Over the years we have installed several electric motors in boats. Almost all have been in displacement hulls—meaning they have a low top speed depending on the length of the hull, and also meaning they don’t use much energy to drive them through the water, so long as that top speed is not forced.
However, there is an opportunity to mate modern electric power with semi-displacement, and semi-planing hulls, such as the long-deck launches of marques like Fay and Bowen and Speedway.
These early powerboat builders understood how to get lots of performance out of low output and heavy powerplants. They accomplished this with easy-running hulls, moderate top speed, of 15-20 mph, and efficiency at the propeller. With the very recent developments in marine electric drives and lithium ion batteries, we have the right mix of modest horsepower, high torque drives, and easy running hulls that can handle the weight of a large traction battery bank. Both the hulls and the drives are meant to be combined with large diameter, deeply pitched, and slow-turning propellers that are the key to efficient propulsion. Modern ICE engines do not have the torque to handle these types of propellers, so this is a unique way to use electric drives to their best effect, and actually gain efficiency over modern ICE drives.
Are you ready to take the electric dive? Call Reuben Smith to discuss your next boat.