Torqeedo’s milestone 100,000th electric drive is being installed in a 34m British superyacht – a Spirit 111. It will now carry the honour of being one of the world’s largest sailing yachts with electric propulsion. 

A charging point for electric cars stands outside the Spirit Yachts boatyard in Ipswich. “Our customers show up in Teslas,” explains Nigel Stuart, managing director of Spirit Yachts. “They care about the environment, and wooden yachts are a genuinely ecologically sound means of moving across water.”


The charging point is more than just convenient for customers. It illustrates a more significant trend in the yachting business and the world: a growing drive among sailors, boatbuilders and commercial enterprises to use electric propulsion to power their vessels into the future.

The new 34m Spirit 111 is one of the largest sailing yachts with electric propulsion in maritime history. She’s powered by a Torqeedo Deep Blue 100i system with four 40kWh Deep Blue batteries. These can drive the boat at eight knots for up to 40nm – emission-free.

Torqeedo CEO Christoph Ballin credit Christian Brecheis.

“The owner wanted the most environmentally friendly yacht ever built,” explains Stuart. “Torqeedo supplied, installed and integrated an electric propulsion and energy management system that helped bring that vision to life.”

The Spirit 111 is a milestone in electric mobility on the water – and Stuart says it’s a perfect pairing for Torqeedo, delivering its 100,000th motor to the Ipswich boatyard. The 111’s tender will be powered by a Torqeedo Cruise 10.0 Tiller – the last piece in the puzzle that makes the Spirit 111 energy independent.

“Modern oceangoing yachts can now be truly CO2-neutral thanks to electric mobility,” says Dr Christoph Ballin, CEO and co-founder of Torqeedo. “Loud, smelly diesel generators are obsolete or reduced to a backup role because sailing yachts can generate power themselves using solar cells, hydro-generation and wind generators.”

Deep Blue 40 kWh BMW i3 battery.

“As you sail, you replenish any energy used and return with full batteries,” Ballin says. “Silence, plenty of energy, freedom and independence – anyone who loves spending time on the water, will recognise the sheer beauty of this idea.

“We’ve come a long way since 2005,” said Ballin, who noted that the German engineering company is celebrating its 15th year of business in 2020. “Our first electric outboards for small inflatables and sailboats were rated at 400 watts of power. The Spirit 111 propulsion system delivers 100kW (100,000W), and even the Spirit’s tender motor has a peak output of 12kW.”

“We now have the technology for genuinely climate-neutral travel and transport on the water,” Ballin said. “The future is now.”