Durable, Solar-Powered Catamaran Wants to Be the Ford Model T of Water Transport

Fueled by Powerwall-type batteries such as those popularized by Tesla, lightweight, simple in design, and emission-free, the Kreatif Design solar-powered catamaran wants to have the same impact on water transport as Ford’s Model T had in the ‘20s.
Kreatif Design solar powered catamaran 10 photos
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You might be familiar with some of Kreatif Design’s work, with the studio being responsible for the 2wheela concept vehicle. It was presented in 2012 as a modular car that can be separated into two identical pieces, each being able to act as a small, standalone vehicle. The design was published in more than 20 countries, with the 2wheela being able to offer both the spaciousness of a full-sized family car and the agility of a microcar.

But the Slovenia-based studio is a versatile one that gathers talented people from various fields of activity, whether they’re yacht designers, architects, or product designers. One of the recently unveiled projects from Kreatif is a solar-powered catamaran meant to improve the lives of people living around the African Great Lakes (Malawi, Victoria, Tanganyika, and Kivu).

The request for the boat came from a Rwanda-based client that wanted an affordable and reliable solution to transport people and goods in those areas. The aforementioned lakes spread over 133,000 sq km (over 51,350 sq miles) and they represent the main source of income for the inhabitants of that region. Over a billion fish are caught every year and people also use the lakes to move around products and to access various services in the area.

But according to Kreatif Design, there is a significant number of deaths registered annually, due to the harsh conditions, unpredictable weather, and poor communication, with more than 5,000 victims being reported in Victoria alone.

Trying to solve the problem, the Slovenian design studio came up with a solar-powered catamaran concept that is durable, emission-free, and affordable, just like the Ford Model T was (hence the comparison). The vessel consists of only two parts, the hull itself and the roof, with the latter featuring 10 solar panels, offering up to 4 kW of power.

With a length of six meters (almost 20 ft) and a payload capacity of a ton, the solar catamaran is equipped with a 6-10 kW brushless DC motor. It has a cruising speed of 6 to 12 knots (11 kph to 22 kph) and a range of approximately 40 km (25 miles).

And because it is meant to be durable and solid, the vessel uses mostly polyethylene (HDPE) for the construction, which is supposed to allow the boat to “absorb a large number of shocks before being damaged”, as explained by the designer.

There’s a 10” display and a dedicated app called AMAZIAPP, which comes with navigation features, range calculation, optimal speed calibration, and more.

Kreatif Design doesn’t offer any information on the cost of the solar catamaran, but considering that it was compared to Ford’s Tin Lizzie, we figure it should be a decent figure.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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