Scrap metal sets sail as 55-ft solar-electric catamaran

Yacht design and engineering studio iYacht has been commissioned to help German TV and movie actor Daniel Roesner realize his vision for a “sustainable catamaran designed with circularity in mind.” The 55-ft multihull will be built using scrap metal, reclaimed wood and recycled cork.

“The design and engineering office iYacht acted as a filter for my imagination,” said the actor, producer and environmental entrepreneur. “While some of my ideas were challenged technically, for most of them iYacht confirmed the feasibility and even enabled me to go one step further.”

The performance catamaran has been named Hu’chu 55 by Roesner, which not only reveals its length but also references both the region where the actor grew up and an area in Malibu where he “really got in touch with the ocean and discovered one of his passions: surfing.”

German actor and producer Daniel Roesner has collaborated with a “major aluminum manufacturer” to develop a metal with more than 90% scrap aluminum, which will be used in the construction of the Hu’chu 55 performance catamaran


Roesner worked with an aluminum manufacturer to develop a special flavor of the metal that’s made from more than 90% scrap aluminum and doesn’t require virgin material. The scrap metal is said to be sourced from “discarded license plates, road signs, cosmetic cans, automotive and construction scraps, as well as shredded scrap from recycling and sorting plants.”

The resulting metal has one-eighth of the carbon footprint of the market average, and will be used in the construction of the Hu’chu 55. Elsewhere, the vessel will incorporate other sustainable materials in abundance, including natural fibers, reclaimed wood and recycled cork.

It’s designed to spend much of its time at sea under sail, sporting three forestays with a self-tacking staysail, an overlapping genoa jib plus a gennaker and optimized daggerboards. The rig and sail system has been developed for easy handling from the helm and aft cockpit, with the mast set farther back for easier management of the mainsail.

The Hu'chu 55 has been designed to meet the exacting sustainability and circularity requirements of German actor Daniel Roesner
The Hu’chu 55 has been designed to meet the exacting sustainability and circularity requirements of German actor Daniel Roesner


The blueprint also calls for two electric motors and 100-kWh battery pack combination that can reportedly be charged passively from the spin of the propellers as the yacht moves along under sail and via solar panels. Renewable energy will be used for the water treatment system too, and to meet other onboard electricity needs such as the equipment in the film editing room.

Roesner plans to live and work on the yacht, producing documentaries and undertaking ocean research – with iYacht incorporating features for “navigation in high and low latitude destinations.” Vertical hydroponic gardens amidships will contribute towards food self-sufficiency no matter the location, there’s dry storage for electronic equipment, and two garages are included to stow diving and sports gear.

With the design now complete, Roesner is now gathering partners, sponsors and investors to move the concept into reality, while also seeking shipyards with expertise in aluminum construction.

Source: iYacht/Daniel Roesner

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