Motorboat Expert

Independent Yachting Magazine

AQUON One – unlimited range with solar-hydrogen propulsion

AQUON One - unlimited range with solar-hydrogen propulsion

Updated on June 8th, 2024

Throughout the world’s oceans, Manta Rays live harmoniously with their environment. Highly intelligent and streamlined, they have inspired creativity in brands from many industries to design new and innovative products, from biotechnology to aviation and yachting.

One such yachting brand who has taken inspiration from the Manta Ray is Swiss Sustainable Yachts, who in 2022 designed a ground-breaking catamaran that, when launched, will be powered solely by renewable energy. Swiss Sustainable Yachts has named their new build project AQUON One.

AQUON One was designed by Christian Grande, a well respected designer who has worked with the likes of Cranchi, Invictus yachts and Blohm + Voss, to name but a few. Christian Grande’s remit was simple – to design a yacht that encapsulates modernity, elegance, prowess and comfort, whilst ensuring eco-friendly credentials.

Catamaran AQUON One

Grande took to the drawing board and began drafting a concept that flowed through the water as elegantly as the Manta Ray. Initially, the lines of the Ray were mapped out and a body for AQUON drawn up around them. Each hull represents the horns, whilst the angle of her overall profile follows the movement of this creature’s wings. The final design is a masterpiece.

Eco-Friendly Credentials

In regards to functionality, the catamaran includes an innovative and ground-breaking propulsion system. Never seen before in the yachting industry, AQUON will be powered by an onboard solar-hydrogen propulsion system. Photovoltaic panels will generate energy whilst at anchor and underway. This energy will be used to charge onboard batteries and convert desalinated sea water into hydrogen fuel. The batteries will power the catamaran whilst the hydrogen fuel will generate electricity for onboard living and additional propulsion.

Hydrogen-solar catamaran hull design

The only waste products will be pure water and thermal energy. Water will be released back into the oceans, and the thermal energy will be used for heating and hot water supply to the yacht. The result is 100% silent and emission free sailing.

When it comes to form, the catamaran will be fitted out with 100% sustainable materials. Swiss Sustainable Yachting’s belief in a 360º lifecycle is evident in AQUON:
“When selecting any material for the AQUON One, we realised the impact these materials have on their environment… By aiming for a modular design and using primarily sustainable materials which can be reused, composted, or recycled, AQUON One minimises its long term impact on the environment…”

Only the floors will be made from natural materials, over 35% of which is recycled leather that would otherwise have been disposed of. Wall fabrics made from flax and carbon fibres will have a 75% lower CO2 footprint than a comparably strong pure carbon fibre fabric and the shipyard’s chosen manufacturer for furniture is FSC certified.

For those who stay abreast of eco-innovation in the yachting industry, it is likely you will have encountered Det Norske Veritas’ (DNV) 2022 project to enhance the standardisation of renewable-energy powered hydrogen systems. The project saw DNV join forces with major industry partners to work towards a new certification scheme and industry best practice for electrolysers (hydrogen energy). 30 years ago, DNV did the same with wind energy – an energy source we now normalise in technology.

Catamaran AQUON

The project has received certification from DNV. With this stamp of approval from the industry’s leading classification society, AQUON One is a proven concept that is ready for build and represented by the yacht brokerage MYSEA. She confirms to the sustainable yachting trend that there is no longer a need for trade-offs – you can have exceptional levels of comfort without needing to use resources that cause a harm to the environment in general.