Fully electric with solar panels and no hydrocarbons onboard, the Spirit 44CR (E) is at the forefront of sustainability in sailing. Based on the Spirit cruiser racer design, the 44CR (E) was commissioned for an eco-conscious customer who set Spirit Yachts the goal of “near total energy self-sufficiency”.
From afar, the 13.4m Spirit 44E will look like any other Spirit sailing yacht. Low freeboards, long overhangs, flush decks and the timeless beauty of quality wooden craftsmanship. Up close, she will display signs of the sailing yachts of the future.
A classically styled sailing yacht designed for ease of handling and excellent performance, the Spirit 44E is fully electric and designed to operate with zero hydrocarbons onboard.
Spirit Yachts managing director Nigel Stuart commented, “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 under sail. 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 mainsail can regenerate an additional 625watts.”
Two Solbian solar panels will be integrated into the aft Lignia Yacht deck and colour match the hull so they blend with the style of the yacht. The panels will charge Oceanvolt 48VDC batteries (total capacity 30.4kWh, made up of x16 1.9kWh batteries), which will power her Oceanvolt ServoProp15 sail drive. The lightweight electric drive system (weighing 65kgs) uses hydro generation via the propeller to regenerate the batteries whilst sailing.
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 made from a cloth that can be stripped of its hardware and recycled at commercial recycling plants.
Manual Lewmar winches will give a nod to more hands-on sailing, whilst a carbon mast and boom from Hall Spars and nitronic rod rigging deliver a lightweight, performance rig. A large lazarette under the aft deck will house a tender with an electric motor, and a 40” Mahogany and stainless-steel steering wheel will be fitted for easy handling.
Down below, the Spirit 44E’s eco credentials continue throughout. A reversible heating/air-conditioning Webasto pump will heat and cool the yacht using minimal power. All lighting will be LED and a Webasto 4.2gallon 115v/750W heater will provide hot water. At the owner’s request, there will be no hydrocarbons onboard and any cooking will be done on a spirit stove.
The interior layout will accommodate four guests across two cabins. A forward twin with ensuite will serve as the owner’s cabin and a starboard aft cabin will sleep two guests in twin berths. A fold-down chart table will be built into the forward bulkhead of the guest cabin to maximise space.
A central saloon will have a port-side, u-shaped sofa around a wooden dining table, complemented by a second sofa to starboard. Aft of the saloon, to port, will be the open-plan galley. White bulkheads, mahogany ringframes and exposed yellow cedar planking will give the interior a warm, natural feel.
A navigation station, with forward facing table, is located to the starboard side of the companionway steps and linked to the aft cabin.
There is an option to add a small emergency back up generator to extend your motoring distance or cooking on electricity.