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Cruisers Net: 'Focus on Sun Powered Yachts'

We are re-posting an article by Cruisers Net, as a sponsor they recently wrote an article 'Focus on Sun Powered Yachts' - click here to read it in full at


Sun Powered Yachts, LLC, is a family owned and run business by Lyall and Katie Burgess. Lyall’s initial work in Hospitality and Event Management took him to 50 countries, hiking and boating. He began to actively pursue sailing in 2004, and has logged over 55,000 miles; he is also qualified as an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean. Katie is from Maine and has been working in the solar industry in Hawaii for over a decade, most recently for Rising Sun Solar. Her knowledge of solar products and system design is an asset in planning a yacht’s solar power system.

Lyall and Katie launched their marine solar company, Sun Powered Yachts, LLC, at the Annapolis Sailboat Show in 2018, after a challenging personal experience. They were on charter in Tahiti and having to run their engine for hours each day, with blazing tropical sun, just to keep the batteries charged. They knew there had to be a better, more sustainable way. At that same time, SunPower had just launched their line of flexible solar panels, and they knew this was a wonderful opportunity to bring them to the marine market. So, they set a goal to launch six months later in Annapolis and have not looked back since. Over the last five years, they have used their professional relationships with SunPower and Maxeon to obtain special access to these high efficiency solar panels, most ideal for marine and RV installations. They have recently provided over 1 MegaWatt of solar panels to their customers!

At Sun Powered Yachts, Lyall and Katie understand you will likely have many questions about marine flexible solar panels. With their experience and successes over the years, they are well equipped to demonstrate the SunPower difference and how you can install a SunPower/Maxeon solar system on your yacht. Based on their own needs and use and the successes of their customers, they are dedicated to making sure new applications will be the most efficient and enjoy all the benefits of going solar – from start to finish and throughout your solar journey.

Their expertise includes over twenty years of blue water sailing, fifteen years of commercial and residential solar sales, and ten years of living off the grid in. They provide a comprehensive one-stop-shop sales experience that is completely USA based; they identify the ideal products for your vessel and help you build a custom, and complete system, that caters to your specific needs. Sun Powered Yachts ships your items from their warehouses and provide knowledge and support throughout your installation. Lyall and Katie are available by phone or email and offer a personal customer service experience that can’t be beat. Most importantly, this family run business understands and empathizes with their customers’ energy constraints while boating, because they are longtime cruisers too.

Lyall and Katie with their two young daughters, ages seven and nine, recently completed a planned sixteen months transatlantic, liveaboard adventure on their own sailboat, a Dufour 382. Originating in Corsica, they crossed in the 2021 ARC. Lyall had worked for World Cruising Club for over ten years managing various events and met Katie at the 2011 ARC prizegiving in St. Lucia. They both worked as yellow-shirts for the start in Las Palmas and the finish in St. Lucia in 2012 ARC. Sailing it together, on their own boat, was always a goal of theirs after starting a family. It was a full circle moment for this young and adventurous family, ten years after first meeting, that they were able to celebrate their own Atlantic crossing, as a family, while participating at the 2021 prizegiving in Rodney Bay.

The Burgess family of four spent all of 2022 exploring the expansive Caribbean and Central American coast of Mexico and Belize, logging over 7,500NM while visiting twelve countries. More importantly, they found themselves continually helping other boaters, like themselves, go solar from their very own sun powered yacht.

Lyall, Katie and the girls are now back home in Hawaii at their Sun Powered Yachts off grid land base. Their fully outfitted blue water adventurer, Blake, is up for sale in Cancun but will soon be moved to Florida and relisted there. If she does not sell before the summer, they plan to explore the Bahamas during the girls’ summer break. And if you’re looking for a well maintained, proven blue water vessel, you may want to look at Blake.

Sailing on Blake, while they still own her, allows them to be out on the water and connect with more members of this fraternal community of which they are grateful to be a part. In all the years they have spent in the marine industry, they have come to realize that it is one big family!

Keep an eye out this summer for Blake, give Lyall and Katie a shout and get to know this beautiful family with saltwater in their veins and a wealth of knowledge on how to harness the sun to assist in your need for electrical power.

Written by, Cruisers Net

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