Moorings 4300

Exclusive report from the 2007 Miami International Boat Show.

Moorings

Sailors who think green can charter green, too. How green?

"Really green!"

That's the assessment of CW new products editor and boat reviewer Andrew Burton after he had a peek of the new Moorings 4300 electric catamaran dockside at Strictly Sail Miami Thursday afternoon. The boat remains on display at booth C-39 through Monday at the 66th Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail in Miami, Florida (www.miamiboatshow.com).

Tested over the last six months as part of the Moorings charter fleet in the British Virgin Islands, the boat is built by charter company partner Robertson and Caine of South Africa and relies on a DC generator system as well as propulsion units from Glacier Bay. For you nontechnical yet environmentally conscious types, what that means is there's more efficient powering yet no need to add an additional large bank of batteries.

The Moorings 4300 relies on a diesel-powered DC generator, which drives the electric propulsion unit in a green box located "under an aft bunk that measures one foot by two feet by one foot," says Burton. "It's incredible."

According to the Moorings, what makes the system unique is that the propulsion system doesn't use extra batteries for energy storage; instead, it combines Glacier Bay's OSSA Powerlite propulsion unit with an OSSA Powerlite DC generator system, which also feeds the boat's other house systems.

Overall, the advantage of the system is that a single fossil-fuel engine produces enough DC power to run everything from propulsion to air conditioning to refrigeration and more.

The charter company will continue to test the catamaran for another six months while it's available for charter in the BVIs. The electric cat is also available for purchase in 2008 through the Moorings Advantage Yacht Ownership Program. For details, click here.