Electric cars have grabbed plenty of attention recently, what about electric boats? During the Strictly Sail Pacific Show next week, attendees will get a chance to see an electric sailboat. A catamaran with a diesel electric auxiliary propulsion system, the boat is called Electric Leopard. This cat has been around since it was built in South Africa in 2005, proving that diesel electric makes sense for voyaging catamarans.
From the press release: Three San Francisco companies have teamed up to bring electric sailing to the San Francisco Bay Area. Glacier Bay, Inc., a manufacturer of high-efficiency energy management solutions, OCSC, a Berkeley-based national award-winning Sailing School and club, and San Jose-based Electrosail, LLC, a marine technology consulting company will be exhibiting â€˜Electric Leopard’, a sailing catamaran with diesel-electric propulsion at the upcoming Strictly Sail Pacific boat show in Oakland, CA April 15â€“19.
Show-goers will have the opportunity to preview the diesel-electric cat and its cutting-edge technology first-hand. Recently added to the OCSC fleet, the boat will be available for private charter, offering sailors the opportunity to enjoy the speed and luxury of premier catamaran sailing while experiencing the latest in green boating technology.
The â€˜Electric Leopard’ (â€˜eLeopard’ for short) with its diesel-electric propulsion system has traveled over 15,000 miles since it was built in Cape Town, South Africa in 2005. After launch, eLeopard made the 8,000 mile trip from Cape Town to Tortola, BVI, where it spent two years in The Moorings’ charter fleet. Since 2007, eLeopard has logged 7,700 miles, most recently from the British Virgin Islands via the Panama Canal to Emeryville, CA.
Electrosail CEO Dr. Anthony West explains why eLeopard is an excellent choice for charter: “We analyzed the usage patterns and crew habits of typical charters and designed eLeopard specifically for this role. Easy handling, energy efficiency, service simplicity and modern conveniences are all built in.” In addition, West added, “Diesel-electric propulsion made the most sense, and gives you abundant electric power for other uses. Partnering with Glacier Bay, the leader in marine diesel-electric systems was a natural choice.”
Glacier Bay’s contribution is the high-end diesel-electric propulsion system which offers end users enhanced fuel efficiency, fewer emissions, superior maneuverability, and quiet operation. Boat builders gain as well with lighter-weight components and increased design flexibility. Components can be placed anywhere on the boat, enabling designers to utilize space in new ways.
The heart of the Glacier Bay system is its load-following generator, used for both propulsion and power, eliminating the need for an additional stand-alone generator solely for “hotel loads”. Load-following control is the key to fuel-efficiency and higher performance. As the load drops the engine speed drops too, resulting in even higher system efficiencies. The smaller engine is lighter, takes up less space, uses less fuel, generates fewer pollutants and is quieter than conventional generators. And now the revolutionary boat, using industry-leading green power technology, is being added to one of the foremost sailing fleets in the Bay Area.
“We are proud to have â€˜Electric Leopard’ join our fleet,” stated Anthony Sandberg, President of OCSC Sailing. “We felt an electric catamaran was a perfect match with our endeavors to operate as green and energy-conscious as possible.” OCSC is a featured member of the Green Festival, a model green business with Co-Op America, and has donated tens of thousands of dollars to worthy environmental causes, from marine habitat protection to endangered species poaching prevention.
OCSC has developed advanced sailing courses based on the eLeopard to teach people how to sail the larger catamarans they will likely encounter when booking charter vacations worldwide.
The electric catamaran will be on display April 15-19 at the Strictly Sail Pacific Show in Oakland, CA and will be available for private charters and training in the SF Bay Area through OCSC Sailing. For more information about charter availability, visit: www.ocscsailing.com.