Back in the good old days, before the invention of the combustion engine that is, the world was a slower, more peaceful and less polluted place. The advent of the industrial era resulted in an unprecedented economic boom and the price it came at is today commonly known as global warming. The fine art of sailing was also developed on the backbone of the industrial boom though it had its roots in more leisurely pursuits such as freshwater boating and fishing. However, the movement to prevent the earth from crumbling under the pressure of environmental pollution has also brought about an awareness among auto manufacturers who are now making a conscious effort in coming up with more fuel efficient engines as well as all electric drivetrain. Water-borne crafts are still catching up to their land-based counterparts in coming up with Eco-efficient propulsion system though designers like Thor Unbescheid are giving it a nice shot with concepts like the Zero Sail Catamaran.
The Zero Sail is a 60ft long sailing catamaran which is more sustainable and more effective than common catamarans of this class. Since the “ecoyacht” sector has been taken over by concepts that focus more on being futuristic, the German designer tried to come up with a rather realistic or doable concept instead. The design wants to redefine what the term ‘yacht’ symbolizes and has tried to take away some of the negative adjectives that it evokes like ‘decadence’, ‘lavishness’, and ‘luxury’ and has tried instead to bring the art of sailing a lot closer to the common folks with an eco and budget-friendly design. Most of the common sailing catamarans of this size are built out of barely ecological and non-recyclable materials like carbon fiber, glasfiber and epoxy. The Zero Sail tries to remedy this and is thus made out of an aluminum space frame covered with high tensile polycarbonate, both of which are 100% recyclable.
Since most modern yachts come with additional engines and a lot of power consuming gadgetry on-board, the Zero Sail also needed to be fitted with some sort of energy-producing and propelling device to stay competitive in the sector. The catamaran is thus equipped with an electric motor, batteries and a fuel cell to provide electricity for gadgets and electronics on board. The batteries are either charged by the fuel cell or by a shaft generator, which generates electric power through the electric motor while driving under the wing sail.
Although the Zero Sail is meant to be an exclusive, sporty and high tech yacht, it doesn’t intend to be available only to the richest elite. The Zero Sail is a character catamaran for up to 10 persons which will be prices reasonable to make it available for everybody. It is designed to be completely autarkic for 2-3 weeks on the sea without any emissions. The Zero Sail looks to provide a unique sail feeling giving people the opportunity to sail a sporty high tech and performance sailing catamaran which is at the same time more sustainable than most of the comparable big sailing catamarans.