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ZEN50 wins a Gussies award

The ZEN50, designed and produced by ZEN Yachts, has been awarded a Gussies 2023 award in the Electric Production Boat category for vessels over 8m (26ft).

The ZEN50 is a zero-emission solar and wind-powered blue water catamaran, built using advanced composites supplied by MEL Composites and with the ability to sail continuously at cruising speeds of 6 to 10 knots, without requiring any fuel onboard.

“Winning the Gussies 2023 award in the Electric Production Boat category is a fantastic testament to the exceptional technology and engineering behind the ZEN50,” said Julien Mélot, CEO of ZEN Yachts.

MEL Composites was the main composite material supplier and infusion technical advisor.

Critical details

The company supplied the vinylester resins, carbon fibres and Corecell foam for the 50ft (15.7m) catamaran, whilst the two teams, MEL and ZEN, worked together to define the critical details for the build, including mechanical testing of sample laminates, and specifying the bespoke CNC cut core kits and process set-up for infusion.

During the build, MEL technicians provided on site support, monitoring the infusion strategy and assisting the ZEN team throughout.

The teams worked to ensure the ZEN50’s structure weight remains under strict control, so the new yacht matched its performance and environmental targets.

Leading position

“The Gussies 2023 award is a testament to the innovative stride made by ZEN Yachts with the support from MEL Composites, confirming the leading position of these companies in the journey to create sustainable, high-performance watercraft,” said a MEL spokesperson.

The Gussies – Gustave Trouvé Awards for Excellence in Electric Boats and Boating – were created to recognize the inventors, designers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and visionaries who are making advances to develop clean, quiet, zero emission technologies and designs to reduce reliance on fossil fuel for marine propulsion.

They are named to honour Gustave Trouvé, a French inventor with more than 75 patents – among them the world’s first outboard boat motor, which he devised so that he could detach the motor from his prototype electric boat ‘Le Teléphone’ and take it home for further work in his Paris apartment.


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