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This is what a solar-powered sailboat would look like

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 8:43am
Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

Just when you think designers can’t design anything you’ll enjoy more than a 3D-printed violin, they came up with a solar-powered sailboat. The Kira Sail Yacht is designed to “bridge the gap between the sail and motor yacht” and it is gorgeous. 

I’m a motor/speed/fly-like-the-wind-boat girl myself, but I have occasionally gone the sailing route (generally in really small, fast catamarans) and this baby is loaded with toys.

Let’s start with the size. The yacht is 131-feet long with a beam of just under 28-feet and a depth of 9 feet. It has an electric engine and solar sail, which give it a zero carbon footprint. For the solar sail, the design includes solar cells on the horizontal ribs that can be used to power the motors and amenities. All the energy collected is stored in batteries in the keel, replacing the traditional lead and balancing the boat.

The entire thing is computerized (winches and navigation) and designed to be crewed by just one person. It may look like a typical sailboat, but it was actually designed in a way that offers 80 percent more in livable area than a comparable yacht. It’s really no wonder it won bronze at the 2014 International Design Excellence Awards.

As far as living space goes, there isn’t a lot of information beyond a swim platform and a rough inside 3D image. It looks like it has five cabins, a living space and galley, along with a ton of deck space.

There hasn’t been a full-scale version of this built, just a 3D-printed model, but it would definitely be a thing of beauty if it ever makes it to the ocean.

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