Next Transportation Mode Ripe for Revolution: E-Boats

©. Templar Marine via Torqeedo

Templar Marine introduces a Torqeedo powered dayboat that is a thing of beauty.

Really, we should living in the last days of fossil-fuel powered boats. Gas engines are often noisy, smelly, polluting, hard to start, high maintenance. Electric motors would make so much more sense.

Templar C26 in Vancouver

© Templar Marine via TorqeedoAnd now we are seeing more and more boats designed around Torqeedo electric motors and their lithium-ion battery packs, like the new Templar C26 Cruiser. It's a "day boat" – a slow cruiser for tootling around harbours and bays. There are so many advantages, according to Templar's Mark Fry:

Rear table set up

© templar Marine via Torqeedo

“At Templar Marine we’re looking to fulfill the increasing demand from modern boaters for a plug-in all-electric boating experience with no sacrifice in comfort and enjoyment. With the Torqeedo electric package, there’s no noise and no fumes or smells on deck. It’s also virtually maintenance-free with no fuel costs, giving the lowest costs of ownership. With no fuel tanks or heavy combustion engine, the lightweight, 5,000-pound boat is trailerable behind the average family’s SUV.”

Templar deck looking to rear

© Templar Marine via Torqeedo

I do not really understand the day boat thing, sort of a floating party platform that only goes 5 knots (9 km/hr or 5.7 mph) but there's a market for it:

Templar C26 interior

© Templar Marine via Torqeedo

The Templar 26 was designed for the baby boomers, water taxis and rental fleet companies. For the baby boomers, our field research indicated the need for a vessel that was simple to operate, easy to board, cosy, safe, comfortable, affordable, and had creature comforts such as bathroom, refrigerator, small cooker, surround sound with Bluetooth, heater, swim platform and ladder, low maintenance, trailerable and year round capability. For the water taxis and rental fleets, the boats have almost no operating or maintenance costs and are free of exhaust fumes and engine noise.

Torqeedo Cruise 10

© Torqeedo Cruise 10

The boat is powered by a Cruise 10.0 motor, which is equivalent to a 20 horsepower gas motor, and a six-pack of LI batteries, and will run for seven hours. It also has a bow thruster for maneuvering and docking. To get 20 Hp in a gas engine, it would have to hang over the stern; this little thing just fastens to the hull, out of sight and out of mind. It makes it much easier to have a ladder and swim platform.

Torqeedo battery pack

© Torqeedo battery pack

There have been electric motors in boats forever, but Torqeedo puts them into a really smart, water-safe package with sealed batteries that are so much lighter than the old lead-acid, plus modern controls, even an integrated on-board computer with GPS-based range calculation. They are absolutely the future of powered boating.

torqeedo engine

Lloyd Alter/ Torqeedo engine/CC BY 2.0

I have wanted one since I drove a Goboat around Copenhagen harbour a few years ago, but they are still a luxury item; with batteries, they far more expensive than a comparable gas engines for equivalent horsepower. That's why we have mainly seen them in expensive boats like the Beau Lakes. I do hope that as battery prices come down that will change.

In a few weeks I have to spend a big chunk of money to get my 15 HP Evinrude picked up, drained and stored for the winter; I suspect that you don't have to do any of that with a Torqeedo. I should be building that into my cost calculations. It's definitely my next outboard.