Solar-powered boat sails on sun electricity

aequus-boat1Bruno Hervouet wanted a boat that he could sail with his family that didn’t make too much noise, didn’t depend on the wind to navigate, and that didn’t pollute the air with fumes.

As the manager of boat-building company Philéas, Hervouet introduced the Open 500 and the Open 570 in 2000, two small, dinghy-sized boats for experienced sailors.

After testing electric and solar solutions on his own boat as well as 18 different hulls in a digital wave testing tank, Hervouet joined with Aequus Boats to launch the Aequus 7.0, an electric-solar family boat.

Seven meters long, the Aequus 7.0 is a family day boat modeled after Swedish shipbuilder and architect Carl Gustav Pettersson’s boats created in the 20th century. These boats have been passed down through generations and generations of Swedish families. Hervouet, with the help of Finot-Conq naval architects, wanted to capture the spirit of Pettersson’s boats and install a more updated technological process.

The boat holds up to seven people and sails at a maximum speed of seven knots, or 13 kilometers per hour. The engine runs on energy absorbed from solar panels installed on the retractable roof of the boat, as well as battery-power if necessary, which makes the Aequus an electro-solar boat.

When the engine is not running, the solar panels recharge the boat’s absorbed glass mat batteries. The engine can sail for up to eight hours without using solar input. In extremely sunny conditions, the energy absorbed from the solar panels is enough to make the Aequus 7.0 completely solar-powered.

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The Aequus 7.0 has a pleasing design, and is fully-equipped with comfortable seating, a kitchen, helmsman’s place, cockpit, electric toilet, and a hard-top roof (where the solar panels are located).

The Aequus 7.0 is the modern alternative to standard yachts and motorboats. It does not depend on varying and sometimes insufficient wind conditions, it does not need to be continuously refueled, and does not contribute to air pollution.

In a video from April of 2010, Bruno Hervouet says, “I put an electric engine on my Pettersson boat, and it was marvelous!”

For more information on Aequus boats, go to

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