Are electric and hybrid boats the future for the yachting industry?

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Author: Nicole Borg

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July 30, 2022

With hybrid cars becoming the future of personal land transportation, the personal sea transportation has also been seeking ways through which it could become more sustainable by offering electric or hybrid models. This has helped raise awareness within the boating community and the need to be eco-conscious. Designers and manufacturers are learning and improving when creating hybrid and electric boats, all with the aim to not just make this feasible but also enjoyable. 

Before we delve any further, it is good to understand how hybrid boats function. When one makes use of a hybrid marine propulsion system, they are using a vessel that has a combination of an electric motor and a combustion engine. The electricity for the electric motor is produced either by a generator whether a combustion engine one, a wind one or a towed water one. Alternatively, the electricity could be generated through solar panels.

If one had to outline the benefits of an electric motor, one would come out with several, including:

  • Does not produce bad smells of burning fuels when traveling
  • It’s a silent propelling motor
  • Super efficient when traveling with low speed
  • Ownership costs are much less
  • You reduce or eliminate completely the need to use oil or other fuels, as well as parts like filters etc.
  • Since these types of boats provide full torque instantly, they can get speed up faster.

Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, especially given that electric or hybrid boats are quite new on the marine market. These are some of the cons surrounding the electric boating world:

  • For the most part, electric boats were said to be slow and small. This is understandable given the fact that it’s a developing propeller system. However as battery capacity improves, so do these propeller systems!
  • Another thing to consider is knowing where you need to recharge and the range your boat batteries last. This varies boat by boat, so it’s something you should consider from the get go when opting for an electric boat.
  • If you’re planning a longer voyage, you need to make sure your electric boat is charged accordingly.

Electric boats currently on the market

If we’ve managed to convince you to look into an electric or hybrid boat, it’s also great to know what designs are already available on the market. Below, yachting.mt, Malta’s freshest yacht charter and broker features some of the brands you should definitely check out.

Alfastreet 28 Cabin 

Alfastreet 28 Cabin is a Polish-build that offers an elegant design boasting a larger than usual cockpit and lifting hard tops making them perfect for a day at sea. This boat can be found with normal combustion engines, but recently has been offering an electric version that is designed specifically for slow speed cruising.

Alfastreet 28 Cabin specifications:

  • LOA: 8.61m
  • Motor: 2 x 10kW
  • Battery: 2 x 25kWh
  • Top speed: 7.5 knots
  • Price: Approx €176,000 (inc. VAT)
ARC One

Produced by a new California start-up, Arc One aims to bring speed to the electric/hybrid boats market. The boat sports an aluminum hull and fits 10 people. The company called Arc is being headed by Tesla’s former head of manufacturing.

ARC One specifications:

  • LOA: 7.3m
  • Motor: 350kW
  • Battery: 200 kWh
  • Top speed: 35 knots
  • Price starting from: €265,000
Candela C-7

Labeled the Tesla of the seas, the Candela C-7 has set a high bar for electric boat makers. The company behind the Candela C-7 has proven that electric boats can be fast too. It has also proven to push boundaries when it comes to technology.

Candela C-7 specifications:

  • LOA: 7.7m
  • Motor: 55kW
  • Battery: 40kWh
  • Top speed: 30 knots
  • Price: €265,000 (ex. VAT)
Hermes Speedster E

Said to be inspired by the lean Porsche classic the 356 Speedster, the Hermes Speedster E was designed by UK-based Seven Seas Yachts. While usually this comes with a Rotax Biggles-style motor, recently the company offered an eco-friendly 100kW electric motor that is powered by a 30 kW/hr battery pack.

Hermes Speedster E specifications:

  • LOA: 22ft (6.7m)
  • Motor: 100kW
  • Battery: 1 x 35kWh
  • Top speed: 30 knots
  • Price starting from €240,000

Interested in buying a boat? Check out our listed boats for sale on our broker page!

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