The luxury yacht industry is renowned for its secrets. The super rich generally value their privacy on-board and don’t like people knowing how much they have spent on a yacht or which beautiful island where they are currently at anchor. That doesn’t stop the speculation though; there’s nothing like a large yacht pulling into port to get people all excited about who it belongs to.
Occasionally though, an owner likes to talk about their latest purchase and that includes two-time Formula One champion, Fernando Alonso. He commissioned his electric catamaran in 2021 at the Monaco Yacht Show and took delivery of it recently before heading out for a holiday with friends and family.
Alonso’s Sunreef 60 Power Eco is an 18.3-metre catamaran powered purely by electric power and he commissioned it in 2021 at the Monaco Yacht Show after having chartered a similar vessel from the yacht builder on previous occasions. His latest toy is covered in solar panels that have been integrated into the design of the hull and decks and it has a custom-built battery pack.
It’s easy to imagine that someone like Alonso would prefer a powerboat or a luxury yacht with huge engines, after all, he does own a Dassault Falcon 900C private jet with three engines and races an Aston Martin AMR23 F1 car. However, his reasons for opting to go electric on the waves are in stark contrast to his fast-living working lifestyle.
“My life goes so fast. I travel a lot around the world. Once on the track, it’s all about speed. When I enjoy my time off, I want the exact opposite. I want to travel in total silence with no fumes, no vibrations,” he says.
“On board, all that matters is peace of mind, fresh air and good company,” Alonso says. “Yachting should not be about ego, for me, it’s about sharing good moments and being respectful towards the environment.”
The standard 60 Sunreef Power uses hybrid electric-diesel or purely diesel with a cruising range of up to 3,500 nautical miles, but Alonso isn’t fussed about long distance. He sees the two electric motors in his Eco version as more than enough to cruise off the coast of his Monaco home or go slightly further afield to Italy or Greece. The 68.6m² of solar panels take in enough Mediterranean sunlight to provide the power that he says he needs most of the time.
“The 60 Sunreef Power Eco gave me exactly the yachting experience I was looking for,” he says. “Long, fume free and quiet cruises let you enjoy the seas on a whole new level. This yacht has some amazing technology that cannot be found anywhere else.”
When it comes to the life of an F1 driver seeking to slow down on the water, there’s plenty of space for Alonso, his family and their friends with six guest cabins for 12 guests and space for four crew, though the yacht has been designed so it can be operated purely by its owner. There’s a master suite, spacious lounge, dining area and exterior entertaining spaces including a full-beam bow terrace. It’s one of the things that attracted him to a multihull catamaran, because this style of yacht does tend to provide a wider, more open space inside.
Sustainable materials have been used throughout the interior and Alonso was very involved in creating the design and customising the cabins. He paid regular visits to the shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, to chat to designers and engineers during the build process.
It all sounds very relaxing, but Alonso can still feel the need for speed when he wants to, because there is space for jet skis and other water toys in the aft garage.
Alonso is not the only owner of a Sunreef yacht; the company has supplied vessels to another former F1 champion, Nico Rosberg, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal and South African explorer, Mike Horn, all of whom could do with slowing down once in a while and enjoying the relaxation of silent cruising on the open sea.
It’s difficult to be sure how much the price of this relaxation has cost Alonso, but given the basic price of $2.7-million, when you add in the solar panels and electric power plus his own customisation options, it’s probably close to $4m (R74m). Fortunately Alonso is worth over $260m so that’s not going to ruin his relaxation one little bit.