Off the shelf electric
Perhaps the biggest indication of the future of electric is the willingness of production and semi-production builders to put their flags to the mast and embrace it. One of the first was Hanse, who developed a version of their 315 utilising a Torqeedo electric pod system. Providing around the same amount of power as a 10 horsepower diesel, a 4.4kwh lithium ion battery pack powers the system. Depending on how much you want to spend, motoring range can be extended with more batteries. A generator takes the place of the engine to charge the system and extend range if necessary.
One extra benefit was the electric pod’s directional control. With no through hull fittings or shaft to worry about, the pod drive on the 315 is mounted directly onto the rudder, meaning it doubles as a directional thruster. As their promotional video shows, the effect in the marina is dramatic, meaning she can easily turn within her own length by combining thrust and maximum leverage.
Arcona, Dufour, Elan and Delphia also have electric models and are each taking their own direction on entering the market.
Arcona’s 380Z (the ‘Z’ stands for ‘zero emission’) fully electric yacht has solar panel covered sails, capitalising on the large surface area to top up batteries under sail. In the multihull market, there is even more scope for solar, wind and hydrogenation due to the much larger horizontal surface area available for solar charging.
Arcona has installed solar sails on its latest 380Z electric yacht
One of several battery banks on the Arcona 380Z shows the scale of cells needed for propulsion
An electric throttle does not have a mechanical link to the motor so can be located wherever it is convenient