Design team says freshly-launched compact catamaran is an e-sailing success

Two months of sailing and the new Hopyacht 30 has yet to plug in to shore power. So says the latest update from Team Hopyacht who have been testing their design on the open water almost daily since the beginning of October.

“We have yet to plug into shore-power,” the team says in their recent test sail report-back published on their website. “Despite almost daily use and with the fridge running 24 hours a day, the 4 x 400 watt solar panels have provided enough input to top up the batteries and keep us ‘off the grid.’ “We estimate that we are getting somewhere between 20-24% of the total battery capacity (28.8 kWh) per day added back by the solar panels. Ok, South Africa has a lot of sunshine, but recent weather has also included cloudy skies and rainfall,” the team says.

The Hopyacht’s electric propulsion system has also proved its worth, even in stiff winds and in a variety of conditions, according to the team, for whom the e-sailing is now the new buzz-word.  Need to change tack in a hurry? Simply give the boat a blast of e-power, says the Hopyacht team. And the extra power can also shave off sailing time when racing for a berth in the marina.

“Despite being a sea-trial where we wanted to put the boat through its paces under sail, from time to time we couldn’t resist just a touch of whisper quiet power from the electric motors!

“If someone stalled the boat in the middle of a tack, we quickly discovered one of the huge advantages of electric propulsion – the motors are constantly on standby! With immediate power you can quickly give the boat a gentle nudge on to the other tack! In contrast it would taken a lot longer to have to turn the key, pull the starter and pause momentarily to get a diesel engine idling smoothly, before putting it into gear,” the post said.

Speaking to SABBEX shortly before newsletter publication, Hopyacht co-founder Paul Tomes confirmed the sale of a motor-only version of the Hopyacht to a South African couple. “It has a couple of very cool features requested,” Tomes said.

The vessel is due to be shipped to the Med, and more sales are in the pipeline, for Panama, Malta and Portugal, Tomes said.

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