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Hybrid Electric Catamaran

The hybrid electric Fast Cat 435. Note the twin wind generators. Click to enlarge.

A Dutch company has developed a hybrid version of one of its lightweight, 43-foot catamarans.

The African Cats hybrid Fast Cat 435 Vector K combines a Valence lithium-ion battery or an absorbed lead-acid glass mat battery with newly designed lightweight brushless electric motors.

The all-electric version weighs less and sails faster than the model with a diesel auxiliary system; even a light 10-knot wind at 90 degrees will yield a boat speed of approximately 7.5 knots, according to the company.

The motors/generators will recharge the batteries while sailing. The electric version is also equipped with dual wind generators and solar panels for additional charging capacity.

The electric supply system is designed to conserve energy. Installed lighting in and outside are all dimmable LED lights, and the navigation and deck light are all high power LED lights. The refrigerator and freezer are both water-cooled and well-insulated.

The only fossil fuel used aboard this new energy-conscious sailing catamaran will be used for cooking.

—Gideon Goudsmit, Founder African Cats

The cat has an electric motor range with the lead-acid battery of more than 3 hours @ 50% power. For one hour under motor power, the cat must log six hours of sailing at over 5 knots to generate sufficient energy for recharging the batteries. Using the lithium-ion battery raises the electric motor range to 6 hours.

Top speed is 8 knots under electric power and more than 20 knots under sail. The electric version is priced the same as the diesel.



That's "sails faster", and there's no such unit as amperes per hour.

Other than that, I like it!

The Anonymous Poster

They should've put a single turbine on top of the mast for greater windspeed.


Corrected. Thank you.


i seem to recall that people have put generators on the drive shafts of gas/diesel sailboats, so that in neutral the prop would spin and charge the battery. given efficient batteries, motors, generators, going all electric sounds pretty good. perhaps a variable pitch prop would optimize charging and driving performance.

Tripp Bisop

odograph, you're correct. A lot of folks are using marine PV panels to maintain the BSOC these days.

Gideon Goudsmit

Mike you are right many yachts have generators on their prop shafts to fill their service batteries. The difference between this yacht and the other is that we refill our fuel tank's in the same way only now these tanks are called Batterie's and we do not have to fill the tank's at the fuel station , this is fossil free energy.

tom deplume

There is an electrical unit called the amp-hour which is usually used as a measure of battery capacity. I think it is an obsolete term and should be replaced with watt-hour.

ron mccurdy

see Monte Gisborne's Loon. It is a pontoon boat with a PV canopy. Now in production!

glynne jones

Amp-hr is certainly not obsolete... it is clearly marked on my just-purchased EveryReady 2500 mAh NiMH batteries...

Amp-hr or W-hr... if you know the voltage...what diff???


I am from Switzerland and intend to bult a boat with this qind of technologie. Would it be possible to know the name of the duch compagny.


Jason Stevens

For those of you have a further interest in hybrid electric catamarans, you will be able to see the latest Lagoon 430 electric multihull at the Miami Boat Show:

Additionally, a reader's poll is available via the link above which brings up some of the key considerations around a electric drive powered under sail.


Nice Blog Jason.
Don't be disappointed there is no such thing yet as a Lagoon 430 Electric multihull, not even for the catamaran Company in Miami. They do make the 420 and it will be at the Southampton (UK) Boat Show 2nd and third week in September. So check it out.
Also, for Glynne Jones in Geneva, the Dutch Company is to be found at:

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