Electric Boats Gain Momentum

Earlier this year, we discussed e-mobility and its proliferation in recreational boating as electric boats become more of a mainstream reality. Here we examine four companies that are committing to e-propulsion solutions and are bringing them to market.

Hinckley Picnic 40 S with SilentJet

Hinckley 40 S SilentJet drive electric propulsion.
Above: Hinckley 40 S with the SilentJet propulsion drive. Photo by Hinckley Yachts.

A classic brand gets an ultra-modern makeover in the 40-foot Hinckley picnic boat with hybrid propulsion. Hinckley’s SilentJet technology was developed in collaboration with Twin Disc to create a quiet combination of diesel and electric power. With the new system, the 40 S cruises at seven knots for one hour and up to 90 minutes at 5.5 knots, depending on sea state and wind. When under diesel power, the boat will reach a top speed of 35 knots depending on load and conditions.

The SilentJet system includes twin 90 kW electric motors and twin Cummins 550-hp diesels. An 80-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery is charged while under diesel power. It can then provide electric propulsion later or power other systems aboard. The onboard battery system can even run air condition overnight without a generator. That makes for great (and silent) sleep. Charging time is 45 minutes under diesel power or 8-10 hours on shore power.

SilentJet delivers on all aspects of owner needs. It offers high speeds, great range and a quiet onboard experience at anchor. What’s not to love?

Beneteau and Vision Marine

Electric Outboard from Vision Marine Technologies
The groundbreaking Vision Marine E-Motion™ 180 hp powertrain system, boasting battery capacity of 70kWh of continuous power, offers the perfect package for day boating. The initial commercial offering with Groupe Beneteau will be launched under the Four Winns brand. Graphic by Vision Marine Technologies.

French behemoth builder Beneteau has teamed with Canadian Vision Marine Technologies for electric outboard solutions for several of their models. Vision Marine’s E-Motion is a 180-hp outboard motor with a capacity of 70 kWh of continuous energy that will be launched on Beneteau’s Four Winns brand in 2023 including their bowriders and hybrid decks. (Other Beneteau models may follow suit in Europe.)

The focus of this boat/motor combination will be on an optimized powertrain with high performance and low maintenance requirements. The solution includes a battery pack, inverter, a high-efficiency motor, and advanced control software. If the top performance and range meet market expectations, you can bet that electric solutions will expand to Beneteau’s other outboard-powered models.

Silent Yachts Tender

Silent Yacht 60 Kite Wing
The Silent 60 Kite Wing Yacht. Photo by Silent Yachts.

The recently introduced Silent 60 Kite Wing now has a tender that follows in the mothership’s reduced carbon footprint. The kite wing offers extra propulsion on a powercat via a fold-away mast. The wing can presumably pull a 30-ton motoryacht at 4-5 knots with no other propulsion needed or can add a power boost thereby requiring the vessel to use less energy at a given speed. Because the wing flies so high, it delivers up to 10 time more power than a conventional sail system of the same size and is infinitely more stowable when not in use.

Marking the beginning of a range of fully electric tenders, the SILENT Tender 400 perfectly complements Silent Yachts' solar powered catamaran boats.
Marking the beginning of a range of fully electric tenders, the SILENT Tender 400 perfectly complements Silent Yachts’ solar powered catamaran boats. Image by Silent Yachts.

A yacht like that needs a tender to match. The Silent Tender ST400 is a 13-foot carbon fiber dinghy that can be carried on the big yacht’s hydraulic stern platform and can be charged via the solar energy generated by the mothership.

Two drive trains are available. An electric jet drive or a 30kW electric outboard. According to the builder, both systems deliver a 20-knot top speed. The tender is also quite stylish so not only will owners be reducing their carbon footprint, they’ll look good doing it too.

Kaebon EINS

Kaebon Marine is a German company that launched one year ago. This summer it’s splashing a new carbon motorboat design that is currently in the prototype stage but is already out for testing. It’s not a big boat but it’s certainly sleek and sexy. One hundred precent electric, the Kaebon EINS has been testing with a Torqeedo outboard. It can run 45 minutes at full power reaching a top speed of 21 mph. Slow down to 17.5 mph and you can run for up to eight hours depending on load and conditions.

The Kaebon EINS can carry up to four people or 1,080 pounds while it weighs only 196 pounds. It’s so lightweight, you may be able to hoist and carry it on your SUV roof rack and it’s so glamorous, you’ll be noticed no matter how you carry it. It would make an ideal tender for larger power and sailboats or it can be the primary boat. Look for one in the market as early as 2023.

Electric Boats Are The Future

From luxurious large yachts to popular small family boats, electrification is not just coming, it’s here. Expect to see more solutions as the technology gains traction with better range, more efficiency, a greater top performance, and improved charging infrastructure. E-mobility – because your wallet and our planet could use a break.

View all electric boats for sale on Boat Trader today

Written by: Zuzana Prochazka

Zuzana Prochazka is a writer and photographer who freelances for a dozen boating magazines and websites. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana has cruised, chartered and skippered flotillas in many parts of the world and serves as a presenter on charter destinations and topics. She is the Chair of the New Product Awards committee, judging innovative boats and gear at NMMA and NMEA shows, and currently serves as immediate past president of Boating Writers International. She contributes to Boats.com and YachtWorld.com, and also blogs regularly on her boat review site, TalkoftheDock.com.

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