ESPcat Ltd.  Bringing Solar Power to Boating
ESPcat, New Zealand's first practical solar powered coastal cruiser, is a new concept in boating. It's practical, it's fun and it's good for the environment. Borderline is the test laboratory for ESPcat. She started her life as a successful, racing catamaran then became a motor launch. Designed by Andrew Eaton, her super-efficient hulls with their fine entry, make her the ideal candidate for solar power. In her next reincarnation she will become ESPcat, the Electric Solar Powered Catamaran. The first change is a new cabin. We will run for a while on standard 8 hp outboards. Then come solar panels, electronics, batteries and finally, 8 hp electric motors. Once complete, ESPcat will undergo extensive sea trials.  Along the way we have developed some interesting ideas and plan many more.  The cabin is now solar powered.  The 230V under bench refrigerator runs 24 hours a day with lights toilet etc. all powered by the sun. A 230V microwave will be added soon.  Solar propulsion is next.  
Our long term plan is for ESPcat to become a floating laboratory to help New Zealand lead the world in marine solar technology. We will encourage people to learn about the marine environment, water quality and how we can improve the Hauraki Gulf. We want to have fun too with great seafood and fabulous boating experiences in a vessel that slides quietly through the marine environment rather than ploughing, roaring and destroying the world's most beautiful coastal cruising area.
John Caldwell
John is an electrical engineer specializing in computer controlled industrial automation systems.  He has a passion for boating, motorcycles and the environment.
Old Cabin Removed
Borderline started life as a sailing catamaran.  The first step in turning her into the ESPcat (electric solar powered catamaran) was to remove her tiny cabin. 
New Cabin
The new cabin is designed to mount 42 solar panels at 100 W each.  2 panels for cabin power and 40 for propulsion.  8.5 m LOA 6.4 m beam, sleeps 6, cruise at 7 knots with twin 8 hp electric outboards, 4.5 hours lithium battery.  
Want to know more? You can contact us.


Tél : 021 201-0014

44 Uxbridge Road
Howick, Auckland 2014
New Zealand