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Greener and Better: the Silent 60

  • By Chris Caswell
  • December 16, 2022

Silent-Yachts 60

If there was any question that the “Tesla moment” has arrived in yachting, the Silent 60 clearly provides a positive response.

Consider, for a moment, crossing oceans in silence at 5 to 6 knots without consuming a drop of fuel and never needing to plan your course between fuel stops. Imagine sitting at anchor and running the air conditioning all night, not to mention all the galley appliances plus the washer-dryer, without the hum or fumes from a genset.

During my time aboard the Silent-Yachts 60, the electric yacht cruised easily at 8 knots. When I whipped out my sound meter, it barely registered 52 decibels, which is about the sound of a dishwasher. The Silent monitors at the helm showed we were charging our 286 kWh lithium batteries at more wattage than we were using to spin the 340 kW motors, so we were ahead of the power-usage game—and this was in South Florida rain under a solid cloud layer. Had we upped the ante to the yacht’s top speed of 20 knots, it would have been drawing from rather than adding to the batteries, but the speed capability gives skippers the option to outrun weather (or just get to the best moorings first).

The Silent 60 is a catamaran design for several reasons. First, the twin hulls are easily driven to minimize the power needed. Second, with nearly 30 feet of beam, there is enough deck area for the solar panels needed to create power.

Buyers can choose as many as six staterooms, each en suite with stall showers and nearly king-size berths. The salon also uses that beam well, providing bowling-alley space under 7-foot-6-inch headroom. With the Silent 60, the interior is basically a blank sheet, allowing buyers to tailor the layout to their cruising needs.

Silent-Yachts 60

As for the engine rooms, NASA could take a page from Silent-Yachts: Everything is precisely labeled, placed for easy access and surgery-suite spotless. Externally, the Silent 60 is striking, with reversed bows and black graphic slashes on the topside that conceal dark-tinted windows (which provide bright, airy interiors to the staterooms). What catches the eye most, however, are the 42 solar panels that cover every inch of the cabin top as well as the hardtop over the flybridge. Produced by SunPower in California, these panels feed power to a lithium battery pack reportedly good for 3,000 charge cycles—or an estimated 35 years of normal boating use.

The Silent 60 I got aboard, which was Hull No. 3, had a four-stateroom layout. A larger stateroom forward in the starboard hull served as the master, with an athwartships berth, settee and built-in vanity. This yacht also had a walk-through Dutch door forward in the salon next to the helm, leading to settees on the foredeck as well as providing salon ventilation. Another benefit of the door for short-handed cruisers is quick access to the anchor gear under the foredeck.

Owners can sacrifice the forward door in favor of a forward master stateroom with a king berth just a couple of steps below the salon and an en suite head in the starboard hull. An intriguing design feature is the two outward-facing “window seats” indented into the stateroom on each side deck, which would make a wonderful spot at anchor with a good book.

The salon has a fixed dining table that easily seats eight people on the wraparound settee. There also are loose chairs and a pad just forward for lounging. The helm is raised one step and has twin Simrad multifunction displays plus the Silent systems monitor, all easily understood.

Silent-Yachts 60

Aft and to port, the U-shaped galley has a dishwasher as well as a full-height fridge to starboard. The fridge setup may change to a pair of undercounter drawer fridges on future boats for easier access and to eliminate a blind spot for the skipper.

Abaft the galley, a window slides open for easy pass-through to the cockpit to serve whatever the cooks have prepared using the Hafele four-burner, two-zone cooktop.

The Silent 60 is a work in progress, and additional changes might be on the way, such as the addition of twin berths that slide together, and a different location for what is now the midsalon washer-dryer (in a console abaft the helm). This hull was built in Thailand, but production is moving to Italy.

Still, the yacht has exceedingly clever design ideas, such as the hinged hardtop on the bridge. The top lowers electrically to seal off the bridge from the weather as well as keep the solar cells from being shadowed. The bridge itself is conventional, with a double-wide helm seat to port that reverses to create wraparound seating for the dining table, and double lounge pads for relaxing, not sunning, since the solar panels take up every bit of sun space.

Silent-Yachts 60

The cockpit has a settee and an L-shaped table. A hydraulic swim platform is available in varying widths to handle up to a 13-foot tender without impinging on the platforms on either hull. Silent-Yachts also gets points for good walk-around decks protected by toe kicks as well as welded stainless-steel rails.

The Silent 60 is on the leading edge of a greener yachting experience. For cruisers who are looking to lessen their carbon footprint while enjoying some quietude at sea, this yacht is worth serious consideration. 

Built for Safety

Future Silent 60s from Italy will have fully resin-infused fiberglass sandwich construction with carbon reinforcements in high-stress areas. Each of the hulls has watertight bulkheads, sealed floors and three collision compartments for enhanced safety. The foam sandwich core provides thermal and sound insulation.

Kite Sailing

One option available on the Silent 60 is a kite-wing propulsion system using a collapsing mast and hidden winch to fly a 140-square-foot sail. (By comparison, a Laser sail is 76 square feet.) With open ocean breezes of 17 to 21 knots, the builder says the kite can power the Silent 60 at 6 to 7 knots alone, or it can bump the speed with motors to go faster than the usual 8-knot cruise speed. 

Big Sisters

In addition to the Silent-Yachts 60, the boatbuilder has 62-, 80- and 120-foot electric power cats available for owners looking for something bigger. Additionally, it recently started work on the hybrid-powered Silent VisionF 82. 

Take the next step: silent-yachts.com

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Electric boats

Silent yachts, silent yachts launches solar catamaran with kite wing sail and 100 mile daily range from the sun.

Avatar for Scooter Doll

Solar boat engineer and designer Silent Yachts has shared new details of the SILENT-60, a 60′ catamaran with 42 solar panels and two electric propelled motors backed by 286 kWh of battery capacity. While Silent Yachts’ solar-powered vessels are all unique, the SILENT-60 will also be fitted with a 9-13 square meter kite wing, generating additional clean power to pull the yacht.

Silent Yachts was founded by Heike and Michael Köhle, who together have sailed over 75,000 nautical miles around the world, and decided there had to be a better way to propel yachts with clean energy.

After beginning research into solar yacht technologies in 2004, Silent Yachts gathered five years of sailing data and constructed its first fully self-sufficient solar-powered catamaran , the Solarwave 46.

After a five-year trial at sea that began in 2010, Silent Yachts had a proven solar yacht concept, and began serial production of luxury sustainable vessels in 2016 with the SILENT-64. By 2018, The SILENT-64 had become the first serial-production solar-powered bluewater catamaran to cross the Atlantic, from Cartagena, Spain to Barbados in 16 days.

In 2020, the company announced a partnership with Volkswagen Group , which will supply all the components and batteries for a new 50-foot yacht. The yacht will be designed with the help of Cupra, and will utilize VW’s MEB Platform.

Earlier this year, Silent Yachts launched the SILENT-60 as a more powerful, revamped generation of the SILENT-64. With the company’s latest announcement, the SILENT-60 catamaran looks to separate itself from other solar yachts by utilizing even more sustainable propulsion techniques.

solar yacht

The SILENT-60 solar yacht specs

In addition to being a yacht completely powered using solar energy, Silent Yachts has now shared an additional kite wing option that can deliver even more clean range to the Silent-60.

According to the press release, the SILENT-60 will be the first vessel to be fitted with a nine or 13 square meter kite wing, although the option will now be available on all Silent Yacht models.

After deploying the compact kite, it drifts away on the surface of the water before pulling taught and launching into the air. When it reaches its optimal flight height, the kite begins to trace a “figure 8” in the sky, generating additional power to pull the solar yacht. Silent Yacht founder Michael Köhler elaborates:

The main advantages of a kite over a conventional sail system are that it does not throw shade on the solar panels, does not need a tall mast, and generates up to 10 times more power per square meter than a traditional sail. In addition to that it saves about 1.5 tons of weight compared to conventional rig and costs much less. It makes even more sense for the SILENT boats that run on renewable solar energy because the power generated by a kite easily exceeds the energy consumption of the system, so you can charge the batteries while cruising under kite power. And besides that, it’s great fun!

When yacht owners want to stop kiting, an automated app controls the kite, moving it to a position right above the boat where it has the least pull on the line. This allows for more easy electric winching down over the foredeck for stowage.

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In addition to the wind kite option, the SILENT-60 yacht comes with 42 solar panels, garnering 17 kWp of energy from the sun to power two, 340 kW electric motors. The system is backed by a battery capacity up to 286 kWh.

As a required safety measure, the SILENT-60 is equipped with a generator and 1,000 liters of fuel. However, according to the Silent-Yachts’ owners, they almost never use it because they have enough solar power and electric energy.

According to Silent Yachts, the SILENT-60 can cruise efficiently with zero emissions using solar power only for up to 100 nautical miles a day and can maintain that pace for weeks. The vessel’s cruise speed is six to eight knots, but it can get up to a top speed of 20 knots using the all-electric motors.

The SILENT-60 comes with four guest cabins but can be designed with a custom layout for those willing to pay a bit more. Speaking of which, the SILENT-60 starts at 2.39 million euros ($2.69 million).

The first of these SILENT-60 solar yachts was built in Thailand, but the company plans to build future units in Italy. Furthermore, Silent Yachts has already shared design plans for a SILENT-80 and SILENT-100 Explorer vessel.

More electrified boats are sure to make their maiden voyage soon. In the meantime, check out this launch video detailing the style and luxury of the SILENT-60:

Electrek’s take

The more I see electric propulsion on larger and larger boats, the more excited I get. While this is still such a niche segment in not just maritime transportation, but electrified mobility overall, it really excites me personally.

Many of you (hopefully) saw my previous article where I got to captain a solar-powered yacht called the Ramblin’ Rose, thanks to Sunwater Marine . That experience helped me learn and experience a lot of similar technology that Silent Yachts has implemented on an even larger and more powerful scale with its catamarans.

While it’s safe to say that my current income level might get me on board a SILENT-60 solar yacht as a mere stowaway, those who can afford their own are going to be blessed with luxury and performance with zero emissions. The quicker we stop burning diesel in our Earth’s waters (and anywhere else while we’re at it), the better.

A top speed 20 knots is nearly 23 mph, not bad for two electric motors getting all their energy from the sun. Obviously, that speed is not sustainable for the batteries, but being able to get 100 NMs from the sun each day truly means you can take this yacht out for weeks at a time if you want. Not to mention the unique wing kite that actually pulls the 60-foot yacht, unlike a sailboat that is pushed by the wind. No range anxiety here.

I’d love to get below deck on one of the Silent Yachts and explore the inner workings… while getting a tan in the Mediterranean, perhaps? A kid could dream, right? For now, I’ll simply have to report electric boat news from my squeaky chair, pretending the cars whizzing by outside are calm ocean waves lapping against the yacht’s hull. Is it too early for a mojito?

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports. Please send any tips or suggestions, or dog photos to him at [email protected]

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Review: Silent 55, the extraordinary solar powered yacht

Yachting World

  • January 18, 2019

Silent Yachts is tapping into the solar zeitgeist and creating a new meaning for the term ‘powercat’.  Sam Fortescue reports

Silent Yachts Silent 55

There is a slow, silent revolution under way in the yachting world. It is a revolution that is introducing tonnes of lithium and a sprinkling of silicon to the spec list of new boats. Holding out the promise of silent mobility, plus limitless domestic power on board, it made a big splash at the last Cannes Festival of Yachting – not least thanks to the new Silent 55 catamaran which debuted there.

From the pontoon side, the Silent 55 looks like a typical modern catamaran, with a big coachroof studded with windows and a flybridge helm. Except there’s no mast. Now, bear with me here. I realise that this is a sailing magazine, but we will shortly get back to more familiar territory. The unique qualities of this catamaran only become apparent from up top, where an expanse of solar panels stretches away fore and aft, embedded into the coachroof. The hard top itself carries yet more panels, and can be folded down flush to give an unshaded solar array of 49m2. During the heat of a summer day in the Med, this is capable of generating 10kW of power and up to around 60kWh in the course of the day.

Silent Yachts Silent 55 exterior

But to make a solar system work in reality, Köhler had to go back to the drawing board on yacht design. The saloon and hulls have extra thermal insulation to keep air-con losses down, and the use of carbon and aramid in key areas helps reduce the overall weight to a decent 17 tonnes (a Lagoon 52 weighs 22.5 tonnes). He has tried to keep windows out of the direct sun with long overhangs and in contrast to the Lagoon’s 12 deck hatches, the Silent 55 has just two.

Holistic design

On the other hand, it has lots of opening windows, to allow a natural draught to do its job. “It’s a holistic approach – you can’t take the batteries and the drivetrain and drop it into another boat.”

Of course, using the propulsion system quickly takes its toll of the boat’s 140kW battery bank. The model on display at Cannes had two 135kW motors, giving you just half an hour of silent motoring flat-out, albeit at a top speed of over 20 knots. More reasonable 30kW engines and a single-digit speed give you greater range. Nonetheless, the electric drive alone isn’t going to allow you to outrun a storm, or race home after a day at anchor, so the boat is designed to work with a generator hidden in the heavily insulated transom of its starboard hull. At cruising speed of around 5-6 knots, Köhler says there is rarely any need to use the generator, citing an owner who has just emailed him triumphantly about a second year totally generator-free. “In the end, you have to compare it to the performance of a sailing boat,” Köhler says. “It is as fast as a sailing boat in similar conditions – after all, there is no wind without sun.” He went so far as to tell me during the sea trial in Palma, Mallorca, that he believed the majority of sailors would happily dispense with the hassle of sails and a rig if only they could enjoy silent motoring and anchoring. “As soon as people realise the incredible concept of this boat, they won’t understand why they ever did anything else.”

The market does not seem to agree with him – yet. Sales of the boat have been good – they have already sold six, five of which are already in the water. But of those, four customers have taken the sail option, which means planting a 19.7m tall mast complete with boom and rigging slap bang in the middle of the coachroof solar array. “I was a bit amazed,” Köhler admits. “The shade from the rig reduces the energy generated by the solar area, while it costs more and is heavier, so consumes more fuel. Maybe it is for optical reasons.” In fact, the shade of the rig slashes the average yield of the solar panels in half. In the Med, that means around 30kWh per day. But perhaps it figures. The typical profile of buyers is an environmentalist who has a Tesla electric car and is “an early adopter who likes to have things before others”. And at low speeds, with modest use of the air-con, the reduced energy generation should still cover daily consumption.

Silent Yachts Silent 55 Sail Version exterior

The performance under sail should be reasonable because of the lightweight build of the boat, its broad 8.47m beam and stub keels added to each hull. Control lines are led back via conduits in the coachroof to the flybridge helm station, to make single-handing under sail a possibility.

More interesting, I think, is a sort of halfway-house option using a kite rig. This optimises the performance of the solar panels and gives plenty of propulsion. On the smaller 55 and the 64, Silent Yachts currently recommends a 19m2 kite that costs around €25,000 – a fraction of the cost of a new mast, boom, shrouds and sails. “The sail automatically makes a figure of eight above the boat, and you can steer it with a joystick or an app on an android phone,” Köhler explains. “It can propel the 55 at up to 6 knots, even in light winds.” Perfect for an Atlantic crossing, then.

For the bigger Silent 79, which will hit the water in the summer, a commercial grade Sky Sail system needs to be used – a smaller version of the ones used on cargo ships. This kite can propel the boat at ten knots, but it costs more than ten times as much as its smaller cousin. Both are capable of pulling the boat upwind. So far, so new. But outside the novel energy and propulsion system, the Silent 55 aims to do what many other cruising catamarans are trying to achieve. “Most of our clients order for circumnavigation and long-term cruising,” Köhler says. So the boat is aimed to be as comfortable and capable as possible with watermakers, TVs and an induction hob that all capitalise on the boat’s abundant energy. A flexible configuration allows owners the choice 
of between three and six cabins – the latter designed for charter. The owner’s cabin lies forward of the saloon, under the windows of the coachroof, which provide magnificent views and abundant natural light. There’s a walk-around bed and steps down into the starboard hull give access to an en-suite shower room and heads.

Silent Yachts Silent 55 master cabin

In my view, the best cabin lies aft of this, accessed in the traditional manner down steps out of the saloon. The king-sized bed lies athwartships and the shower is larger than that of the master cabin. There’s more space down here, better headroom and still plenty of light courtesy of the many hull lights.

Silent Yachts Silent 55 guest cabin

When I had the chance to sea trial the Silent 55, albeit in motorboat format, I jumped at it. It was a contrary autumn day on Mallorca with 15 knots breeze – just a shame, then, that this wasn’t one of the sailing configured versions.

To start with, getting on board is made really easy courtesy of deep boarding platforms on the skirts. She feels rather square because of that vast, glazed saloon with its deep overhang, and perhaps because of the utilitarian nature of the hard top, which is really about supporting more solar panels. Nevertheless, the side decks are broad and uncluttered. The space up top is designed to concertina down flat, hence the hydraulic rams, fold-down seat back and lowering console. It makes a great sailing position, though, with all round visibility, and is also perfect for sundowners at anchor. When the rain comes down, this feels quite exposed, but there is a fully sheltered helm at the front of the saloon, and it is also possible to drive the boat from anywhere using a tablet thanks to smart electronics. Under power, the handling is superb. The quietness of the motors is astonishing, and I gather they’ll be inaudible on the next boat, which will do away with the gearbox. Even in the aft cabins, directly above the motors, there is no more than a distant hum. The boat responds instantly to the power and the wind seemed to have no impact at all. As with any propulsion system, the power consumption jumps as you pile on the speed – it was sobering to see. At 6 knots, both motors drew 10kW but at 8 knots it was closer to 30kW. I liked the huge saloon with its raised table for 360º views. And the sliding door and window gives great access aft, connecting the saloon and cockpit in fine conditions. The finish was smart and in muted tones, feeling more Scandinavian than German.

Intriguingly, at least it seems to me, Köhler has tapped into something with the concept behind Silent Yachts – but not entirely for the reasons that he expected. Buyers are opting for the sail or kite versions of the boat because they want a comfortable wind-powered craft with abundant, quiet energy on tap. It brings a whole new meaning to the 
term ‘powercat’

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Silent Yachts 55: Liveaboard test of this future-proof electric catamaran

  • Photos: Jack Haines / Silent Yachts

With there being no engine noise the skipper could make an early start without disturbing charter guests

The crew meet up with another Silent 55 on charter in Mallorca

  • Silent Yachts CEO and Tinker head ashore on the tender

The solar array is most effective with the hardtop retracted so it doesn’t shade the other panels

  • The 27ft 7in beam gives the 55 excellent natural stability when at rest or on anchor
  • You only need to head into port to replenish food stocks – the rest takes care of itself

Returning to the Silent 55 after an evening walk ashore

Breakfast at anchor is the norm when shore power isn’t an issue

  • The heart of the boat is a brilliantly sociable space
  • The American-style domestic fridge/freezer in the galley

The internal dinette is the team’s workspace during the summer months

  • Familiar controls mean the Silent 55 feels no different to helm than a “normal” boat
  • The master suite is a great cabin but it needs blinds or curtains
  • The VIP ensuite runs most of the length of the starboard hull and it’s a real gem

This spectacular Mallorcan sunset marks a suitable end to a day of silent cruising

  • The energy harnessed from the solar panels is stored in a 210kWh battery bank
  • The compact electric motors reside beneath the floor
  • The digital management system displays power usage and battery life
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An extended stay on board the revolutionary Silent Yachts 55 allows us to assess whether this really is the future of the motorboat

The April 2019 edition of MBY – our Future of Boating special – included a boat test of the Silent Yachts 55 in, shall we say, less than ideal conditions. Given that the boat is a solar-powered power catamaran the sheeting rain that we endured during our short sea trial somewhat hindered the boat’s ability to show us what it could do.

At the time I lamented the weather and commented that to assess properly whether the Silent 55 is a viable cruising machine we’d need more time on board to test its technology in realistic conditions and, ideally, somewhere sunny. Luckily, Silent Yachts agreed so in July we headed out to Mallorca to live aboard the boat for three days to see if it works.

Our meeting point is Santa Ponsa in Mallorca’s south west, not the most salubrious of locations, but the bay, with shelter from the prevailing winds and excellent holding, is where the Silent Yachts team base themselves for the summer months.


It says much about the liveaboard potential of this boat that Silent Yachts’ CEO Michael Köhler and his wife Heike run the business from the Silent 55 during the season and are regularly joined by members of their team and potential clients so that they can experience the boat for themselves.

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A sailor at heart, Michael is not a man who likes to be tied to marinas (they spent one night in port last season) so this tranquil anchorage is ideal. We are met on the quayside by the tender (powered by a Torqeedo electric outboard , naturally) and whisked silently towards the transom of the awaiting Silent 55 where we are welcomed by the Köhler’s Australian sheepdog, Tinker, and meet the other crew members Euan and Christian, who both work for the shipyard.

Every berth on board is occupied, meaning the boat’s living spaces and the technology used to keep the creature comforts running smoothly are going to be thoroughly tested.

Article continues below…

VIDEO: Silent Yachts 55 review

The Silent Yachts 55, with its battery bank and solar panels, is a glimpse into the future of motorboats, but

Welcome to the future: 5 futuristic yachts being built today

Our hosts graciously offer me and my wife our pick of the cabins but they usher us towards the master suite and after some token protestations, we cave and head forward to stow our bags. The master on this four-cabin version (there are five- or six-cabin options available) is a beauty that straddles the hulls and has a vast ensuite that occupies the forward portion of the starboard hull.

The bed is huge, there’s more storage space than you can shake a stick at and the separate toilet, shower cubicle and open-plan basin are particularly luxurious touches. The lack of curtains or blinds over any of the numerous windows catches my eye, however, as this odd omission was also noted on the boat I originally tested back in April.

The boat we’re on is the E-Power version; there is a Cruiser with smaller electric motors and a Hybrid , which mates two 14kW electric motors to a pair of 220hp diesel engines. Our boat has two 250kW (the equivalent of 335hp each) electric motors, an array of 30 solar panels on the roof with a maximum output of 10kW and a 210kWh battery bank.


This neatly interlinked system is tasked with propelling the boat up to a top speed of 18 knots and running its domestic supply, which on top of the usual lighting and sockets includes an American-style domestic fridge/freezer, air-conditioning and a water maker. There is some internal combustion going on, though, because there is a 100kW generator on board, employed as a range extender or charging aid if there is nothing but liquid sunshine in the air.

It’s a beautiful late afternoon so we haul the anchor and creep, in total silence, past our neighbouring boats for a shakedown around the headland. Much of the driving experience is the same as a boat with engines: you turn a key to activate the drivetrain and, though there is no gearbox, the throttles still have neutral, forward and reverse settings – more for their familiarity than anything else.

And it is totally silent; the gearbox whine of the boat I tested earlier this year now eradicated, all you can hear is the gentle swish of water folding around the bathing platform.


Though our boat has twin 250kW motors it’s only got 70kW of power per side because it is still in the final stages of manufacturer testing, which is a shame. That said, even with the full 500kW on tap, you’re still going to run the boat most economically at 6 knots.

Even an increase of speed to 10 knots could decrease running time by two hours or more, so it pays to stick in the slow lane – no hardship on a power cat of such dimensions and inherent stability with a litany of places to chill out in as the boat glides towards its destination.

We found ourselves gravitating towards the padded nets on the foredeck where you can sit with the sun on your face and breeze in your hair, gently bobbing up and down with the motion of the swell. The nets, your proximity to the water and the hushed progress engender a unique connection to the sea beneath you that is really rather special.


Though we have over 50% charge in the batteries Michael fires up the generator on the way back to base to top them up a touch; doing this while running is the best time because you barely notice the noise of the generator on the move.

We awake early the next morning as bright sunshine cascades through the windows of our cabin. Every other cabin on board is fitted with blinds, but the splendour of our huge master suite is dampened a touch by the lack of them in here. The windows are at least heavily tinted so we can get changed safe in the knowledge that we can’t be seen by the crew on deck.

These quibbles evaporate as we head to the main deck for breakfast, which is laid out invitingly on the sprawling cockpit table. This is the heart of the boat, an area where the cockpit and galley merge and one where the crew naturally congregates. The weather is beautiful so we plan a longer cruise to an anchorage a few miles east near Puerto Portals.


With the sun beating down already we depart our base with 65% charge in the batteries, pick up the 6-knot cruising speed and settle in for the ride. To get the best out of this boat you have to think like a sailor when passage planning, manipulating the elements as best you can so that they are helping and not hindering progress.

Tidal flow or current and wind direction all have an impact on range so it pays to have nature’s forces on your side. If high-speed blasts between islands is your thing then this boat isn’t going to work for you, but if time is your friend then the Silent 55 makes a lot of sense. Consider this too, if it’s autonomy you’re after then the 55 is in a league of its own. You only need to head in to port to top up with water (if you don’t have the water maker) and replenish food stocks.

With a 600-litre diesel capacity the generator’s tank will not need regular fills and there are no mechanicals to service apart from the generator itself so you need to carry very few spare components. You don’t depend on shore power either so if you genuinely want to live on board and get away from the crowded surroundings of a marina this boat delivers that.


The powercat frame is ideal for this usage too, given the sheer amount of living space. Where you’d normally find a pair of big engines are two enormous storage voids because the compact electric motors live beneath the floor in the aft cabins. Its twin hulls and 27ft 7in (8.46m) beam endow it with inherent stability, too, creating what feels like your own little island and a tremendous base from which to enjoy the piercing blue water of a Mallorcan cove .

She’s electric

Our 10nm mile journey on electric power took around two hours and during that trip the charge diminished from 65% to 48% (giving a theoretical range of 59 miles on a full charge). Once the anchor hits the seabed we use just 2kW of power running the domestic supply, though there is a spike when we turn on the air-conditioning to cool the cabins down before bed.

There is sufficient energy to run the air-con without turning the generator on, but with a stiff breeze blowing through the boat a quick blast is all we need for a comfortable night’s sleep. As the day boats make a dash for home at dusk, the bay becomes our own and after a refreshing dip we shower and change before the teppanyaki grill is set up on the cockpit table and we prepare to enjoy a beautiful dinner as the sun melts into the horizon.


The next day we have to return to Santa Ponsa so it’s up early for a glorious morning dip to shake off the previous evening’s digestif. The pace of life mirrors the pace of boat, but we decide to have breakfast on the move so we can get back to base before it gets too busy.

With there being no engine noise or vibration the skipper could easily make an early start without disturbing charter guests, something you would struggle to achieve on even the most well-insulated diesel boats.

Maybe it was the Mallorcan sun or a case of being caught in the moment but as we cruised silently west and I took to the cosy perch on the Silent 55’s port side deck I couldn’t help thinking what hard work it looked as other boats charged about with their bows in the air and guests glued to their seats. We pull up in Santa Ponsa with a healthy 37% of charge remaining in the batteries.

Our verdict

The Silent 55 is not perfect and you can see and feel the yard’s immaturity in the rudimentary finishing in places. I also have an issue with the terrible view from the lower helm, even though you spend most of your time helming from the flybridge. Nor is the Silent 55 a handsome craft; designs for the 80 and 60ft versions show a far more attractive look with much neater proportions and a tidier window line.

In early September, though, I receive a video from Michael via WhatsApp. It’s of him standing on one of the bathing platforms as the Silent 55 charges through the water at 17 knots on electric power. The testing phase, it seems, is complete and all 500kw can be laid down at once; it’s quite a sight to see the boat travelling at such speed with no engine noise whatsoever. The boat may still need some of its rough edges smoothing off but the technology works and sets an important motorboating milestone.

Price as reviewed:

£1,730,000.00 (ex. VAT)

Price from : €1,400,000 ex VAT LOA : 54ft 8in (16.7m) Beam: 27ft 7in (8.46m) Draught : 2ft 1in (0.64m) Displacement : 19 tonnes (light) Fuel capacity : 600 litres (132 gal) Water capacity : 500 litres (110 gal) RCD category: A for 12 people Design: Michael Köhler & iYacht

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SILENT 60 Yacht for Sale

60' silent | 2024.

  • Yachts for sale
  • motoryachts

Last updated Sep 1, 2023

Silent 60 Yacht | 60' Silent 2024

Silent Yachts presents the first and only ocean going production yachts in the world that are fully sustainable and powered by solar energy.

  • Unlimited range
  • Solar panels - zero maintenance and 25 year warranty
  • Lithium Ion batteries - zero maintenance and 8 year warranty
  • Electric motors - zero maintenance and lifetime warranty
  • No more noise and fumes
  • No more fuel bills
  • No more marina electric bills
  • Considerable reduction in maintenance
  • Industry leading components
  • Bespoke interiors

Denison Yachting is pleased to assist you in the purchase of this vessel. This boat is centrally listed by Silent Yachts North America.

Denison Yacht Sales offers the details of this yacht in good faith but can’t guarantee the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of this boat for sale. This yacht for sale is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal from that yacht market without notice. She is offered as a convenience by this yacht broker to its clients and is not intended to convey direct representation of a specific yacht for sale.


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Read our guide to learn the process for buying SILENT 60


  • Yacht Details: 60' Silent 2024
  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Engines: Kräutler
  • Last Updated: Sep 1, 2023
  • Maximum Speed: 16 kn
  • Max Draft: 3' 0''

Silent 60 additional information

  • Beam: 29' 5''
  • Hull Material: Fiberglass
  • Solar panels – zero maintenance & 25yr warranty
  • Lithium Ion batteries - zero maintenance & 8yr warranty
  • Electric motors - zero maintenance & lifetime warranty
  • No more noise & fumes

Silent Yachts presents the first and only ocean going production yachts in the world that are fully sustainable and powered by solar energy. Pure solar-powered luxury.

Silent Yachts was founded on the dream of eliminating the industries effects on the environment without sacrificing the slightest bit of luxury. The future of luxury yachting is individualistic, noiseless, self-sufficient and honoring nature and the environment.

Imagine starting every morning with an awe inspiring sunrise and ending the day with a breathtaking sunset! Watch, smell, feel nature and be aware that you take responsibility for the environment.

It is both our philosophy and our commitment to offer the best available solar-powered yachts, uniquely designed and constructed, offering unlimited worldwide range and electric motors capable of achieving speeds of up to 20 knots

Many years of research and proven use have demonstrated that a Silent yacht can cruise exclusively on solar power for up to 100 miles per day, run all household appliances including air conditioning, permanently.

Range is unlimited with solar powered electric propulsion, therefore more than Transocean-range.

While combustion engines have an energy efficiency of around 30%, electric motors feature an energy efficiency rate of more than 98%. This saves a lot of power and emits significantly less heat.

High levels of luxury require permanently available energy. On a Silent yacht, you can watch TV, enjoy a cold beer, have the air conditioning running and produce up to 2000 liters of drinking water per day without starting the generator.

High-efficiency solar cells and light-weight Lithium-Batteries provide ample energy and charging for the propulsion as well as for all household appliances, e.g. for television, air-conditioning, ice-machine, water-maker, laptop etc.

Silent Yachts has established a partnership with MG Energy Systems to provide energy systems for all models. There are numerous types of lithium batteries on the market. The brand we are using is universally regarded as industry leader with regards safety, performance, weight and life-span.

A diesel generator (range extender) is fitted as a safety back up. If necessary, due to longer periods of bad weather or where extended durations of higher speed is required, will automatically start when the batteries register below 30%, and seamlessly integrates into the charging system.

Due to the lack of “moving Parts” associated with this technology, our yachts are considerably more reliable, and much less expensive to operate and maintain.

  • Solar panels fitted to Silent Yachts are zero maintenance and guaranteed for 25 years.
  • Lithium batteries are zero maintenance and guaranteed for 8 years.
  • The electric motors have a lifetime warranty, and are virtually zero maintenance, with only a set of inexpensive bearings needing to be changed every 50,000 hours of use. When you consider the average yearly usage is 400 – 600 hours, don’t forget to schedule that service call every 80 years.
  • Depending on the optional usage of the range extender generator, standard maintenance is required, often on a 100hr basis. One owner recently reported only running their generator for 6 hours, during their transatlantic crossing.
  • Electric Motor……...Lifetime
  • Solar Panels……….25 years
  • Batteries……………8 years
  • Hull/GRP parts….…5 years
  • General Fit/Finish…2 years

All the electrical components are of high industrial quality and are being engineered / built in Europe and the USA.

Motors, inverters and their cables are IP69 certified. This means that they’re rated to work when permanently submerged in highly pressurized water. In comparison to a conventional diesel powered propulsion system an electric motor is far more reliable as the only moving parts are the rotor and its two bearings.

All wiring is tin-coated and all plugs feature a custom design which prevents humidity and water from entering. Additionally, all parts exposed to the marine environment are made of corrosion resistant materials.

All vital components are redundant to ensure double safety. The configuration of all components makes sure an overload is impossible, deeming the solar-electric drivetrain far safer than conventional propulsion systems. We are also proud to say that our catamarans were the first to be certified according to DIN EN ISO 16315 for the marine operations of electrically powered yachts.

Underwater lines are optimized by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and towing-tank tests. The lightweight construction is a result of bionic design, the use of carbon fibers and high-quality resins.

Interior furniture is made of stiff and lightweight composite plates with real wood-veneer. This reduces the weight significantly to about half the weight of a conventionally constructed and powered yacht.

Each kg/Lb saved is equivalent to less wave drag and friction and therefore less energy required to move the vessel through the water. Overall, this leads to high levels of efficiency enabling fast and self-sustaining propulsion.

Salon and cabins are wrapped in thermal insulation. Furthermore, all windows are shaded by either the roof and/or the hull, thus lowering the energy consumption needed to keep the interior at comfortable temperature levels.

The photovoltaic modules recharge the batteries with a maximum output of 17 kWp and are the main power source of our yachts. We use the most efficient, most advanced and highest quality modules currently available. Their arrangement, the positioning and the regulation of charge are some of the main secrets and reasons why our yachts are able to harvest that much energy from the sun - sufficient to power all household appliances, all devices that you need for your comfort and even the propulsion system.

A new class of yachting is on the rise. Freedom from the need to return to the shore ensures a refreshingly autonomous experience onboard the Silent 60. With solar power and a wide range of options to make untethered cruising a joy, the only reason to enter a marina is to explore exciting new places or pick up local delicacies.

Under way all that can be heard is the gentle swish of water around the hull and the soothing sounds of the natural environment.

Number of cabins: 3 - 5

Number of bathrooms: 3 - 5

Cruising Speed: 6-8 knots

Max Speed: 20 knots

Beam: 29’ 5”

Displacement: 29 tons

Fuel Tanks #: 2

Fuel Tanks Capacity: 1000 - 1600 L

Fresh Water Tanks #: 2

Fresh Water Tanks Capacity: 1000 – 1600 L

Waste Water - 2 x 132 gal

Certification - A: 12 B: 12 C: 16 D: 20

Depth sounder


Navigation Center – Simrad EVO3

  • White gel-coat on hull, additional colors available
  • Real wood veneer finishes on all interior furniture in a range of woods including walnut, teak, maple and oak
  • Range of colours, fabrics and finishes on floors and surfaces
  • Cockpit sofa and white tables
  • Transom shower with hot and cold water
  • Flybridge furniture and table
  • Rigid sunroof over flybridge
  • Shore power connection with fuse
  • Navigation lights
  • Anchor and chain
  • Fenders and ropes
  • Full documentation, handover and commissioning package including CE certificate, launching, antifouling and sailing/technical introduction
  • Spectra Farallon 2800 low energy watermaker system
  • Additional battery packs, chargers and inverters are available
  • Additional fuel tanks for long-range or worldwide cruising
  • Coloured or foiled hull
  • Wide range of interior and exterior fabrics and finishes
  • Household appliances including Corian or stone sink, fridge/freezer and dishwasher
  • • Real teak bow seats
  • Additional sun loungers and cushions
  • Artificial teak floor surfaces
  • Bose entertainment system
  • Additional LED lighting, downlights and underwater lighting
  • Boat name in inox letters with LED lighting
  • Electric carbon passarelle with remote control
  • Additional transom shower
  • Hydraulic stern platform as tender lift and bathing platform
  • Flybridge furniture and wide choice of finishes
  • Retractable sunroof on flybridge
  • Higher capacity heating and air-conditioning systems
  • Washing machine and dryer
  • Additional fresh and waste water storage
  • Additional electric outlets
  • Shore power cable
  • Raymarine navigational packages
  • VHF/AIS and radar packages
  • Side thrusters and docking systems
  • CCTV Raymarine system
  • Additional noise insulation for generator
  • Anchor and chain upgrades
  • Offshore life raft with dedicated storage space
  • Additional fenders and ropes
  • Air conditioning 64,000 BTU to 100,000 BTU, with reverse cycle heating

Schedule a Tour of SILENT 60

Contact our team to schedule a private showing.


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A.I. Begins Ushering In an Age of Killer Robots

A Ukrainian battalion testing a machine gun that can use A.I.-powered targeting, at a shooting range near Kyiv. Credit... Videos by Sasha Maslov For The New York Times and Paul Mozur/the New York Times

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Paul Mozur

By Paul Mozur and Adam Satariano

Paul Mozur reported from Kyiv, Lviv, Kramatorsk and near the front lines in the Donbas region, all in Ukraine. Adam Satariano reported from London.

  • July 2, 2024

In a field on the outskirts of Kyiv, the founders of Vyriy, a Ukrainian drone company, were recently at work on a weapon of the future.

To demonstrate it, Oleksii Babenko, 25, Vyriy’s chief executive, hopped on his motorcycle and rode down a dirt path. Behind him, a drone followed, as a colleague tracked the movements from a briefcase-size computer.

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Until recently, a human would have piloted the quadcopter. No longer. Instead, after the drone locked onto its target — Mr. Babenko — it flew itself, guided by software that used the machine’s camera to track him.

The motorcycle’s growling engine was no match for the silent drone as it stalked Mr. Babenko. “Push, push more. Pedal to the metal, man,” his colleagues called out over a walkie-talkie as the drone swooped toward him. “You’re screwed, screwed!”

If the drone had been armed with explosives, and if his colleagues hadn’t disengaged the autonomous tracking, Mr. Babenko would have been a goner.

Vyriy is just one of many Ukrainian companies working on a major leap forward in the weaponization of consumer technology, driven by the war with Russia . The pressure to outthink the enemy, along with huge flows of investment, donations and government contracts, has turned Ukraine into a Silicon Valley for autonomous drones and other weaponry.

What the companies are creating is technology that makes human judgment about targeting and firing increasingly tangential. The widespread availability of off-the-shelf devices, easy-to-design software, powerful automation algorithms and specialized artificial intelligence microchips has pushed a deadly innovation race into uncharted territory, fueling a potential new era of killer robots.

A drove flies over an empty green field under a cloudy sky.

The most advanced versions of the technology that allows drones and other machines to act autonomously have been made possible by deep learning, a form of A.I. that uses large amounts of data to identify patterns and make decisions. Deep learning has helped generate popular large language models, like OpenAI’s GPT-4 , but it also helps make models interpret and respond in real time to video and camera footage. That means software that once helped a drone follow a snowboarder down a mountain can now become a deadly tool.

In more than a dozen interviews with Ukrainian entrepreneurs, engineers and military units, a picture emerged of a near future when swarms of self-guided drones can coordinate attacks and machine guns with computer vision can automatically shoot down soldiers. More outlandish creations, like a hovering unmanned copter that wields machine guns, are also being developed.

The weapons are cruder than the slick stuff of science-fiction blockbusters, like “The Terminator” and its T-1000 liquid-metal assassin, but they are a step toward such a future. While these weapons aren’t as advanced as expensive military-grade systems made by the United States, China and Russia, what makes the developments significant is their low cost — just thousands of dollars or less — and ready availability.

Except for the munitions, many of these weapons are built with code found online and components such as hobbyist computers, like Raspberry Pi , that can be bought from Best Buy and a hardware store. Some U.S. officials said they worried that the abilities could soon be used to carry out terrorist attacks.

For Ukraine, the technologies could provide an edge against Russia, which is also developing autonomous killer gadgets — or simply help it keep pace. The systems raise the stakes in an international debate about the ethical and legal ramifications of A.I. on the battlefield. Human rights groups and United Nations officials want to limit the use of autonomous weapons for fear that they may trigger a new global arms race that could spiral out of control.

In Ukraine, such concerns are secondary to fighting off an invader.

“We need maximum automation,” said Mykhailo Fedorov , Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, who has led the country’s efforts to use tech start-ups to expand advanced fighting capabilities. “These technologies are fundamental to our victory.”

Autonomous drones like Vyriy’s have already been used in combat to hit Russian targets, according to Ukrainian officials and video verified by The New York Times. Mr. Fedorov said the government was working to fund drone companies to help them rapidly scale up production.

Major questions loom about what level of automation is acceptable. For now, the drones require a pilot to lock onto a target, keeping a “human in the loop” — a phrase often invoked by policymakers and A.I. ethicists. Ukrainian soldiers have raised concerns about the potential for malfunctioning autonomous drones to hit their own forces. In the future, constraints on such weapons may not exist.

Ukraine has “made the logic brutally clear of why autonomous weapons have advantages,” said Stuart Russell, an A.I. scientist and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has warned about the dangers of weaponized A.I. “There will be weapons of mass destruction that are cheap, scalable and easily available in arms markets all over the world.”

A Drone Silicon Valley

In a ramshackle workshop in an apartment building in eastern Ukraine, Dev, a 28-year-old soldier in the 92nd Assault Brigade, has helped push innovations that turned cheap drones into weapons. First, he strapped bombs to racing drones, then added larger batteries to help them fly farther and recently incorporated night vision so the machines can hunt in the dark.

In May, he was one of the first to use autonomous drones, including those from Vyriy. While some required improvements, Dev said, he believed that they would be the next big technological jump to hit the front lines.

Autonomous drones are “already in high demand,” he said. The machines have been especially helpful against jamming that can break communications links between drone and pilot. With the drone flying itself, a pilot can simply lock onto a target and let the device do the rest.

Makeshift factories and labs have sprung up across Ukraine to build remote-controlled machines of all sizes, from long-range aircraft and attack boats to cheap kamikaze drones — abbreviated as F.P.V.s, for first-person view, because they are guided by a pilot wearing virtual-reality-like goggles that give a view from the drone. Many are precursors to machines that will eventually act on their own.

Efforts to automate F.P.V. flights began last year, but were slowed by setbacks building flight control software, according to Mr. Fedorov , who said those problems had been resolved. The next step was to scale the technology with more government spending, he said, adding that about 10 companies were already making autonomous drones.

“We already have systems which can be mass-produced, and they're now extensively tested on the front lines, which means they’re already actively used,” Mr. Fedorov said.

Some companies, like Vyriy, use basic computer vision algorithms, which analyze and interpret images and help a computer make decisions. Other companies are more sophisticated, using deep learning to build software that can identify and attack targets. Many of the companies said they pulled data and videos from flight simulators and frontline drone flights.

One Ukrainian drone maker, Saker, built an autonomous targeting system with A.I. processes originally designed for sorting and classifying fruit. During the winter, the company began sending its technology to the front lines, testing different systems with drone pilots. Demand soared.

By May, Saker was mass-producing single-circuit-board computers loaded with its software that could be easily attached to F.P.V. drones so the machines could auto-lock onto a target, said the company’s chief executive, who asked to be referred to only by his first name, Viktor, for fear of retaliation by Russia.

The drone then crashes into its target “and that’s it,” he said. “It resists wind. It resists jamming. You just have to be precise with what you’re going to hit.”

Saker now makes 1,000 of the circuit boards a month and plans to expand to 9,000 a month by the end of the summer. Several of Ukraine’s military units have already hit Russian targets on the front lines with Saker’s technology, according to the company and videos confirmed by The Times.

In one clip of Saker technology shared on social media, a drone flies over a field scarred by shelling. A box at the center of the pilot’s viewfinder suddenly zooms in on a tank, indicating a lock. The drone attacks on its own, exploding into the side of the armor.

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Saker has gone further in recent weeks, successfully using a reconnaissance drone that identified targets with A.I. and then dispatched autonomous kamikaze drones for the kill, Viktor said. In one case, the system struck a target 25 miles away.

“Once we reach the point when we don’t have enough people, the only solution is to substitute them with robots,” said Rostyslav, a Saker co-founder who also asked to be referred to only by his first name.

A Miniaturized War

On a hot afternoon last month in the eastern Ukrainian region known as the Donbas, Yurii Klontsak, a 23-year-old reservist, trained four soldiers to use the latest futuristic weapon: a gun turret with autonomous targeting that works with a PlayStation controller and a tablet.

Speaking over booms of nearby shelling, Mr. Klontsak explained how the gun, called Wolly after a resemblance to the Pixar robot WALL-E, can auto-lock on a target up to 1,000 meters away and jump between preprogrammed positions to quickly cover a broad area. The company making the weapon, DevDroid, was also developing an auto-aim to track and hit moving targets.

“When I first saw the gun, I was fascinated,” Mr. Klontsak said. “I understood this was the only way, if not to win this war, then to at least hold our positions.”

The gun is one of several that have emerged on the front lines using A.I.-trained software to automatically track and shoot targets. Not dissimilar to the object identification featured in surveillance cameras, software on a screen surrounds humans and other would-be targets with a digital box. All that’s left for the shooter to do is remotely pull the trigger with a video game controller.

For now, the gun makers say they do not allow the machine gun to fire without a human pressing a button. But they also said it would be easy to make one that could.

Many of Ukraine’s innovations are being developed to counter Russia’s advancing weaponry. Ukrainian soldiers operating machine guns are a prime target for Russian drone attacks. With robot weapons, no human dies when a machine gun is hit. New algorithms, still under development, could eventually help the guns shoot Russian drones out of the sky.

Such technologies, and the ability to quickly build and test them on the front lines, have gained attention and investment from overseas. Last year, Eric Schmidt , a former Google chief executive, and other investors set up a firm called D3 to invest in emerging battlefield technologies in Ukraine. Other defense companies, such as Helsing, are also teaming up with Ukrainian firms.

Ukrainian companies are moving more quickly than competitors overseas, said Eveline Buchatskiy, a managing partner at D3, adding that the firm asks the companies it invests in outside Ukraine to visit the country so they can speed up their development.

“There’s just a different set of incentives here,” she said.

Often, battlefield demands pull together engineers and soldiers. Oleksandr Yabchanka, a commander in Da Vinci Wolves, a battalion known for its innovation in weaponry, recalled how the need to defend the “road of life” — a route used to supply troops fighting Russians along the eastern front line in Bakhmut — had spurred invention. Imagining a solution, he posted an open request on Facebook for a computerized, remote-controlled machine gun.

In several months, Mr. Yabchanka had a working prototype from a firm called Roboneers. The gun was almost instantly helpful for his unit.

“We could sit in the trench drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes and shoot at the Russians,” he said.

Mr. Yabchanka’s input later helped Roboneers develop a new sort of weapon. The company mounted the machine gun turret atop a rolling ground drone to help troops make assaults or quickly change positions. The application has led to a bigger need for A.I.-powered auto-aim, the chief executive of Roboneers, Anton Skrypnyk, said.

Similar partnerships have pushed other advances. On a drone range in May, Swarmer, another local company, held a video call with a military unit to walk soldiers through updates to its software, which enables drones to carry out swarming attacks without a pilot.

The software from Swarmer, which was formed last year by a former Amazon engineer, Serhii Kupriienko, was built on an A.I. model that was trained with large amounts of data on frontline drone missions. It enables a single technician to operate up to seven drones on bombing and reconnaissance missions.

Recently, Swarmer added abilities that can guide kamikaze attack drones up to 35 miles. The hope is that the software, which has been in tests since January, will cut down on the number of people required to operate the miniaturized air forces that dominate the front lines.

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During a demonstration, a Swarmer engineer at a computer watched a map as six autonomous drones buzzed overhead. One after the other, large bomber drones flew over a would-be target and dropped water bottles in place of bombs.

Some drone pilots are afraid they will be replaced entirely by the technology, Mr. Kupriienko said.

“They say: ‘Oh, it flies without us. They will take away our remote controls and put a weapon in our hand,’” he said, referring to the belief that it’s safer to fly a drone than occupy a trench on the front.

“But I say, no, you’ll now be able to fly with five or 10 drones at the same time,” he said. “The software will help them fight better.”

The Rise of Slaughterbots

In 2017, Mr. Russell, the Berkeley A.I. researcher, released an online film, “Slaughterbots,” warning of the dangers of autonomous weapons. In the movie, roving packs of low-cost armed A.I. drones use facial recognition technology to hunt down and kill targets.

What’s happening in Ukraine moves us toward that dystopian future, Mr. Russell said. He is already haunted, he said, by Ukrainian videos of soldiers who are being pursued by weaponized drones piloted by humans. There’s often a point when soldiers stop trying to escape or hide because they realize they cannot get away from the drone.

“There’s nowhere for them to go, so they just wait around to die,” Mr. Russell said.

He isn’t alone in fearing that Ukraine is a turning point. In Vienna, members of a panel of U.N. experts also said they worried about the ramifications of the new techniques being developed in Ukraine.

Officials have spent more than a decade debating rules about the use of autonomous weapons, but few expect any international deal to set new regulations, especially as the United States, China, Israel, Russia and others race to develop even more advanced weapons. In one U.S. program announced in August, known as the Replicator initiative, the Pentagon said it planned to mass-produce thousands of autonomous drones.

“The geopolitics makes it impossible,” said Alexander Kmentt, Austria’s top negotiator on autonomous weapons at the U.N. “These weapons will be used, and they’ll be used in the military arsenal of pretty much everybody.”

Nobody expects countries to accept an outright ban of such weapons, he said, “but they should be regulated in a way that we don’t end up with an absolutely nightmare scenario.”

Groups including the International Committee of the Red Cross have pushed for legally binding rules that prohibit certain types of autonomous weapons, restrict the use of others and require a level of human control over decisions to use force.

For many in Ukraine, the debate is academic. They are outgunned and outmanned.

“We need to win first,” Mr. Fedorov, the minister of digital transformation, said. “To do that, we will do everything we can to introduce automation to its maximum to save the lives of our soldiers.”

Olha Kotiuzhanska contributed reporting from Lviv, Kyiv, Kramatorsk and near the front lines in the Donbas region.

Paul Mozur is the global technology correspondent for The Times, based in Taipei. Previously he wrote about technology and politics in Asia from Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul. More about Paul Mozur

Adam Satariano is a technology correspondent for The Times, based in London. More about Adam Satariano

Our Coverage of the War in Ukraine

News and Analysis

Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary met with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, a rare trip to Russia by a Western leader  and one that quickly stirred discord in the European Union.

The Russian authorities have arrested a top military colonel  and charged him with large-scale fraud, the state news agency TASS reported. The colonel was previously the commander of troops responsible for a 2022 massacre in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.

U.S. officials raised the security alert level  at military bases in Europe in response to vague threats from the Kremlin over Ukraine’s use of long-range weapons on Russian territory.

Evading Conscription: Fearful of a one-way ticket to bloody trench warfare, some Ukrainian men are spending their days holed up at home  to avoid draft officers who roam the streets.

Inside Russia’s Chechen Units: After hundreds of years of enmity with Russia, Chechens are deploying to Ukraine to fight Moscow’s war .

Narrowing Press Freedoms: Journalists in Ukraine say they are subject to increasing restrictions and pressure from the government , adding that the measures go beyond wartime security needs.

How We Verify Our Reporting

Our team of visual journalists analyzes satellite images, photographs , videos and radio transmissions  to independently confirm troop movements and other details.

We monitor and authenticate reports on social media, corroborating these with eyewitness accounts and interviews. Read more about our reporting efforts .


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Russia's Kilo-Class 'Black Hole' Submarines Were 'Operating' Close to NATO

Summary and Key Points: Recently, it was revealed that Russian Kilo-class submarines have operated in the Irish Sea. These operations, occurring since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, raised alarms as the Irish Sea hosts crucial transatlantic cables.

-The stealthy Kilo-class, known for its "Black Hole" nickname due to its quietness, carries advanced weaponry and poses potential threats to undersea infrastructure. Despite Ireland's military neutrality, NATO has pledged to protect these waters.

-The Kilo-class subs, designed for coastal operations, further highlight Russia's provocative maritime maneuvers.

Kilo-Class Subs: Russia’s Silent Threat in the Irish Sea

It was long said that Britain rules the waves, but that has been obviously true since the end of the Second World War, and Moscow apparently didn't get the memo – as it was reported this week that Russian Navy Kilo-class submarines have operated in the waters of the Irish Sea. According to a report from Bloomberg , twice since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Russian Navy has conducted sorties of its submarines in the waters between Ireland and Great Britain.

One of the deployments was "about 18 months ago, while the other was more recent," the magazine of record stated. Russian submarines had not known to have previously transited the waters of the Irish Sea.

"It would be difficult for a Russian submarine to navigate the Irish Sea without breaking international law because legally they can only travel on the surface of territorial waters," the UK's Telegraph newspaper also reported, citing Bloomberg . "The varying depths of the Irish Sea would make it difficult for a Russian vessel to travel in the waters submerged."

Saber Rattling or Cable Cutting Exercises?

The deployment of the Kilo-class boats to the waters is notable as upwards of 75% of transatlantic cables in the northern hemisphere pass through or very close to the waters of the Irish Sea. A dozen of the cables connect Ireland and the UK to the European continent and to North America.

The Republic of Ireland is not a member of NATO as it maintains a strict policy of military neutrality, but the international military alliance has vowed to protect the waters including the undersea cables.

About The Kilo-class

The Russian Navy is reported to operate more than 60 diesel-electric Kilo-class submarines, which are reportedly armed with Kalibr missiles that can be used to strike targets on land or at sea. The Kalibr can also be launched from torpedo tubes while the boat is in a submerged position.

Each of the Kilo -class boats are also equipped with armed with 533-millimeter torpedo tubes and carried a total of 18 torpedoes. The submarines are also able to stealthily lay mines.

The boats were nicknamed "Black Holes" by the U.S. Navy as they were designed to operate in shallower, coastal waters where they can be employed in anti-surface warfare (ASuW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions. The upgraded Kilo-II boats are 74 meters long and displace more than 3,900 tons, and due to their strong hull, the submarines have an operational depth of 240 meters and can dive to a maximum depth of 300 meters and an operational range of up to 7,500 miles.

The Russian submarines have been considered among the world's quietest underwater cruisers, and the boats can travel at speeds of up to twenty knots, while they have sea endurance of forty-five days. Each of the Russian boats is operated by a crew of fifty-two submariners.

Author Experience and Expertise: Peter Suciu

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs . You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu . You can email the author: [email protected] .

All images are Creative Commons and Shutterstock. 

Kilo-Class Submarine

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Why Silent technology?

What makes our solar-electric yachts unique and sets them apart from the rest? It is our extensive experience with the technology. By substituting generators with solar power and large battery banks in order to supply energy to all household appliances on board since the mid 1990s and by pioneering the solar-electric drivetrain during the mid 2000s, Silent has gathered about 30 years of experience in optimizing sustainable energy generation on yachts.

As the original brand who invented solar powered electric production yachts , we have always been committed to a technology which was prior considered as a niche. We were already building solar powered yachts with electric propulsion at a time when no other legacy shipyard even considered using this technology in the future.

Since 2009, our electric yachts have sailed 10.000s of nautical miles flawlessly, crossed oceans and hosted charter guests for hundreds of weeks all around the world – across the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Atlantic, Pacific as well as the Indian Ocean.

Recently, it has become increasingly popular within the industry to power catamarans with solar energy. Nevertheless, not all electric yachts are created the same. While it might be easy to equip a boat with solar panels, it is a far more complex process to create an electric yacht that fulfils the full potential of luxury solar yachting. There are many vital considerations when using solar technologies: efficiency, range, reliability, comfort, longevity and sustainability are all criteria to optimize. Inevitably, to cover all these aspects, it needs a clean sheet design from scratch.

Taking an existing fossil fueled powered or sailing catamaran and including solar features on the model will always create a compromised result. In comparison, our fully electric Silent models were designed from a clean sheet and engineered to be fully solar powered from start to finish. This is why our yachts outperform competitors regarding weight, daily solar production, range, speed, consumption, space, safety and life-span.

It is not the kWp promised in a brochure, it is the real energy production and the realistic consumption that makes the difference for you as a customer. It will either enable you to run the A/C for the whole night and to drive dozens of miles without running the generator – or not. A Silent is capable of doing that. This is the difference.

Our founders, Michael and Heike Köhler, were the ones to create the solar yachting space by starting Silent Yachts (then called Solarwave) years before the industry was aware of the advantages of this new approach. Nearly 30 years after starting their initial research, Silent now shapes the future of electric yachting.

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Solarwave 46 in Lakka bay, island of Paxos, Greece, in 2010.

Science & Experience Based Design

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Bolt-on construction

Our bolt-on construction design makes it easy to replace individual panels for repair or upgrade them to more efficient versions in the future. In contrary, solar panels which are directly integrated into the hull or glued onto the roof are not designed to be replaced when required.

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Rooftop positioning

Placing the panels horizontally on the top ensures maximum energy harvest. In comparison to vertical panels integrated into the hulls, this positioning captures more energy from the sun while also protecting the solar cells from being damaged during mooring in a marina or when in contact with sea water.

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Zero shade principle

Silent Yachts purposely exclude the addition of sails or wind turbines as they cause the issue of partial shading, leading to a dramatic decrease in energy output and efficiency. Our years of testing revealed that wind turbines actually create more drag during cruising than energy produced at the same time.

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Market leading panels

The rigid glass solar panels used on our yachts offer market leading efficiency and 40 years of warranty. Flexible panels mounted on curved surfaces or integrated into the hull of a yacht are generally less efficient, prone to output reducing microcracks and have a much shorter lifespan with a warranty time of only 2 years.

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Decades of research, development, optimizing and successfully delivering the full solar yachting experience have put us in a position to lead the industry towards a clean, electric future.

Industry-leading expertise

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Purpose Built Vessel Concept

Silent yachts are not conversions of existing boats, but are designed in-house from a white sheet of paper to deliver an uncompromised solar powered experience.

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In-house Engineering Department

Our dedicated team focused on innovation, design as well as R&D makes sure we develop cutting-edge solutions which can be implemented rapidly.

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Proprietary Drivetrain & Software

The proprietary drivetrain as well as the software that runs all energy harvest and storage systems is designed, developed and engineered by our own in-house technicians.

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Performance Optimization

Every single detail of the hardware and software components of our Silent Drivetrain are fully optimized to integrate seamlessly and perform at maximum efficiency.

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Complete Thermal Insulation

The electric yachts of Silent are the only models in their class which insulate hull deck and superstructure to ensure maximum energy efficiency during heating and cooling.

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Custom Air Conditioning System

The A/C system we developed for our catamarans has energy recuperation as well as heat pumps for hot water heating and is industry leading in terms of its efficiency.

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Autonomous System Design

All systems and components on a Silent yacht have been optimized to ensure compound efficiencies that enable unlimited range and ultimately autonomous yachting.

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Construction & Craftsmanship

We build our boats in our own yards under strict quality control parameters using the best possible methods and materials.

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Bespoke Design & Build

Every one of our yachts is unique. We pride ourselves in incorporating customer specific requirements, while keeping true to our high performance principles.

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The ability to easily replace key hardware components such as the solar panels and batteries provides the unique opportunity to upgrade and improve every Silent with future technology.

Upgradable modular platform

At Silent we feel passionately about avoiding built-in obsolescence. This is the driving principle of so many industries, that produce one model in the full knowledge that a later model will supersede it, encouraging the buyer to replace their car, boat, plane, mobile phone for the newest, latest and greatest.

In our view, built-in obsolescence does not work in harmony with nature. Yachts are very commodity rich and costly things to make. Although Silent go to great extents to minimalise our carbon footprint and maximise use of recyclable resources, by far the most intelligent and environmentally friendly method of producing a vessel is to do so with hulls that are designed for solar purpose, efficiency and very long lifespan.

For this reason, every Silent is based on our signature modular platform design. This means that essential hardware components such as the solar panels, batteries and electric motors can be replaced with ease.

As result, our electric catamarans can be upgraded with the latest components years after they were launched into the water for the very first time, making sure the yacht always remains state-of-the-art.

This gives you a piece of mind, knowing that today´s Silent will always be tomorrow´s.

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What makes her the most iconic solar yacht in the world

At Silent we have deep affection for the original Silent yacht: the Silent 64. Launched in 2016, this catamaran was the first series production fully solar powered electric yacht in the world. In 2018, she set up a world-record by becoming the first serially produced solar-powered bluewater catamaran to cross the Atlantic. Based on a fully solar optimized design, she back then combined our very best technologies with a philosophy aimed towards maximum efficiency. In that regard, her lightweight carbon fiber hull offers impressive performance even by current standards. Still in daily Silent R&D service today, this yacht is Silent’s elder. Filled with cleverness and like every Silent yacht, she has never let us down.

Silent Group

electric yacht with solar panels on the roof anchored in crystal clear waters

Our charters offer you the opportunity to book a memorable vacation on board of our electric yachts. Including our helpful crew, consisting of a captain and a chef, you will experience the comfort of solar powered yachting.

The silent team at the aft of the boat

As the pioneers of solar yachting, we have almost three decades of experience regarding the research, design and build of electric yachts. Our team, shipyard and the hiring of new talent are the backbone of our operations.

Sustainable solar-powered resort with a solar yacht in front of the main residence

By transferring our solar yachting technology, Silent Resorts develops sustainable beachfront resorts in beautiful locations worldwide. Memberships offer full or part ownership of an eco-property and a Silent yacht.

Man jumping with the Awake water toy in front of a Silent yacht

Create your infinite playground on the water. A selection of premium electric water toys, which can be recharged by simply connecting them to your Silent yacht, as well as other accessories for the ultimate experience on board.


  1. Silent Yachts USA

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  2. Silent Yachts upgrades design for flagship Silent 80 yacht range

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  3. Silent Yachts upgrades design for flagship Silent 80 range

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  1. 2023 Silent Yachts 60 2-Deck, on display at the Cannes Yachting Festival

  2. The all-new Silent Yachts 120, an eco-conscious solar vessel that allows true exploration! #yacht

  3. Silent Yachts 120 Preview: The best solar-powered yacht for living a dream life 🌞🛥️

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  6. Silent 60


  1. ® OFFICIAL Silent Yachts

    Solar yachts by Silent Yachts are the first ocean-going production yachts in the world which are powered by solar energy. Electric yachts. Skip To Content. TEL:+39 0721 1631220 ... a Silent has virtually unlimited range, enabling you to live a fully self-sufficient lifestyle on board. Unbound by the limitations of fossil fuels, you are free to ...

  2. Electric yachts

    Electric Yachts | SILENT 60 is the first solar powered yacht that crossed the Atlantic | Electric yachts combined with luxury. Skip To Content. TEL:+39 0721 1631220; English. German; French; Spanish; Menu. Yachts. Electric Yachts. Silent's complete range of solar-electric yachts. 60 Series 80 Series 120 Explorer. Why Silent Yachts. Why Silent ...

  3. FAQs

    Silent Yachts are the first ocean-going electric production yachts in the world, which are powered by solar energy. Storing the energy of the sun in state of the art battery banks enables guests on board to be fully solar sustainable while having the possibility of unlimited range with zero emission.

  4. Silent Yachts USA

    Silent Yachts was founded on the dream of eliminating the industries effects on the worlds oceans, without sacrificing luxury. ... Range is unlimited with solar powered electric propulsion, therefore more than Transocean-range. Each yacht is equipped with a diesel generator to charge the batteries should the need arise, due to longer periods of ...

  5. Silent 60: Standard Version

    Light displacement: 29 tons. Fuel: 1000 - 2000 L. Water: 1000 - 2200 L. Wastewater: 2 x 500 L. Solar panels: 17 kWp. Certification: CE-A. Range: Trans-Ocean. The Silent 60 represents our entry level size range, and is one of our most popular models. Even within this size range the possibility of it being owner operator is very real, with ...

  6. Greener and Better: the Silent 60

    The Silent-Yachts Silent 60 is an environmentally friendly, bluewater catamaran with 42 solar panels and four staterooms. ... Solar panels, ocean-crossing range and self-sufficiency define the electric Silent-Yachts 60 power catamaran. By Chris Caswell December 16, 2022

  7. Silent 60 Solar-Electric Motoryacht Review

    Silent-Yachts also installs a backup generator on every yacht; our sea trial boat holds a 150-kW Volvo Penta diesel genset. ... Silent's lower-range Cruiser model features two 50-kW motors, a 143-KWh battery bank and a 100-kW generator. The top-end configuration includes two 340-kW motors, a 286-kWh battery bank and a 145-kW generator.

  8. PDF SILENT 60

    RANGE Trans-Ocean specifications. interior . interior. living space front master cabin Main Deck Cabin Deck - 4 Cabins / 4 Bathrooms Flybridge 20m² 69m² 50m² ... [email protected] www.silent-yachts.com . Author: Tillian Florian Created Date: 12/20/2020 10:31:44 PM ...

  9. Tested: Silent 55 Solar-Electric Power Catamaran

    A product of this design collaboration, the Silent 55 launched in 2018, but the team has continued to improve and upgrade its drivetrain. The hull I sea trialed in late 2019 was powered by twin 250-kW e-motors, giving it a solid cruising speed of 10 to 12 knots. Under solar power alone, the yacht makes 5 to 6 knots.

  10. Silent 62 3-Deck

    Water: 1000 - 2200 L. Wastewater: 2 x 500 L. Fuel: 1000 - 2000 L. Solar panels: 17 kWp. Certification: CE-A. Range: Trans-Ocean. Based on our bestselling SILENT 60, the 62 3-Deck offers an additional third deck instead of the standard upper deck, while also increasing the overall waterline length of the hull by two feet.

  11. Silent Yachts launches solar catamaran with kite wing sail ...

    In addition to being a yacht completely powered using solar energy, Silent Yachts has now shared an additional kite wing option that can deliver even more clean range to the Silent-60.

  12. What is the range of a solar electric yacht?

    The range of our solar electric yachts depends on several factors, such as the weather conditions and travelling speeds. Based on the technology alone, our SILENT catamarans virtually have unlimited range.When cruising at 2-3 knots during sunny conditions, there is a equilibrium between the energy produced by the panels and consumed by the yacht for household as well as propulsion purposes.

  13. Silent Yachts 60 (2022-)

    The Silent 60 is a trans-oceanic cruiser driven by E-motors. She's made to be managed by a cruising couple. Brief Summary. The Silent 60 is a 100% electric yacht with multiple ways to charge the long-range batteries, and even multiple methods of propulsion. She garnered the award for "Best of Boats" in the "Best for Travel" category ...

  14. The Silent 62: A Self-Sufficient Electric Catamaran

    Access A Floating Sky Lounge. The SILENT 62 3-deck is based on Silent-Yachts bestselling SILENT 60 model - instead of a flybridge it has an extra deck. The hull has been increased by two feet, and the skydeck offers 50m2 of space instead of the 21m2 on the flybridge of the regular SILENT 60. The designers cleverly engineered this by building ...

  15. Review: Silent 55, the extraordinary solar powered yacht

    On the smaller 55 and the 64, Silent Yachts currently recommends a 19m2 kite that costs around €25,000 - a fraction of the cost of a new mast, boom, shrouds and sails. "The sail ...

  16. Silent Yachts 55: Liveaboard test of this future-proof electric catamaran

    An extended stay on board the revolutionary Silent Yachts 55 allows us to assess whether this really is the future of the motorboat. The April 2019 edition of MBY - our Future of Boating special - included a boat test of the Silent Yachts 55 in, shall we say, less than ideal conditions. Given that the boat is a solar-powered power catamaran the sheeting rain that we endured during our ...

  17. x

    Water: 800 - 1600 L. Wastewater: 2 x 500 L. Fuel: 3000 - 5000 L. Solar panels: 26 kWp. Certification: CE-A. Range: Trans-Ocean. Silent Yachts presents the first and only ocean-going production yachts in the world that are fully sustainable and powered by solar energy. Silent Yachts was founded on the dream of eliminating the industries ...

  18. Silent 120 Explorer

    Explore the luxurious Silent 120 Explorer Yacht. Uncover luxury, sustainability, and top-notch performance in this premier yacht. Skip To Content. TEL:+39 0721 1631220; English. German; French; Spanish; Menu. Yachts. Electric Yachts. Silent's complete range of solar-electric yachts. 60 Series 80 Series 120 Explorer. Why Silent Yachts. Why ...

  19. The new eco-friendly SILENT 120 explorer yacht by Silent Yachts

    The SILENT 120 'Explorer' lives up to her adventurous name thanks to her potentially unlimited range. Representing the pinnacle of solar-powered cruising technology, her 40kWp (kilowatt-peak) panels provide sufficient energy to cover the yacht's hotel loads, aided by her highly efficient systems design.

  20. SILENT 60 Yacht for Sale

    Silent 60 Yacht for Sale is a 60 superyacht built by Silent in 2024. Currently she is located in Fort Lauderdale and awaiting her new owners. ... Freedom from the need to return to the shore ensures a refreshingly autonomous experience onboard the Silent 60. With solar power and a wide range of options to make untethered cruising a joy, the ...

  21. Silent Yachts for sale

    Find Silent Yachts for sale in your area & across the world on YachtWorld. Offering the best selection of Silent Yachts to choose from.

  22. Electric catamaran

    Electric catamaran 100% Solar Powered Unlimited Cruising Range Lifetime Maintenance-free Motors Carbonless Cruising | SILENT 80

  23. A.I. Begins Ushering In an Age of Killer Robots

    The motorcycle's growling engine was no match for the silent drone as it stalked Mr. Babenko. ... range aircraft and attack boats to cheap kamikaze drones — abbreviated as F.P.V.s, for first ...

  24. Russia's Kilo-Class 'Black Hole' Submarines Were 'Operating ...

    The upgraded Kilo-II boats are 74 meters long and displace more than 3,900 tons, and due to their strong hull, the submarines have an operational depth of 240 meters and can dive to a maximum ...

  25. Why Silent Yachts Technology?

    Silent's complete range of solar-electric yachts. 60 Series 80 Series 120 Explorer. Why Silent Yachts. Why Silent Yachts. Noiseless and self-sustaining cruising powered by the sun. A revolution to oceanic travel with zero emission. ... Silent Yachts purposely exclude the addition of sails or wind turbines as they cause the issue of partial ...