Electric Back at the Show – Part 2: Motors

Electricat Inflatable Boat House

 

Feb 23, 2023

By Jeff Butler

Last issue we visited the Toronto Boat Show to check out the new electric boats on display. This time, we move to a mini-houseboat and the electric motors that made waves.

the Electricat

One of the most unique ‘boats’ at the Enercare Centre was the Electricat, a small houseboat that can be inflated in half an hour and be all set to take up to 6 people out on the water. It was at the booth of Toronto’s Navigator Boats, coupled with an ePropulsion electric outboard that can keep the Electricat and its ‘houseguests’ gliding along for up to 6 hours. On to the motors…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ePropulsion Spiritan ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus outboard


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercury Swappable Batteriesthe Mercury Avatar

The biggest news in electric boat motors this year has been the introduction of the Avator line from Mercury Marine, and the three models – the 7.5e, 20e and 35e – were on view at the Merc booth. The 7.5e is the smallest in power, but largest in size because of a swappable battery pack that slips into the cowling of the motor (the actual motor operates under water). The other models have separate batteries carried in your boat.

Mercury sister company Lund Boats (both companies are divisions of Brunswick Corporation) brought their radical new Veer boat hull to TIBS. The Veer is not an electric boat per se – any motor can be attached to the transom – but it was designed by Lund engineers to be a perfect complement for the Avators.

Torqeedo Cruze 12Torqeedo Cruze 12

Torqeedo is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric outboard motors, and Bridge yachts of Port Dover Ontario had 6 models at their display. Bridge has been at the show with a variety of Torqeedo models for the past 6 years, showing them off as stand-alones or in packages with inflatable dinghies.

TEMP 3 450 Electric Outboard Motor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temo – ideal for a dinghy

Navigator also handles three other lines of electric motors: RDT, ThrustMe and Temo.

The RDT motors are meant for use on any boat that takes an outboard, whereas the ThrustMe and Temo are meant for short trips on a dinghy out to a moored sailboat, although they can be used for longer excursions. The ThrustMe could also be used on kayaks, canoes or rowboats.

Rim Drive Tech RMD Outboard

 

 

 

a rim drive outboard

RDT is short for ‘Rim Drive Technologies’, the kind of motor the Dutch company manufactures. A rim drive is an electric boat motor that has no axis for the propeller blades. They are actually attached to the rim of the motors’ rotor (the part that spins) and the propulsion comes from those blades pulling water through the opening. The motors are weed proof and because there are no gears of any sort, also very efficient.

Thrustme Kicker Electro Engine for Boat

 

 

a ThrustMe kicker

The ThrustMe is from Norway and is a miniature outboard version of a thruster, like those used to help dock large boats and yachts. A thruster is basically a motor with a cylinder/tunnel around the propellers that helps to concentrate and amplify the thrust of the motor itself.

The ThrustMe works on the same principle, but the motor is almost laughably small, barely 6.5cm in diameter. It looks almost like a toy. It is hooked up to a shaft that can be attached to a boat transom like a traditional outboard. The entire unit weighs only 4.4 kg including the battery, but the power and thrust it produces is quite remarkable for a 1kW motor – comparable to the thrust of a 2HP ICE motor.

TEMO 50 Electric Outboard Motorthe Temo 50

The Temo 50 is an electric motor that might best be described as an electric paddle. It is a 1-metre wand with the batteries inside the shaft like a flashlight, with a control trigger at the top and the motor at the bottom. Like the ThrustMe, it is extremely lightweight and portable, and is easily attached to a RIB or other small dinghy with a custom bracket.

All in all, it was an impressive showing for the electric boat industry. There were also a number of exhibitors that have electric propelled boats available but did not show them here: Four Winns, Limestone, Beneteau, Axopar and Highfield RIBS to name a few.

I was fortunate to see what those manufacturers have to offer in electric boats when I attended the world’s biggest boat show in Düsseldorf Germany the week before Toronto. In all, there were more than 75 exhibitors of electric boats and motors, a sign of things to come. As electric boats and boating continues to grow, I suspect they will be on display in Toronto next January. Hope to see you there!

Jeff Butler 400Jeff Butler is based in Toronto and is the Editor/Publisher of plugboats.com, the international website covering everything electric boats and boating. He is also President of the Electric Boat Association of Canada and is busy preparing to bring electric motor boat racing and exhibitions to Toronto Harbour in 2023 for the first Toronto Solar Boat Races.

 

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