The Soel Yachts team has announced the successful deployment of two new Soel Shuttle 14 passenger ferries in Bora Bora, French-Polynesia. Soel Yachts engineers personally oversaw final assembly on location before delivering the two vessels to owner, Pearl Resorts Group.
The Soel Shuttle 14 is, to date, the largest passenger ferry developed and built by Dutch electric yacht company Soel Yachts. It was developed as a multipurpose vessel, catering to the various needs of water-bound resorts, municipalities and shuttling companies.
The commissioning of two Soel Shuttle 14 vessels followed the delivery of a SoelCat 12 in 2017, which is operated by the same resort, and marks the latest step in the Pearl Resorts Group’s plans to be at the forefront of sustainable tourism. The electrification of guest transportation and the exclusive excursion fleet plays a key role in achieving this goal. The two Soel Shuttle 14s serve primarily as airport shuttles for guests, offering an extremely low cost of ownership and providing a solution to the issue of boat emissions, which account for the largest part of the resort’s CO2 footprint.
“As a local hotel chain, we believe that sustainable solutions are the way to go forward, in order to keep our business alive,” said Romain Vidal, CEO of the Pearl Resorts Group. “Priority number one is to offer a healthy environment to our guests, so that they can enjoy the destination as much as possible. From the SoelCat 12, we have learned that operating fully sustainable boats does not only help to save significant costs for imported fuel and maintenance, but we can actively impact a more sustainable environment around us, every day.”
The Soel Shuttle 14 was designed to meet an increasing market demand for zero-emission vessels capable of transporting people in cities and coastal water destinations. The vessel offers a viable solution for a fully outfitted electric vessel authorized for commercial transport of up to 22 guests and two crew. It is built according to Bureau Veritas passenger vessel standards and approved by Affaires Maritimes as a Division 223b passenger vessel.
The two Soel Shuttle 14 vessels have 2 x 40kW electric motors and 106kWh of battery power installed. However, multiple motor and battery capacity options are available to tailor the vessel’s performance to clients’ needs. The boats’ performance during sea trials have shown better results than contracted, having achieved a top speed of 14kts – 1.5kts higher than contracted. This is the result of the perfectly matched propulsion system and propeller with the hull lines, which were CFD-optimized specifically for electric propulsion.
“The quality of technical systems matters as much to us as the overall design and seakeeping,” explained Linda Brembs, managing partner at Soel Yachts. “With our shared passion and knowledge, we can create our products to the highest standard. We are able to answer any question while guiding our clients through the ins and outs of solar-electric sailing.”
Based on experience from developing commercially operating electric boats, Soel Yachts has expanded its product range toward private tourism with the Senses series. The company currently offers a solar electric weekender boat, the Soel Senses 48, and a 62ft solar electric yacht for ocean crossings, the Soel Senses 62.
Read more about Soel Yachts in E&H Marine’s interview with managing partner David Czap, available in the current issue.