|Island Spirit launches the first Electric Hybrid Charter Catamaran|
Island Spirit Sail 380H
Island Spirit has partnered with Oceanvolt Co. Ltd of Finland to power up the Sail 380 with innovative green technology to introduce the Sail 380H, Electric Hybrid Sailing Catamaran. The Sail 380H is equipped with two 8Kw electric drives providing good motoring speed (5-6knots) as well as battery recharge under sail. With a 20Kw Lithium Ion battery bank the boat has a range of over 100 miles in moderate sea conditions without any recharge. For recharging the battery bank the boat has 1Kw of solar power and up to 5kw recharge capacity from the electric drives while under sail. Should there be a longer voyage and the batteries drop below 10%, the control system will automatically start the 11Kw DC generator to recharge the batteries and power the electric drives.
The entire Hybrid system is supplied by Oceanvolt Ltd. Oceanvolt Ltd is a Finnish company focused on producing electric motor and energy management systems for catamarans and sailboats. Each and every part of the system has been specifically designed for electrical use. Compared to combustion engines, these systems are silent, simple and reliable. The systems do not burn fuel or cause CO2 emissions. Each system manufactured in Finland is tested before shipment.
The initial Sail 380H, which is called, Apsara & Dragon and is owned by a resort on Koh Phangnan, The Apsara & Dragon School of Mystery. It will be used in the resort activities with clients and it will also will be placed into the Gulf Charters Thailand Charter fleet. You can charter this magnificent vessel in either Koh Chang or Koh Samui.History of the Island Spirit Catamarans
The Island Spirit brand was introduced into the United States and the Caribbean charter market in 1998, it instantly became a much sought after catamaran, mainly because of the revolutionary design which offered both optimal space and superior sailing performance. Over 55 Island Spirits have been built, 35 of which were sold in the United States between 1998 and 2006. To this day, Island Spirit multihulls are still extremely popular in the second-hand market.
The Island Spirit 37 was the first model launched in 1998 followed by the Island Spirit 400 in 2001. In 2003, Amanzi Marine redesigned and launched the Island Spirit 401. The Island Spirits have been awarded Top Ten Sail Magazine awards in 2001, 2003 and 2005. In 2003 the boat was also a nominee for boat of the year. In 2014, Island Spirit Catamarans updated its brand name to Island Spirit Multihulls to better reflect its broader selection of products. Island Spirit also moved production to Thailand to provide its customers with the most competitive pricing while maintaining its highest commitment to quality. Since opening the facility in Thailand, Island Spirit has delivered several of the new Island Spirit 380 Sailing Catamarans and the Island Spirit 390 power catamaran.
Background - Island Spirit Catamarans Thailand In 2005, Ron Patston, went sailing on a 55-ft catamaran in the Caribbean and found it enjoyable causing him to enroll in the Gulf Charters sailing school. After taking the course, Ron decided he wanted to buy a catamaran, but he couldn't afford a big Fontaine Pajot, Lagoon or something similar. He did some research and discovered the McGregor 36, which he could buy and ship to Thailand in a container, so he went back to America and bought two of them. Then one day while he was in Ocean Marina, Paul Reeves came over and suggested that Gulf Charters might need some help on the business side. So Ron e-mailed Phil Harper, who was running the company solo at the time, describing his background and letting him know he was tired with what he was doing. Negotiations ensued, and six months later Ron became a partner in Gulf Charters Thailand.
Ron continued working in high technology through the 2007 and 2008 economic meltdown and in April 2010, Ron joined Phil Harper at the Gulf Charters office full time, though he was held on for five years as a technical consultant at his old firm.
Prior to joining full time Phil and Ron did a fair amount of strategic planning for Gulf Charters and decided to focus on three distinct business areas: bareboat yacht charter, Blue Water sailing school under International Yacht Training and both new and used yacht brokerage, and they divested the company of all its other businesses.
As the charter business in Thailand started to recover from the political unrest, Phil and Ron realized they needed more than one catamaran in their fleet, so they went searching and found the cost of the new catamarans made in France was not the main barrier, but the cost of shipping them to the Gulf of Thailand added significant cost that did not make them a viable charter boat choice for the area. In addition, at that time piracy was alive and well in the Gulf of Aden, so on the water delivery was not an option, you couldn't get any insurance if you wanted to sail through the area.
So they tried to recruit catamarans from other fleets and were successful in acquiring Tropic Dancer from Australia and Rangiroa from Croatia via Singapore. Then, Paul Reeves, the Gulf Charters Senior Yacht Broker was approached by the builder of the Island Spirit Catamarans, which had been building catamarans in South Africa since the late 90s and had delivered close to 50 boats. The owner wanted Gulf Charters to sell the new Island Spirit 380 being built in Thailand, a completely new design, which had a very attractive sticker price of under US$300,000.
Gulf Charters ordered the initial first boat to expedite the process of having a demonstration boat. About a year later, in July of 2013, it was delivered, but it wasn't everything they expected, so they sat down with the owner and said they would like to make some improvements. There were no structural issues with the boat, it was very strong but it was too heavy.
Ron brought in long time business associate to determine if there was a viable financing model to get five more boats on order and closer supervision of the manufacturing process. They reached an agreement to order five more boats with the builder, but in exchange, agreed to start a new joint venture, Island Spirit Catamarans, Co. Ltd. to build the boats with joint ownership.
Ron then went to the Annapolis Boat Show in October of 2013 but while he was there the builder suddenly died. Ron came back to Thailand. The goals were simple: where were they on the build process of the boats on order at the time, did they have the staff and facilities to build the boats within cost and on time, could the factory build to a European build quality.
It was decided to press on and launched hull #2 a power catamaran in Jan 2014; in July of last year they launched hull #4 and in October they launched hull #5. Already in production were hulls 6 & 7, and these were snapped up at the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show (hull 6 was launched in April, hull seven – a revolutionary hybrid design –in July). The company's plan is to launch three boats every six months. Ron says it's a chicken and-egg type thing, people will not really take notice until you put out a number of quality boats out in the market.
Ron works with new owners to look at putting the boats in the Gulf Charters fleet if they are not using them all the time. Owning a boat is a challenge unless you use it all the time, so putting it in charter keeps it being used and maintained, covers the operating costs, and keeps it up to speed maintenance-wise.
Island Spirit Catamarans is building its catamarans in Ban Chang, Rayong, for private and charter customers. It has delivered boats for use in the Gulf Charters Thailand Charter Fleet and it will also be delivering a number of boats to the Sail in Thailand charter fleet in Phuket. Listed below is a description of the two types of boats Island Spirit Catamarans is building and information on the new Island Spirit 380H:The Power 390
Island Spirit offers the latest in a distinguished line of champion quality catamarans with the innovative Powercat 390. Exceptional maneuverability, superior cruising performance, and the optimal in space and comfort… this is the tradition by which Island Spirit creates its catamarans and the PC390 represents the best of that tradition. Quick and concise with state-ofthe- art features designed to handle all the water has to offer, the PC390 is guaranteed to provide you with the ultimate boating experience.Performance
The Power 390 is built using the latest technology in vacuum infusion making the hull deck 35% lighter and stronger than conventional construction. It features a FRP with resin infused E-glass uni-directional, double bias cloth and foam along with 316 stainless steel thru-hull fittings throughout. The inverted wave piercing bows and the highest bridge deck clearance in its class creates an extremely comfortable ride with reduced "hobby horsing" in every sea condition. With twin 75hp Yanmar engines, the PC390 offers 13Kt cruising speed with miserly fuel consumption and excellent range.Comfort
The Island Spirit design philosophy, which is unequaled on any catamaran in this size, has been carried over into the design of the impressive Powercat. The PC390 is available in a 2-cabin owner model. The staterooms offer queen-sized sleeping berths with generous storage underneath, a large hanging locker with shelf storage, overhead hatches, and generous LED lighting, all in a beautiful design featuring composite wooden flooring and cherry wood or composite trim. The social friendly galley allows for plenty of natural light and opens to the rear deck area to create a spacious gathering place for your guests. Featuring 23 foot beam, 6'7" headroom in the galley and 6"10" headroom in the heads and walk-in showers, the PC390 has the largest usable interior in its class. With modern and innovative construction technology, the PC390 is carefully designed to provide unsurpassed onboard accessibility and comfort.
The Sail 380 series features: Largest interior in its class with space equal to most 40+ footers• Highest bridge deck clearance in its class• Twin helm for improved boat handling, performance and comfort
Island Spirit already has a reputation as a fast seaworthy boat with at least one boat completing a world circumnavigation. The new owner version of the sail 380 sports a sail area to displacement ratio of over 23 making it's sailing performance top in its class. The charter versions have been design with good sailing performance and safety in mind with a sail area to displacement ratio of over 21 putting it into the higher end sailing performance among typical 4 cabin charter catamarans.
The Sail 380 is built to CE standards using the latest technology in vacuum infusion technology and the use of high performance adhesives making the hull and deck 35% lighter and stronger than conventional construction. The Sail 380 is currently launching at just under 6.5 Tons.
Single-handed sailing is made easy with all of the lines leading back to the helm stations. The clean wide decks and walkways make it a breeze to move about under sail. The engine rooms are separated and well insulated from the sleeping areas providing safety and major sound reduction. With propellers forward of the rudders, the boat is extremely maneuverable under power.
Features include a large saloon and cockpit that opens up to one huge living area all on one level. The personal care area (head and shower) features a full sized separate shower and spacious head. No longer does one have to squeeze into the shower amongst the sink and toilet.
The cabins are comfortably spacious and can easily be closed off for privacy with the privacy sliding doors. The heads are beautifully appointed and ventilated for optimum comfort and the chef's galley is unequaled on any catamaran in this size range. The Island Spirit 380 is spacious enough to comfortably accommodate two families, a long-term cruising couple or a whole group of charter guests on vacation.
With modern innovative construction technology the Island Spirit is carefully designed so that every space is optimally used to enhance comfort on board.
Island Spirit has partnered with Oceanvolt Co. Ltd of Finland to power up the Sail 380 with innovative green technology to introduce the Sail 380H. The Sail 380H is equipped with two 8Kw electric drives providing good motoring speed as well as battery recharge under sail. With a 20Kw Lithium Ion battery bank the boat has a range of over 100 miles moderate sea conditions without recharging. For recharging the battery bank the boat has 1Kw of solar power and up to 5 kw recharge capacity from the electric drives while under sail. Should there be a longer voyage and the batteries drop below 10%, the control system will automatically start the 11Kw DC generator to recharge the batteries and power the eccentric drives.
The Sail 380H will be placed into the Gulf Charters Thailand Charter fleet and is available for charter in the Gulf of Thailand.
Both Boats share a Lightweight Resin Infused Composite Structure The hulls and decks of all Island Spirit Multihulls are vacuum-infused under a negative pressure of -1 atmosphere, ssing hidensity DIAB Divinycell pvc closed-cell foam core (www.diabgroup.com). The Vacuum Infusion Process creates a hull & deck that is at least 35% lighter weight, and far stiffer, than any comparable boat manufactured by traditional single-skin hand-lay or vac-bagging techniques.The massive reduction in resin used in this process, together with the compaction of the fibreglass layers & foam core, results in the optimum resing to glass ratios – and additionally allows Island Spirit to remain very competitive while using the highest quality resins, cores & laminates. However, perhaps the most important factor resulting from vacuum infusion is that the technique virtually eliminates any "voids" or "cavities" in the structural laminate – preventing any chance of "osmosis" in the hull structure.Summary
Ron's business and engineering background has definitely helped in the boatbuilding business, because most of the problems he runs into are engineering related. You can put anything on a boat and make it work properly, but it's typically very expensive and you can't do that if you are going to build charter boats at affordable prices. Each boat Island Spirit builds gets better and is more innovative.
The best example of this is hull number 7, which is called Apsara & Dragon and is owned by a resort of the same name on Koh Phangnan. It will reside in the Island Spirit charter fleet as a hybrid electric, a green boat. It has an Ocean Volt system; which manages the batteries, the drives, and the charging. It features an 8kw electric drive and 20kw of lithium battery ion power, which during moderate seas can power the boat a minimum of 100 miles. It also has 1kw of solar-charging capacity and 11kw diesel DC generator, which is managed by the software for charging when necessary. And if you are cruising for a long time, the generator will start up and you can run the electric engines off it. And if you happen to be interested in an Island Spirit and are in the Ocean Marina area, Ron and his staff will gladly take you on a tour of the catamarans it has moored in the marina.
Contact Info Island Spirit Catamarans Co. Ltd.
Ltd.4/3 Moo. 6, T. Banchang, Banchang, Rayong, Thailand 21130
+66 (0) 879400816
Oceanvolt Co. Ltd.
Vanha Talvitie 1
FI-00580 Helsinki, Finland
+358 40 500 9995
+66 (0) 914279492