Off the shelf elec­tric

Yachting Monthly - - EXPERT ON BOARD -

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

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