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 products and plan many more.  
Our long term plan is for ESPcat to become a floating laboratory. We will help 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.  2 panels for cabin power and 40 for propulsion.
SG-1 Solar Generator 1 kWh
  • 2 kW (4 kW peak) 240 VAC output
  • 100 W x 2, ETFE semi flexible, marine solar panels (not PET)
  • 1 kWh lithium battery (actual 2,000 cycle rating, not an imaginary rating)
  • USB charger outputs x 2
  • 12 or 24 Vdc float charger output @ 12 A (for lead-acid batteries)
  • Stainless steel top and sides 340mm W x 305mm D x 615mm H
  • plugs together (no electrician)
$NZ 4,217 incl GST
SX-2 Solar Expansion Kit
  • 100 W x 2 ETFE semi flexible, marine solar panels (not PET)
  • electronics and wiring for panels
 Solar expansion kit must be purchased with new unit  or SG-1 unit must be returned to factory for upgrade.

$NZ 1,113 incl GST
PW-1 Parallel Wiring Kit
One kit required for each SG-1 unit to be paralleled.  Kit must be purchased with new SG-1 units or SG-1 units must be returned to factory for upgrade.

$NZ 72 incl GST
10kw Propulsion System
  • 10kw electric outboard
  • 100 W x 20, ETFE solar panel
  • 27 kWh lithium battery system
$NZ 40,000 incl GST
Want to know more? You can contact us.


Tél : 021 201-0014

44 Uxbridge Road
PO BOX 38-171
Howick, Auckland 2014
New Zealand