Jan 11, 2024
The Four Winns H2e, with electric power train by Montreal’s Vision Marine Technologies, has won the Runabout category for 2023 in the prestigious Boat of the Year Awards presented by the US publication BOATING Magazine.
To decide the award, the magazine’s editors test 100+ boats in different categories. The magazine says that includes ‘gas boats, diesel boats, electric boats, jet boats, outboard boats, inboard boats, sterndrive boats and surface-drive boats.’ The overall Boat of the Year is ‘the boat that stands out in its category more than any other boat tested stands out in any other category.’
The H2e is the electric version of Four Winns’ popular H2, a 22 foot sport boat for on-the-water fun that has earned praise for the design of its sun pad, swim platform and boarding ladder. It is powered by the Vision Marine E-Motion 180e system with a 135 kiloWatt (180 hp) motor and twin battery pack with a total of 86 kiloWatt hours of energy storage.
The 180 in the name indicates continuous power. The motor has peak power – available for short bursts – of 171 kW (230 hp.) For comparisons’s sake, the gas version is often paired with a 250 hp outboard and the maximum recommended power is 300 horses.
During tests for the award in Miami the H2e took 60 kiloWatts to deliver a speed of 21 mph and run time of about one hour and 20 minutes. There were six people on board.
This is the second year in a row that an electric boating company from Montreal has won a category in the awards. Last year the Orca personal watercraft by Taiga won in the PWC category. Taiga started out building electric snowmobiles, then transferred the battery and motor basics to the Orca, which has an impeller that can produce as much as 160 hp.
The Orca was not the overall winner, but in 2021 the overall winner was an all-electric boat, the Ingenity Super Air Nautique GS22E – a collaboration from the renowned Nautique wakeboarding boat brand and Ingenity electric power trains. They are sister divisions within the Correct Craft corporation.
All of this is an indication that electric boats are making strides in the general boating world. Yes, the initial outlay for the e-boats is significantly more expensive than for a gas powered craft, but depending on usage the low cost of recharging can make it an option that is attractive to green-minded early adopters.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic pond, the European Powerboat Awards have introduced an entire electric category for their 2023 awards, with the winners being announced at the Dusseldorf Boat Show on January 24.
There are four boats in the running that reflect a range of electric options: the Capoforte SQ 240 from Italy meant for leisurely cruising, the hydrofoiling Edorado 8S from the Netherlands, Sweden’s 22 foot X Shore 1 and Germany’s ultralight Kaebon EB Eins, which is designed to resemble classic motor racing cars from the 1920s and weighs a mere 89 kilograms.