serenity Yachts: The quiet electric cruising and the scent of the ocean breeze beats the rumble of a diesel engine and the smell of diesel fumes every day,” says Serenity Yachts Director, Boyd Taylor. “On top of that, you get to save all that money on fuel. Yacht owners are smart people; they didn’t get to where they are in life without the ability to know a great opportunity when they see one.”
Billed as the “Tesla of yachts,” Serenity Yachts are early adaptors of state-of-the-art technology. Each vessel is equipped with ultra-smart navigation, entertainment and smart home tech, which is easily upgradeable when new technology becomes available. “Since we started the company (in 2017), there have been huge breakthroughs in solar and battery technology. As these technologies continue to improve, we will find even more ways to take advantage of this natural power source and integrate them accordingly,” says Taylor.
“We have all sorts of clients for our boats (some want a break manning sails but still want a quiet cruise, some want to save on diesel, etc.), but the majority of people come to us because of the technology,” says Taylor. “We get a lot of interest from people who never cared about cars until they saw a Tesla. People like to see a cutting-edge project that has been well thought out.”
Aside from the technological aspect, on the design front inspiration arrived via former Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing. “Ken Downing was involved in the Neiman Marcus edition of our Serenity 74. When we were selected as a fantasy gift, we were in the early stages of the interior design. Ken helped guide us in the creation of elegant cabins, brought vibrancy to our spacious salon and gave us some styling and color palettes that were out of this world.”
With 110 square-meters of solar panels, the Serenity 74 can cruise endlessly at 7 to 9 knots, while still powering onboard amenities; however, more power may be ahead: “We have been working on ways to produce even more electricity, so that our boats can go even faster and farther,” says Taylor. “I don’t want to give away all of our secrets, but there are some very exciting developments on the horizon.”