President Marcelo to attend world debut of solar-powered catamaran in Vilamoura

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will be attending the presentation of a new solar-powered catamaran at the Vilamoura International Boat Show on Saturday, June 15.

The ‘Sun Concept CAT 12.0’ catamaran was created by Olhão-based company Sun Concept which spent two years working on the project.

It is described as a “huge step” ahead of the company’s previous catamaran.

Says the company’s commercial director João Paulo Bastos, the new version is “100% self-sufficient, uses solar electric propulsion and is perfect for maritime tourism”.

“It has lounges, some of them with tables, and a complete bar,” he explains.

The first boat was purchased when the idea for it was still in infancy.

“A client came here attracted by our company’s philosophy and described what he was looking for. At the time, it was what we were working on. He told us ‘in that case, I want the first boat’,” Bastos says.

Buying one of these catamarans will cost between €350,000 and €500,000 (plus 23% IVA).

As he admits, the catamaran is aimed at a “premium” segment of the market.

“A boat that doesn’t make noise, doesn’t pollute and provides a safe and comfortable trip is not for mass tourism at all. It is aimed at quality tourism. That doesn’t mean it can’t be used for short trips, as it doesn’t present any fuel costs, which is extremely important for a business,” he explains.

The catamaran, depending on how fast it is going, can be completely self-sufficient.

“If it is travelling at five or six knots, its autonomy is infinite because the energy that the panels produce is equal or superior to the energy it is using.

“If the catamaran is travelling at eight knots, which is the ideal speed for a cruise, it can sail for a whole day and still have around 40% of its battery left.”

More information about the ‘Sun Concept CAT 12.0’ can be found on the company’s website. You can also see it in real life at the Vilamoura International Boat Show, which will take place between Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 16 at the local marina.

The event will also feature many other top brands including Azimut, Greenline, Chaparral, Chris Craft, Princess, Austin Parker, Joker Boat, Sun Concept, Monterrey, Sessa, Windy, San Lorenzo, Absolute, Fairline, Yamaha and Laze Boat.

Original story written by Bruno Filipe Pires for Jornal Barlavento