Aventura Zero Logs , News

Aventura Zero's First Sail

We couldn’t have picked a more miserable day to go out for our first sail on Aventura Zero. As we left the marina, low grey skies hung over the bay of La Grande Motte and the gusty wind felt akin to a cold winter day, not what you’d expect in the Mediterranean at this time of year. But once the sails were up, Aventura came alive and the magic took over.

The moment I got hold of the wheel I felt a surge of mixed emotions: excitement, satisfaction and also great relief that my complex and challenging project had finally become a reality.

An Outremer 4X was also out for a test sail and took some photos of us.

The main purpose of our sortie was to test the Oceanvolt regeneration system. The essential feature of this electric boat concept is not its propulsion but the ability to produce electricity while sailing. It’s no good having an electricity-driven boat if you cannot produce electricity to replace what has been used; and that is the key element of this project. While sailing, the propellers on the two saildrives are turning and producing electricity.  This is the concept of electric regeneration.

For reasons of security, Aventura Zero has two different propellers.

On the starboard side a ServoProp developed by Oceanvolt is very efficient in producing electricity.  The Gori folding propeller on the portside is less efficient in producing electricity but more efficient for propulsion and also more robust in case of a collision. This is the potential weakness of the ServoProp and the reason for having gone for this compromise solution.

As the ServoProp is highly efficient in generating electricity, it can produce enough to cover 80% of the total output.

While we were sailing, the Oceanvolt representative, Alberto Estivill, made notes of the performance of the two saildrives, comparing their output in relation to speed.


After a while Alberto turned to me with a big smile on his face: “We are doing much better than we had expected.”

Indeed we were, as on a previous test they had recorded an average of 600 Watt at 6 knots and 800 Watt at 8 knots, which I regarded as reasonable, whereas now we were achieving the double of those values, and much more at higher speeds.

As our speed moved into double figures the ServoProp was charging the batteries at over 2000 Watt (2kW), which was beyond my highest expectations… until Aventura caught a wave, started accelerating, the speed shot up to over 14 knots and the figure on the gauge shot up to 6.9 kW!

Sailing with us was Romain Guiraudou who has been in charge of this project since its inception and has turned my rough concept into a state-of-the-art product. He has spent most of his childhood and early teens on an Outremer catamaran on a world voyage with his parents and younger brother.  Romain is talking here to Taylor Esposito, the youngest of our crew.

Talking to Conor Dugan, my other crew, is Matthieu Rougevin-Baville, Outremer sales manager and a good friend of many years. An experienced sailor and expert on multihulls, his advice has been invaluable in making Aventura Zero what she is: a solidly build performance catamaran, ready to take on this challenging voyage and hopefully help us complete it safely.

My third crew member is Michalis Zacharias, an experienced Greek sailor, standing next to Conor, who is American as is Taylor. Both Conor and Taylor have spent many years in the charter business in the Virgin Islands. A mix of nationalities and a mix of experiences should make a good cocktail for the voyage ahead.

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