Spirit 111: A sailing yacht with electric drive


Spirit Yachts has presented its new flagship with a Torqeedo drive, the Spirit 111. In the development of the world’s largest sailing yacht with electric propulsion, sustainability was also consistently taken into account outside the drive system.

The Spirit 111 is the largest single-masted wooden yacht built in Great Britain since the Shamrock V in the 1930s. Four 40 kWh batteries power the boat from the Deep Blue 100i electric drive. Thanks to the electric propulsion system, the ship can reach up to 40 nautical miles at eight knots with the batteries alone.

The ship’s owner commissioned Spirit Yacht to develop the most environmentally friendly sailing yacht ever built. “It is important to the owner that he can spend the majority of his time away from marinas enjoying sailing and anchoring in bays,” says Nigel Stuart, Managing Director of Spirit Yachts. “Using electric propulsion to regenerate the batteries while sailing, the yacht will be able to operate for up to four days at anchor without having to plug into shore power or start the two onboard generators.” With sufficient wind, the Spirit 111 should not even have to use fossil fuels for an Atlantic crossing.

The four high-voltage batteries use BMW technology. They can be charged on the move by rotating the propeller shaft in the water while the yacht is sailing. This costs some speed, but should not be a problem, depending on the wind conditions.

Sustainability was also taken into account outside the auxiliary drive. According to the communication, the wood comes from responsibly managed sources, and the sails are made of recyclable materials, and the hydraulic deck equipment is said to be highly energy-efficient. Besides, the Spirit 111 is one of the few superyachts that can be operated without a professional crew. Spirit founder Sean McMillan is particularly proud of this: “A single-masted wooden yacht of this size that can be owner-driven is nothing less than a feat of engineering.”

However, the client still has to be patient until he can set sail for the first time with his new yacht. The yacht will spend the coming weeks at Spirit Yachts for commissioning and test drives before it starts the winter season together with its owner.



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