Nowadays, sustainable mobility is a tangible reality, and that is gaining more and more followers. Growing concerns about global warming, caused by pollution and gas emissions, have given the impetus to the electric motor’s spread in various industrial sectors. In this article, we will give you a complete guide about the general dynamics electric boat.
The interest in electric mobility, which is increasingly present, especially in the automotive sector, inevitably also involves the nautical sector, arousing professionals and private owners’ interest. Although still being niche products, the boats with electric motors are destined to proliferate in the coming years, occupying an important portion of the market. The electric motor for boats is conquering more and more interesting market shares every day. At the internal combustion engine’s expense, therefore diesel or petrol.
The characteristics of electric boats
Compared to classic boats with traditional engines. General dynamics electric boat use rechargeable batteries through an electrical network or solar panels to function. This operation can occur during mooring on the quay while sailing (if the boat is equipped with the appropriate system) or using renewable energy (photovoltaic, wind, etc.). Due to its intrinsic characteristics, a boat with a 100% electric motor allows navigation very similar to sailing: silence, absence of vibrations, and philosophy that prefers quality navigation.
Electric boats in history
Today’s technology leads to the great development of the electric motor even at sea has distant origins. The first examples date back to the nineteenth century. And after experiments on land vehicles, they began to spread even in the nautical field. Its development and the great diffusion that ensued in a relatively short time left the electric motor behind, in addition to the fact that the energy storage systems and electric motors were heavy. And bulky. The oil crises of the 1970s and 1980s particularly stimulated attention to reducing dependence on hydrocarbons for mobility. This stimulated the development of research to find effective alternatives such as the electric motor.
In the boat shows of recent years, the theme of sustainability has stimulated operators and boaters’ attention on electric propulsion like never before. In 2015, at the Cannes boat show, Arcadia Yachts presented its 55-foot Sherpa equipped with solar panels, a solution that it had previously introduced with the Arcadia 85, albeit equipped with traditional engines. At the Monaco show, the 344 ‘yacht, therefore over 100 meters, Oceanco / Vitruvius’s Acquaintance, made its debut, with a 20% reduction in fuel consumption. At the Fort Lauderdale, USA boat show, the Greenline 48 model was presented as a “NetGen Hybrid.”
The nautical sector has evolved to the present day, bringing much more sustainable options to the market, including 100% general dynamics electric boat. The first 40-meter motor yacht with hybrid propulsion was built in the USA by the Palumbo shipyard in Naples. Other examples followed, albeit with different sizes: from small fully electric boats to large hybrid boats. One of the first examples was the Mochi Craft Long Range 23 mt built by the Ferretti Group that presented it in 2008.
Identify the type of engine.
First of all, we have to analyze the characteristics of our boat: is it sailing? Motor? Do you have a transom or support for the outboard? Does it include the installation of an inboard? Is there a shaft line transmission? With sterndrive? Once we have identified the type of engine suitable to obtain the right performance at sea. We will have to identify the maximum applicable power and the recommended one based on the shipyard’s forecasts. This type of data provided by the shipyard is absolutely reliable.
Because they are part of the construction project, consider the sizing and are based on analyzes carried out by specialized technicians during the preliminary construction phases, taking into consideration certain elements such as the shape of the hull, the structure, total weight, and estimated performance. In this way, we will be able to calculate the ideal power for the boat’s engine.
The engine types to choose from are divided into the inboard engine, outboard engine, and sterndrive engine. Lately, an innovative propulsion system is becoming more and more popular: we are talking about the electric motor, which works through rechargeable batteries from an electrical network or through solar panels.
The advantages of boats with an electric motor
What is the key to the success of the general dynamics electric boat? Often, the electric motor qualities are reduced to the ecological dimension alone, but in reality, the world of electric propulsion includes a multitude of interesting aspects.
Let’s see specifically what are the characteristics and advantages of a boat with a “pure” electric motor:
A boat with an electric motor allows you to practice sustainable navigation since it does not emit harmful gases to the environment. It does not release gases, oils, and hydrocarbons into the sea. It is basically zero-emission navigation.
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Efficient: General Dynamics Electric Boat
The electric motor in the boat heats less than an internal combustion engine, synonymous with efficiency. A heat engine has an average efficiency lower than 15%. An electric motor requires fewer mechanical parts to work and is, therefore, more efficient than a combustion engine. The electric motor is more reliable and requires minimal maintenance. So the savings that its use on a boat entails is not negligible.
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Safety: General Dynamics Electric Boat
In the common imagination, the traditional engine is considered synonymous with reliability. In reality, being more complex than an electric motor requires qualified personnel to solve the problem in case of failure. On the contrary, the electric motor is made up of a few elements, has a lower probability of failure, and is much easier to repair. Furthermore, as it does not contain fuel, it is much safer as it is not subject to the danger of fire or explosion.
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Compared to one with a combustion engine, the electric propulsion boat emits no vibrations, produces no noise, no smell of petrol or exhaust gases. Silence is an essential advantage since what often annoys those who sail with a combustion engine the most is this aspect.
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Easy to maintain: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Due to the small number of elements that compose it, the electric motor does not require demanding maintenance. You need to rinse it with fresh water after each ride to remove sand and salt from the surface. No washing with fresh water at the end of the season or other treatments typical of traditional engines, especially for the rest season.
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The electric motor has lower costs for its operation than an internal combustion engine. An electric recharge is currently much cheaper than petrol or diesel. There are already numerous boats with solar panels and bridges used to install these elements for recharging the batteries. In this case, it will be enough to take care of all the electric chair elements, which, as we have seen, are few and simple, to be able to count on 100% sustainable propulsion and at no additional cost.
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Powerful: General Dynamics Electric Boat
The mechanical simplicity, the higher efficiency, the better regulation of the speed and power output, and the absence of dispersions make the electric motor more efficient than a traditional one.
Electric boats on the market
The offer of general dynamics electric boat is increasingly wide. From 2018 in particular, the models proposed are increasingly numerous and above all of the different types, from small boats for coastal outings to large yachts. Of course, the theme still today the subject of research. This means batteries that are increasingly capable of accumulating large amounts of energy, more efficient solar or wind sources.
Engines capable of guaranteeing greater power with reduced losses. The evolution in this direction has been extraordinary, especially in the last ten years. Today, the motors are increasingly compact and efficient, and reliable. The accumulators more and more compact light and capable of storing large amounts of energy. However, autonomy is a fundamental characteristic for boats. It is still necessary today to think of hybrid systems. Therefore with endothermic engines have the function of a generator or mixed propulsion and electrical generation.
A good example is the Q30 Water Limousineof Q-Yachts, presented at the Düsseldorf boat show in January 2020 as a boat prototype to be used as a nautical limousine and taxi service. With a length of 9.3 meters and 2.2 meters wide, it is available in an electric-only version with a battery capacity of 30–60 kWh and a version powered by hydrogen and fuel cells. The electric version aims to respond to market demand by offering a boat capable of transporting people in cities and maritime areas efficiently and responsibly. Also, it offers silent transport intending to avoid noise pollution.
At the Dusseldorf boat show in January 2020, the German company says Carbon exhibited its SAY 29E runabout, which has become the fastest general dynamics electric boat globally with a top speed of 95 kilometers per hour. The secret of its high speeds is the combination of its lightweight carbon fiber hull and electric propulsion. In addition to the speed record, it has also achieved other awards. Such as the German Innovation Award, to combine sports, travel, and sustainability. This boat is available at 196,000 euros in the basic version.
Silent Yachts also presented its new 24.3m flagship, the Silent 80 Tri-Deck. It looks like the most spacious solar electric catamaran built so far has three decks. And uses silent electric propulsion, with no noise, fumes, or vibrations. It is an evolution of the Silent 80 model. It is a self-sufficient boat and practically does not require maintenance. One of this new boat’s main features is a saloon with panoramic views and air conditioning on the flybridge.
The Solar Eclipse Aquanima 40is another solar electric catamaran, the first of the Azura Marine company. This means it can make ocean voyages without having to stop to refuel. As the name suggests, what it needs to move is the energy of the sun. The maximum cruising speed it can reach is 10 knots. This catamaran has a length of 13.25 meters and can accommodate up to 8 passengers. Inside, there are 3 guest cabins and 3 crew cabins.
General Dynamics Electric Boat: Swedish company
After its previous electric boat (the Elex 8000), the Swedish company X Shore presented the Eelord 6000 at Boot Düsseldorf 2020. Another smaller electric boat model closed bow. It runs entirely on electricity and is also quiet and dynamic. It has a length of 5.8 meters and an electric motor of 225 kW. So it has two battery options available: one of 90 kWh and one of 120 kWh. Depending on the power source, the full charge time is approximately eight hours. X Shore aims to revolutionize the marine industry and become the Tesla of the sea. Furthermore, to be even more environmentally friendly,
Launched in 2019, the electric version of the NEO HT from the Greenline shipyard was nominated. For the European Boat of the Year 2020 award in the electric boat category. It has also won other awards, such as the prestigious BIG design award in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The Candela 7 Speedboat was also among the nominees for the European Boat of the Year 2020 award in the electric boat category at Boot Düsseldorf. With a range of 50 nautical miles and a maximum speed of 22 knots. It features an advanced control system and wing-shaped foils, which reduce energy consumption by 80% compared to fossil fuel boats.
Seine Alliance’s Black Swan boat has risen to prominence as the first fully electric boat dedicated to private and professional cruises on the Seine. It has a maximum capacity of 3 people, two hours, and a full charge time between 2 and 3 hours. After the first demonstrations in the first quarter of 2020, Seine Alliance will begin preparing a new electric boat.
General Dynamics Electric Boat future
Currently, there are all the conditions to affirm that the boat of the future will undoubtedly be electric. Even if there is still a long way to go to achieve 100% sustainable navigation. In recent years, electric boats’ sales have grown more and more thanks to the entry into the sector of new innovative and technological companies. Those are attentive to the environment, such as the aforementioned X Shore, Q Yachts, Greenline, etc. In particular, according to IDTechEx market studies, there has been a significant increase since 2016. However, it should be noted that the achievements so far have been without financial support or emissions regulations, unlike what has happened in the automotive sector. Therefore, the marine industry is currently at a key moment in advancing electric boats. However, it also faces some challenges that still need to be overcome, such as emissions regulation and high marine battery prices.