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An electric catamaran that never has to be recharged

Millikan Boats

Palma de Mallorca, 2nd July – The electrification of maritime transportation is making significant progress. The concept of an electric boat that doesn’t require battery charging and offers all the comforts for leisure activities may seem far-fetched, but it’s already a reality.
Millikan Boats, a shipyard with extensive experience in constructing cutting-edge electro-solar boats, has achieved a remarkable feat with its Ecolo Station refit project. This 7.5-meter catamaran has been sailing the Mediterranean for nine years without the need for any significant refurbishments since its launch in 2015.
Building upon their years of experience in solar-powered sailing, Millikan Boats has now designed and developed the M9, a weekender catamaran that pushes the boundaries of electric sailing. With its innovative features and a length of nearly 10 meters, the M9 offers an environmentally friendly and cost-effective sailing experience, coupled with the tranquility of a sailboat.
One of the standout features of the M9 is its solar wings, which not only provide a unique appearance but also increase the boat’s power by 20% when deployed. These wings are operated by two simple yet powerful marine cylinders, held in place by a tip and a cleat. They do not interfere with navigation or visibility.
When returning to port, folding the wings is a straightforward process. By pulling the end, guided by a hoist and secured by the cleat, the wings are neatly stowed away, similar to lowering a sail. The M9 boasts an innovative function called the “virtual anchor.” By utilizing GPS and computerized engine management, this feature emits low-power light energy pulses, keeping the boat stationary for hours or even days. This allows passengers on board to engage in other activities without concern.
Equipped with two 15 kW motors, providing the power equivalent of a 50 hp engine, the M9 intentionally utilizes limited-capacity batteries (2×16 kWh), similar to those found in rechargeable hybrid cars. This decision ensures a reasonable weight for the boat and enables the shipyard to offer a competitive price in the market. The batteries serve as a supplementary power source to the solar panels, enabling the M9 to achieve an appealing cruising speed of 9 knots, with a top speed of 12 knots. At a speed of 6 knots, the boat has an unlimited range, allowing for a day of sailing from 9 am to 8 pm.
The deck cabin of the M9 is an innovative marvel in itself. When in port or at anchor, the wings fold to adapt to the shape of the hull and roof, enclosing both sides of the boat. The roll-up canvas attached to the sunroof unfurls, closing off the bow and stern and revealing a spacious deck cabin spanning approximately 12 square meters.
This 100% French-built catamaran features a bathroom, toilet, galley, and two interior cabins equipped with all the necessary comforts and amenities. Remarkably, this electro-solar catamaran not only produces its own energy but also has the capability to generate power for others. The M9 includes a power outlet, allowing the electricity generated by its solar panels to be injected into the port’s grid and subsequently sold.


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