Here Comes the Sun
This article first appeared on LuxuryCard.com.
Serenity Yachts (serenityyachts.com), founded in 2016 by Boyd Taylor with the goal of popularizing the use of renewable energy in an industry that hadn’t yet fully embraced it. With his wife, an environmental lawyer, Taylor set out, as he says, “to develop a project that would positively impact the environment without giving up what people love about the product.”
Through his analysis of the yachting industry’s recent attempts to incorporate solar power, Taylor realized that most builders made the mistake of attempting to integrate solar panels into existing designs.
He intuited that the best way to build a solar-powered yacht was to start from scratch and design the whole boat with a sustainable power system in mind.
In Cannes during the summer of 2018, Serenity Yachts debuted the Serenity 64, a 19.4-meter, $3.3 million luxury catamaran designed to run exclusively on solar power. A little more than a year later, the company announced the Serenity 74, a 22.5-meter, $5.5 million vessel equipped with almost 1,200 square feet of solar panels. Most recently, Serenity Yachts unveiled its first vessel made entirely from carbon fiber, a material that is instrumental in maximizing the application and use of the yacht’s renewable energy source. As Taylor explains, a fiberglass boat built to the same dimensions would weigh 8 tons more, and that extra weight would mar the vessel’s efficiency and limit its capabilities.
The custom-built yachts feature interior accents and design materials to lighten the load and maximize options. Granite countertops, for example, are constructed around a honeycomb structure, so only a thin outer layer of granite is needed.
Beyond the aforementioned economic and environmental benefits that come from sailing a solar-powered yacht, the most significant advantage, in Taylor’s opinion, is experiential. “You’re running a silent boat,” he says. “You don’t have the smell of diesel fumes or the vibrations and rumblings of a diesel engine. You get to smell the salty air and hear the waves slap against the hull of the boat. You can actually hear dolphins splashing in the water.
“You not only get to enjoy this incredible scenery and enjoy nature in all of its majesty,” he adds, “but you get to know that you’re leaving it the way it was when you came.”