We all understand the need to help protect and regenerate the ocean, and with these electric tenders you can make a very real difference
If there was one word that best describes boat design and the different ways in which people use their boats, that word would have to be ‘compromise.’ Whether it’s simplicity over complexity, range over speed, or comfort over inconvenience, a compromise can be found in almost every aspect of boating and boat design. One area where the customer is having to compromise less and less is within the field of alternative, ‘clean’ power sources, with hybrid and full-electric propulsion leading the charge.
Electric driven engines are now a very real and practical choice for eco-minded boaters and the technology is particularly apt for boats used as tenders or small runabouts that are not normally required to operate for long periods of time.
Let’s take a look, therefore, at some of the more intriguing and progressive zero-emission electric boats with tender potential. First up is the British built Pixii SP800, an aluminium hull boat, launched at the Green Tech Boat Show in Plymouth, UK, earlier this year.
Named after Frenchman, Hippolyte Pixii, who invented the first bona-fide electric generator in 1832, the Pixii SP800 can be used either with one or two electric motors linked to waterjet drives and a 150kWh battery pack. The SP800 claims a max speed of 40 knots, and 22 knots for 1.5 hours, or 8 knots for an extended 100-mile cruising range and you’ll notice that 40 knots is the highest speed listed in my entire report.
As a first attempt, it’s an extremely eye-catching design, although I am not convinced the raised T-Top would fit in too many stern garages at this point in time. An interesting technical innovation is a remote anchoring system, enabling you to beach the boat, jump off in a state of relative dryness, then send the boat back out into deeper water for deploying the anchor until you need to summon it back to shore to pick you all up again.
Equally intriguing are two new boats from Pixii, still on the drawing board but coming soon. The Hippo is a more ‘workboat orientated’ design and the Pixii 6 will be a scaled back
version of the SP800, using a 75KWh battery, perfect for ‘lighter’ duties, such as marina work, or as a cool superyacht runaround.
With very little waste created during the construction process, and a boat that claims to be 90% recyclable at the end of its usable life, the company behind the Pixii boats is making a very real and conscious decision to become as environmentally friendly across the board as possible.
Founded and based in Barcelona, Magonis is a team of ambitious people passionate about boating and committed to 100% electric navigation. Their powerful, fully-electric Wave e-550 is a convenient 5.5m in length, comfortably seats six, and offers smooth cruising from its sleek design and ultra-lightweight frame, weighing just 335Kg. Using smart navigation, their low- maintenance Wave e-550 is supported by the Magonis App, which gives an owner control of their boat. With a 32A charger, fast charge in just five hours to enjoy 10+ hours of battery life, for a range of 55km, the eye catching luxurious Wave also has a fridge, shower, solarium, and deluxe seating. Or enjoy maximum performance and participate in watersports like skiing and wakeboarding with up to 30KW of power and 22 knots speed. The 100% electric Wave e-550 offers sustainable cruising in an environmentally friendly way. Boat lovers can experience luxurious green navigation on the open seas with the Magonis Wave e-550, with all its benefits.
For more details visit www.magonisboats.com
Bucking the trend that says all new technology must be expensive, the incredible value for money Margonis WAVE e-550 range from the Barcelona head quartered company is a 5.5m well-made boat, with a choice of four ‘off-the-shelf’ electric engines, split between Torqeedo and MAG Power, ranging from 6kw to 30kw power output.
The smallest WAVE, the Torqeedo 6.0 RL, starts at just €32,025 ex VAT, which I find amazing considering if you draw a parallel with the car industry, which still sees electric cars, even small ones, as prohibitively expensive for many.
Lightness and efficiency comes by way of a vacuum-infused 335kg hull, that with the largest MAG Power 30.0 RL engine, offers up to 22 knots top speed, or lower speeds that are still perfectly acceptable for water skiing and wakeboarding pursuits.
With up to 10 hours battery life and a 55-mile potential range, there are certain constraints to the use of the boat. The battery charge process, for example, takes 10 hours from zero to full charge for each individual Power 48-500 boat battery using a standard 110/230v plug. While the size and 6-person seating capacity of the boat will limit its potential as a tender for much larger yachts, I can still foresee many other uses for this undeniably attractive, easy-to-maintain bowrider.
Stepping up quite a lot in the performance and technology stakes is Swedish manufacturer, Candella, who started out in 2018 with the foiling 7.7m long C7.
Whether it’s an America’s Cup yacht, or a foiling wakeboard, anything that can effectively levitate above the water immediately gets my attention, and Candella have since added to the range with the 8.5m long C8, a more commercially viable boat, built on a dedicated production line in higher numbers.
Even more relevant to the luxury tenders and limousine market is the slightly larger 8.64m Candella P8 Voyager, made of full carbon-fibre and using the same active hydrofoil technology as for the C7 and C8, with 50nm range (90Km) at a decent average cruising speed of 20 knots.
At anything over 16 knots, the hull lifts itself up and away from the sea surface with active foils and horizontal wings protruding from the hull, at the bottom of which have Candella’s C-Pod submerged, direct-drive electric motor technology, with twin contra-rotating props for a very silent and efficient ride. With foils that are constantly and automatically adjusted to maintain ride efficiency and comfort in all situations and different sea conditions, friction is said to be reduced by 80% compared to a normal planning hull.
Passengers are said to enjoy little or no slamming in waves, and a much-reduced chance of seasickness. There is hardly any wake created from the hull which is ideal for wildlife exploration or crossing delicate coral reefs, even for dodging in-between sailing yachts at a high-profile regatta.
The Voyager will draw only about 25kW from its Candela C-POD motor when cruising at 20 knots. In optimum cruising mode it can cruise for well over 2 hours duration and charging the battery is said to cost only about 10 Euros every time!
This Swedish first class manufacturer of 100 percent electrical crafts, is leading the way in the marine industry with the market’s most modern e-boats. X Shore crafts are built and designed around three main pillars: design, technology and sustainability. The combination of speed and distance in an electric boat is what makes X Shore’s crafts unique. Today the boats reach top speeds of 40 knots and a fully charged battery can take you a distance of 100 nautical miles. The Eelex 8000 driving experience is truly unique. All controls are managed from a central, 24 inch touchscreen powered by Garmin with software designed by X Shore. With minimalist design and flexible configurations of Eelex 8000 offers a canvas for you to customise with X Shore modules.
For more details visit www.xshore.com
Another Swedish brand making a name for itself is X-Shore, who launched their 8m long Eelex 8000 in 2020, with a host of previously unseen features, not least an electric powerplant that returns a decent top speed of 30+ knots, and a respectable 20knots cruising speed. Lower speeds offer a safe cruising range of up to 100 nautical miles with a get-you-home ‘limp mode’ that tells you when you have 10% charge left, to ensure you always have enough power to reach a charging point.
DC fast-charging from 20-80% takes just 1hr-10mins ensuring you can be back out on the water again spreading your eco-friendly message in next to no time. Priced at €249,000 (ex VAT), the Eelex has a fairly strong asking price, but it delivers an awful lot of technology in return.
Take, for example, the boat’s intelligent software that captures 150 points of sensor data every second, allowing for real-time analytics of battery and engine performance, temperature, humidity, pressure, the craft’s location and system status. There’s even a built-in Sea Lab add-on, which captures and assesses environmental parameters and conditions, and uses this to optimise performance for an individual user.
Subtle touches such as the boat’s use of reconstituted cork decks and bulwark cappings, not only look good, but are easy to repair and far more sustainable than something like teak. You can even choose a hull made from ampliTex™ 5040 Flax fibre materials for a more biodegradable structure all round.
Danish RAND Boats is a world leading electric boat manufacturer, that offers nine different luxury tender models, available with electric propulsion, as well as fast charging solutions for yachts. RAND Boats re-thinks motorboats with their class-leading electric performance and leads the way with their innovative and sustainable technologies. The modern Scandinavian design results in very spacious deck layouts that can accommodate up to 12 people. RAND Boats’ production methods are among the most sustainable in the industry, and the hyper-efficient wave piercing hull design offers optimal comfort when riding rough seas and 30-60% less consumption than traditional motorboats. RAND developed their own electric propulsion system, which not only is one of the most powerful electric motors on the market, but the first with sterndrive as well. With the new Escape 30 you can get a massive 460 kW motor with a top speed up to 50 knots, and with 235 kWh battery capacity you can sail 200nm at cruising speed or 45nm at planning speed.
For more details visit www.randboats.com
Unveiled last year, the Vita LION strikes me as one of the most attractive looking electric day boats, resembling a more traditional deep-V planing hull, but one that could very easily be seen operating as a tender to a superyacht.
In fact, the sales process is now well underway as Rory Trahir, CEO Yachts Division explained, “We have seen a strong increase in interest for electric boats, electric propulsion systems and onboard DC charging systems over the past 2 years. We work closely with many of the premium superyacht tender builders and are supplying powertrains and onboard charging to the first pair of all electric superyacht tenders for an 80m+ new build currently under construction.”
The hull is built for Vita by superyacht builder, Hogdon Yachts, and its length of 10.5m would be suitably sized for a superyacht garage. Vita Power is a modular and highly customisable system meaning it can be integrated into a wide range of boats with different power requirements and drive types (jet, stern drive, shaft).
In the case of the LION there is 300Kw on tap from twin 150Kw motors linked to Mercury Bravo sterndrives. The output is a significant 400hp equivalent, rising to 600hp during peak output required intervals. The same system has been designed so it can even be integrated into other manufacturers’ boats.
Performance-wise, a very usable 1.5 hours of autonomous cruising is available at 22knots, with 35knots top speed and at up to about 10knots, the LION offers all-day cruising ability. The company’s smaller-scale offerings include the SEAL, a 7m multi-purpose, crew/sports tender RIB and the CUB, Vita’s new all-electric jet ski.
Having built from new or fully restored countless water taxi limousine boats and sedate ‘gentleman’s’ launches in the past, Venetian shipyard, Venmar, has been quietly winning awards and a lot of praise for its new electric tender, the 6.93m long ‘Respiro’, which uses Yamaha’s 3.7Kw HARMO electric rim-drive outboard engine.
Built by the Italian boat builder Venmar, Respiro is the first vessel to be available with Yamaha’s HARMO electric propulsion unit. Founded in Venice in 1969, Venmar specialise in the design and production of both water taxis and unique private vessels. The heritage within the Venmar brand is evident in every boat through their range and up to the 12m private boats. Even today, these boats are handcrafted using traditional techniques and an exquisite attention to detail, making them an ideal partner for the Yamaha HARMO. Respiro itself is crafted from carbon fibre and mahogany creating a monolithic hull which is incredibly stiff, and light weight at just 700kg gross weight. But don’t just take our word for it, the vessel is already winning prestigious awards. During last month’s Venice Boat Show 2022, Venmar won the prize “Boat of the year”. Awarded by the Italian magazine “Vela e Motore” with the judges: Eng.Paola Gualeni (Professor at the University of Genoa), Carlo Nuvolari (Nuvolari Lenard), Giorgio Gallo (Rina), Gianni Darai (Assonautica). A great honour especially as it was in their home city and one the whole team were very proud of.
For more details visit www.venmar.it
The boat was recently awarded ‘Boat of the Year’ at the 2022 Venice Boat Show by a distinguished panel of judges, including Eng. Paola Gualeni (Professor at the University of Genoa), Carlo Nuvolari (Nuvolari & Lenard), Giorgio Gallo (Rina) and Gianni Darai (Assonautica).
The carbon, linen-fibre and mahogany vacuum infused hull makes the Respiro extremely light at 700kg and combined with the engine it generates about 225 pounds of thrust, or about the same output at a 10hp petrol outboard.
The HARMO (short for harmony) is mounted on the transom in the normal way, but the steering all takes place under the water with the drive leg rotating up to 140 degrees side to side, while the unit above the water remains fixed in place. It’s great for tight spaces and small marinas and allows the boat to be completed rotated within its own length.
Unlike for other engines, the HARMO does not have a propeller, instead it uses an encased impeller that acts and looks more a bow thruster. In theory, the impeller is safer than an equivalent exposed prop would be and the leg can be raised up to keep it out of the water when not in use, or if ever you wanted to beach the boat on a shallow gradient shore.
According to Yamaha, HARMO can be run as a single engine on vessels up to 21 feet or used in a twin configuration to push boats up to 32 feet.
The Respiro is a low-speed, displacement hull and is clearly not designed for the rough and tumble of ship to shore guest transfers, or for towing inflatable toys around! In fact it’s more about enjoying the peace, quiet and serenity of the journey itself, perhaps an important life-lesson in there for all of us.
We shall surely see more electric and hybrid tenders hit the market over the coming years and we are pleased to see many ‘traditionally’ gasoline engine manufacturers getting involved with their own electric engines and enhancing the battery technology, so watch this space.
Pascoe International are currently building the world’s first 100% electric superyacht limousine tender for delivery in 2023 to a large new build mothership from a major Northern European shipyard. Following a six-year research and development period, Pascoe International is now offering full electric propulsion for their limousines and open guest tenders. Pascoe’s technical team have been studying the viability of electric-tender propulsion in collaboration with expert advisors and research partners for many years. During this process they have carried out extensive research and development on hull design, motor integration, battery performance and whole-system optimisation. Partners include automotive electrification specialists, propeller designers, battery manufacturers and leading university research teams. Tom Southern, Vice President at Pascoe International commented: “The realisation of a zero-emission at point of use Limousine Tender with a top speed of 40 knots and a range of 60 miles will be a defining moment for the superyacht industry, we are extremely excited and proud.”
For more details visit www.pascoeinternational.com
Their advanced expertise in lightweight composites processes and manufacturing, combined with the experience in cutting-edge battery technology and high performance hybrid propulsion systems means Ribbon Yachts are ideally placed to deliver levels of electrified, high performance motoring that until now have simply been unattainable. They have managed to develop a completely new approach to hybrid technology in the drive line. This new approach leads to a drive line that will allow the Ribbon to operate fully electrically for a couple of hours and in addition to that, the electrical motors also support the main engine / generator while accelerating, reducing emissions along the way in this range by more than 30 percent. With its zero emission possibility, the Ribbon is completely prepared for the future.
For more details visit www.ribbonyachts.nl