AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR BOAT WAS SPE­CIAL

Motorboat & Yachting - - Newtech -

Is that a large child or an ex­traor­di­nar­ily small boat?

The lat­ter, you’ll be re­lieved to hear. What you’re look­ing at here is be­ing touted as the world’s first elec­tric and very eco-friendly mini boat – the Jim­boat 6.5.

Who came up with it and why?

Denis Jimenez is a French boat de­signer and builder. Mar­ried with two sons, it was dis­cov­er­ing that his five-year-old grand­son was pas­sion­ate about boat­ing that in­spired Denis to build the Jim­boat 6.5 for him.

That’s re­mark­able. How big is it?

It’s just 6.5ft long – that’s ex­actly 2m. That’s a full half me­tre less than the beam of a Sea Ray 190 sports­boat, for ex­am­ple.

As­ton­ish­ing. So it would fit in the back of my pick-up?

Ab­so­lutely! In fact, there is a pro­mo­tional shot of it in the bed of a dou­ble cab.

What makes it go?

A 55lb thrust elec­tric mo­tor spins a prop that is con­cealed within a tun­nel, safe from dan­gling legs or swim­mers.

How fast is it?

The builder reck­ons it’ll do about 5.5 knots, con­trolled by a five-step throt­tle (lim­itable) that also of­fers a sin­gle-speed re­verse.

And how long will it run for?

About four hours on a full charge.

Is it just for kids, or can grownups have a play?

It’s aimed pre­dom­i­nantly at chil­dren, but small adults (up to 5ft 6in and 70kg) can have a go.

So where can I buy one and how much are they?

At the mo­ment only one ex­ists, the pro­to­type. Denis is cur­rently seek­ing crowd­fund­ing in­vestors with the in­ten­tion of putting the boat into build. If he suc­ceeds in get­ting the nec­es­sary fund­ing (never a given in the boat­ing world), he ex­pects the fin­ished prod­uct to cost be­tween $4,000 and $5,000. Go on Youtube to see the boat in ac­tion.

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