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by | 1st February 2023 | Ship & Boat International - News

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all-electric HopYacht 30

HopYacht 30 offers stylish sailing and money-saving tricks

Designed to be as family-friendly as it is eco-friendly, the all-electric HopYacht 30 isn’t just for experienced sailors. In fact, the 9.35m catamaran yacht “is designed to be sailed very easily as a couple or a family with young children not yet able to lend a hand”, HopYacht founder Paul Tomes tells Ship & Boat International.

Designed by award-winning South African yacht designer Anton du Toit, the catamaran was conceived after HopYacht researched the preferences of holiday sailors, only to discover that “a high percentage” of this group, including less experienced sailors, chose to sail under headsail alone, finding it easier to control in strong winds. So, the design brief called for a single roller furling genoa, for rapid reefing, and a mast moved slightly further aft. As HopYacht puts it: “Not having a mainsail also means there is no risk of injury from a boom!”

South Africa is credited with building 25% of the world’s catamarans, placing it just behind France in terms of overall global cat production. Additionally, with treacherous seas at the country’s southern tip, domestic cat builders are aware of the need for robust designs capable of facing down the elements. “The vessel is being built to CE certification category C, which is for 27knot winds and 2.1m sea states,” says Tomes. Each hull has been built with a forward collision bulkhead, while the cockpit side decks are open at the stern to enable immediate self-draining should the cockpit become swamped. The side decks are also fenced by full-length grab rails.

“The HopYacht 30 is built in GRP with foam core in parts and monolithic hard points, especially where the hulls are bolted to the cabin pods,” Tomes continues. What’s particularly interesting is that, should the owner wish to transport the boat by road, the hulls can be removed and stored in two standard 40’ containers, and then reassembled at their new location. “Dismounting and reassembling the hulls is relatively straightforward,” he explains. “However, this would need to be done by a boatyard equipped with a small crane or gantry. The boat is supplied with cradles on skids to enable the hulls and cabin to be slid out of the containers. The cradles also help to align the hulls before the cabin is fitted, using built-in guides to ensure alignment of the bolt holes.”

Plumbing and electric connections are also labelled, and a manual/checklist provides the correct sequence of events for dismounting/reassembly. In all, it should take about three hours to disassemble the hulls and eight hours to reassemble them and replace the seals.

In developing the cat, HopYacht has also tried to save its clients money when it comes to mooring fees. The HopYacht 30’s beam is restricted to 3.44m, enabling it to fit into the berths typically used by 11m monohulls, thus avoiding the typical 75% premium rate that catamarans must pay for mooring in many marinas.

The yacht is powered by a pair of 6kW electric pod drives, supplied by ePropulsion. These drives, HopYacht notes, are “equivalent to 9.9hp [7.4kW] engines, but pollution- and noise-free”. The drives are fed by two lithium ferro-phosphate batteries, which provide a combined 28.8kWh – permitting a range of more than seven hours at 4.5knots. Solar panels on the roof generate 1,600W of power to recharge the batteries. Tomes adds: “The panels give back approximately 7kWh – equal to 24% of battery capacity – per day.”

Sea trials showed the HopYacht 30 capable of reaching 7knots when under sail, in 23knots of wind, and at full motor power. When power cruising with 3,500W on each motor, a speed of 6knots was achieved. Tomes notes: “Cruising at 2,500W, the boat produces 4.5knots, which appears to be the efficiency sweet spot.”


HopYacht 30

Length, oa 9.35m
Breadth 3.44m
Draught (incl. keel) 697mm
Max freeboard 1.37m
Mast height 10m
Sail area 29.5m2
Persons on board 6

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