The first virtually fossil free sailing catamaran with Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries

Dutch company African Cats headed by Gideon Goudsmit and Suzan Groeneveld, based in Amstelveen near Amsterdam, is happy to announce that the first fossil fuel free sailing catamaran with retractable propulsion/generation system has been launched in Durban South Africa.

This new demonstrator will be crossing the Atlantic early 2010 twice for testing purposes of the GREEN MOTION retractable propulsion/generation system. This fossil free system is the newest development in propulsion and regeneration applied onto a sailing multihull.

Since 2001 the pair have been working on the challenge of retaining lightness and speed without sacrificing comfort. So the present latest model is the result of many developments of which the electric retractable propulsion and generating system Green Motion is the most important one.

The dual Green Motion set up consists of:
• Electric retractable outboard motogens* (2 x 9.6 KW)
• 1 x 144 to 24 volts 30 amps converter
• 10 amps shore charger 230 ac -144 dc
• LCD screen for amperage, volts, rpm and temperature
• 12 x 150 amp 12.8 volt AGM batteries (Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries optional).
• 40 litre dual coil 220 ac water heater
• electric induction stove and electric oven
• 5 Kw inverter pure sine wave
• Plug and play wiring
• Hydraulic actuators (2)
• Electric hydraulic oil pump
• Manual emergency oil pump
• Oil Filter
• LED indicators for up and down position
• Switches up and down
• 2 waterproof Contacts with switches and keys (2)
• Electric hydraulic steering valves
• 4 bladed high efficient propellers (2)
• Basalt Fibre wing strud’s (2)
• Hydraulic piping
• Shaft anodes

The resistance while sailing is lowered with the motogens retracted. The actual sailing speed increases because no sail drives, propellers, props shafts or shaft supports are in the flow of the water and the result is a lower usage of the motogens and reduction of energy used.

The fact that the motogens are located closer to the centre of gravity of the vessel makes the yacht safer and more comfortable.

Folding or feathering props that are expensive and need maintenance are no longer needed because they are lifted from the water when not in use. No fouling of props and they are reachable in up position for cleaning.

An induction stove and an electric oven completes the task of making the yacht completely fossil fuel free.

AFRICAN CATS builds comfortable lightweight performance leisure catamarans through epoxy resin infusion for sailing enthusiasts that demand the highest levels of performance, comfort, speed, security and reliability.

Our secret? We employ an innovative approach to boat design and construction that spans the gamut from materials and techniques to beauty and ergonomics. Read about our design philosophy and how we build the boats. The more you look at the details of how we put these crafts together as well as the standard equipment list, you will agree that an accurate description of our boats and attitude is: ‘AFRICAN CATS – If you want it all…’

After successfully launching and selling a number of non-sailing related businesses Gideon Goudsmit couldn’t find a production cat to his liking. Rather than build a custom boat for himself he built a company to build his ideal boat and share his vision with others.

Although he has over 40 years of cruising experience, he understood that in order to build the right kind of boat he needed to hire the right professionals. Armed with the knowledge of how to run a business AND what makes sense in a boat, he assembled a company designed to produce a catamaran using modern design techniques and materials.

While the physics of sailing haven’t changed over the last several decades, our understanding of it has been refined. In parallel with this deeper understanding came the development of many new materials and construction techniques. The past couple of decades have seen the acceptance of the cruising catamaran into the mainstream of sailing. While these boats were able to deliver on the promise of comfort and room, for the most part they fell short on the promise of fast sailing.

In the seventies Hobie Alter changed the sailing world by launching the Hobie Cat series of beach catamarans. These boats were embraced by hundreds of thousands. The guys and girls who sailed these cats eventually outgrew them. They became older, had families and generally moved into a lifestyle where the deficiencies of a small cat (wet, easily tipped and requiring a level of agility that many loose with the passage of time) made them unusable.

None of these sailors left the catamaran scene because they suddenly wanted to sail slower. Anyone who has ever owned a fast beach cat has come up against the problem of finding a worthy follow-on boat. They had no choice.