The SoelCat 12 – a solar-powered catamaran designed by Holland’s Soel Yachts – has begun operating in French Polynesia’s Bora Bora, taking guests on a sustainable and noise-free tour of the lagoon.

With its efficient hull lines, the cat requires only 2.17kWh of battery capacity per nautical mile. To achieve the same efficiency, a petrol-powered vessel would have to use 0.22 of a litre of fuel per nautical mile.

With a battery capacity of 120kWh, the SoelCat 12 has a 60nm range at her 8 knot cruising speed, and when the sun’s shining it’s even more. The integrated boost mode allows higher speeds – up to 14 knots.

Bora Bora has more than 50 outboard and diesel-powered excursion and shuttle boats that consume more than two million litres of imported fuel every year.

The cat can also become a powerful grid-feeding station when it’s not carrying passengers – up to four households can be supplied with 15kVA of inverter power. The resort, for example, can use the boat’s solar power for its desalination plant, producing up to 4,000 litres of fresh water every hour.

Designed for easy disassembly, the cat can be shipped to destinations anywhere around the world.


Soel Yachts was a finalist for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in 2017. And later in the year Okeanos Pearl won the Innovation Award at the Trophées du Tourisme in Tahiti.