ELECTRIFIED is the new and improved Voyage 480, and it’s a fully electric catamaran. You’ll want to vacation on this eco-friendly Boat Charter in the BVIs.
According to a press release from Voyage Charters, the Voyage 480 is the only electric yacht charter in the British Virgin Islands.
Peter Jones, a Voyage yacht sales representative in Tortola, said they had a yacht owner that was interested in making the switch to electric, which led to ELECTRIFIED. He said that both owners and guests alike have a more “ecological mindset,” so he sees this as a trend that is here to stay.
“There are no diesel engines onboard ELECTRIFIED, just quiet, electric engines….”
There are no diesel engines onboard ELECTRIFIED, just quiet, electric engines. That means no fumes, no noise. Just silent gliding through the water when an additional push is necessary. A large battery storage area onboard allows recharging using solar power and hydro generation when sailing.
On ELECTRIFIED there is a standby diesel generator, but it only ever runs to charge the batteries when the alternative energy sources aren’t powerful enough. According to Jones, the high-capacity, ion batteries charge very quickly and will shut off the generator as soon as they charge.
This means that the eco-friendly boat charter air conditioning can run for 9 hours off the batteries before they need another charge. The boat can also motor for five to six hours off of the batteries. It only requires the generator to run for 1 to 2 hours before it can run the vessel’s systems again.
“A standard VOYAGE 480 is a lightweight, fast cruising sail yacht,” said Jones. He went on to say that all the systems onboard are very intuitive and easy to operate.
I asked Jones if he foresaw the whole fleet becoming electric. “It’s definitely been part of the dream,” he replied “We believe it has already become the trend,” he continued.
Voyage Charters’ headquarters are based in Soper’s Hole in Tortola. After Hurricane Irma ripped through the islands last year, the bay was left devastated. “All 30 [boats] were out of service at first – 17 of them were completely totaled,” said Jones.
“Sopers Hole has been slow to recover, but the restoration has visibly increased significantly over the past few months,” said Jones.
Slowly but surely, the resilient Caribbean drive and spirit have made a near-full recovery possible. “Sopers Hole has been slow to recover, but the restoration has visibly increased significantly over the past few months,” said Jones.
New docks are going in and another restaurant is opening up. Voyage Charters’ office is also fully restored as are the marina facilities. “It will soon be the idyllic Caribbean marina it once was!” Jones said. So far they have 16 fully operational boats and a couple more are scheduled to arrive after the New Year.
Jones said the overall spirit in Tortola is “upbeat and optimistic,” which is great to hear.
Voyage Yachts is not stopping there on this electrified journey any time soon: the Voyage 575 will also be a fully electric eco-friendly boat charter and is about to begin construction. “This is not a one-time thing,” said Jones.
The 575 is scheduled to be completed in 2020 in Cape Town and will head to the BVIs. The future of electric boats is bright. As Jones said, “it’s just going to get better and better.”
It is important to be eco-conscious when chartering.