Neel 51 - The self-sustaining yacht

T. Smallridge

Gilching, Germany (November 18, 2019) – From a distance, the trimaran looks spectacular, shooting past the shores of the Balearic Islands with inflated sails and a strong heel. But the closer you get to the boat, the more fascinating it becomes. “I really love sailing,” says Wolf, skipper of the Noos. “But this is really about raising awareness to tackle the problems of our times.” Wolf believes that global hazards like climate change are not inevitable – and he is out to prove it.

“Mankind acquired so much knowledge, but doesn’t use it,” says Wolf. He wanted to make his boat “totally and truly self-sustainable”. Noos is a Neel 51 trimaran, 51’ long and 29’ wide, and walking on the deck, you feel like you might be on a small island. Permaboat has three sources of green energy: solar, wind and hydrogeneration, backed up by a diesel generator. The energy powers the Deep Blue 50 kw electric motor and the hotel loads: lighting, kitchen, air con, and instrumentation. Torqeedo installed six Deep Blue batteries (i8-type) and set up the whole energy management system.

But energy is just the first step towards independence. Rainwater is collected and stored in tanks, backed up by a small electric desalinator. Wastewater from the shower and kitchen is recycled and reused, and “black water” from the toilets is composted and used as fertilizer for the on-board garden. “We are able to cover the needs of four people,” Wolf says.

The Permaboat is a proof of concept for fellow boat owners, naval architects, and shipyards. But Wolf thinks bigger. “If it’s possible on a boat, it is possible elsewhere – in cities.”

“I am sailing the whole day and generating energy. In the evening,” he says, “we are cooking with this energy. ” Wolf collaborated with Torqeedo because he sees a complete alignment of values and vision. But also because Torqeedo has 15 years of experience and “works on a industrial level.

If I am 3,000 miles out at sea I need to rely on my systems,” says Wolf. He believes that electric mobility has reached a point of maturity: “We can now not only replace engines, but make them better. The Torqeedo motor is so silent, I have to look on the display to see how fast we are going.” The more people see his boat and join him, the more the message spreads. The reason why people love the sea, the painter Robert Henri once remarked, is that “it makes us think”. This is certainly true on Noos.

About Torqeedo

Torqeedo is the market leader for electric mobility on the water. Founded in 2005 in Starnberg, the company develops and manufactures electric and hybrid drives from 0.5 to 100 kW for commercial applications and recreational use. Torqeedo products are characterized by an uncompromising high-tech focus, maximum efficiency and complete system integration. Torqeedo is part of DEUTZ Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative drive systems.  ›


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Tess Smallridge
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