It’s no easy feat to incorporate a next-gen electric propulsion system into an elegant sloop. X-Yachts appears to have pulled it off, though. The Danish yacht maker, which has spent more than 40 years in the game, just launched a futuristic new sailing yacht that looks to be as stylish as it is sustainable. Christened the X49E, the 49-footer is the very first electric sailboat to be made by the yard.
The 12-ton newcomer is based on the existing X49 model, but eschews the traditional diesel engines in favour of two of Oceanvolt’s 10 kW electric motors. The pods are mounted on each side of the traditional engine compartment, below the aft cabin bunks. The space which used to hold the engines now houses a 28.8 kWh lithium battery bank and an onboard DC generator with a capacity of 11 kW.
Range with pure electric power depends on the boat speed, wind and sea state, but X-Yachts estimates in calm conditions the yacht can travel 22.7 nautical miles at 5 knots. Of course, the diesel generator can be used to run the boat if more range is required.
X49E can also produce up to 3.5 kW when sailing at speeds greater than 8 knots. That means if you sail for roughly eight hours, the batteries will charge from empty to full. The best part is the “full tank” is 100 per cent green and free of cost.
To top it off, the X49E is fitted with solar panels that will generate clean energy to power the hotel load. That is the lights, navigation systems, appliances and so on.
”We didn’t want to be first movers on this area, but preferred to wait until technology and knowledge had matured properly”, Kraen Nielsen, CEO of X-Yachts, said in a statement. “And I’m really happy to say that the time finally is right to present the first X-Yacht with electric propulsion.”
The first hull was built for discerning yachtsman John Haurum, who has a passion for sailing both recreationally and in competition.
“My plans for the X49 are primarily to use it for long-distance cruising, but it has also been specified with performance sailing in mind and I intend to participate in challenges like Around Denmark Race and, eventually, the ARC Cross Atlantic,” Haurum adds.
Looks like you’ll see the X49E tearing it up on the ocean before too long.
Previously published on Robb Report.