Plugboats: Electric Roundup

Phantom Rotomould

Mar 14, 2024

It’s end of the winter boat show season, and there has been a lot going on in the world of electric boats as manufacturers and designers bring new models and motors to market. Here is a brief roundup of just some of the latest e-boat news items, from the pages of Plugboats.com.

Vision Marine’s rotomolded boat

Canada’s Vision Marine Technologies has been in the electric boat business since 2012, but is probably better known these days for its high-powered electric outboard that set a speed record of 116 mph (186 km/h)

They’ve taken their learning from 10+ year of e-boat experience and applied it to their newest model. The Phantom is rotomolded – the same technique used for plastic kayaks – to create a 16’ 6” dayboat that combines light weight with strength and durability.

Its total weight of 362kg /800lbs works out to less than 50 lbs per foot, 72 kgs per metre and means the boat can go further on a single charge, alleviating the range issues some EV and electric boat buyers are concerned about.

The Phantom is not made for speed, but can seat ten passengers in a very stable boat that can be taken out for a full day of cruising, swimming, fishing and picnicking.

Magonis e-Wave 550

Another new boat for the North American market is the Magonis Wave e-550, already popular in Europe, where it is available with different powered electric motors that an owner can choose from to match their own boating lifestyle.

On this side of the Atlantic speed is what many are looking for, so the Spanish boat builder has teamed up with Flux Marine of Rhode Island for a package that marries the 18 footer with Flux’s 40 kiloWatt model, which delivers the equivalent of a 70 horsepower ICE outboard.

I was out in the Magonis on an unseasonably snowy September Muskoka day in 2022. It is a sleek and zippy little craft, well designed, well made and well suited for silently boating on an inland lake.

Electric ‘rudder’ outboards

On the electric motor side of things, leading manufacturer ePropulsion has launched the eLite as their entry in a kind of sub-category of low power electric outboards created two years ago with the Remigo One from Slovenia.

The eLite joins Remigo and the TEMO 1000 form France as the third entry in the category, which is best described as an electric rudder. The motor and battery and operating systems are all combined in a very light waterproof unit that is attached to the transom with a quick release bracket.

For a small dinghy or RIB, like those used as tenders for sailboats (or even for a small daysailer), these electric rudders are a lower cost, convenient electric option, easily transported in a car, stowed in a larger boat, and charged at any outlet. The Remigo and TEMO are both 1,000 watts (1 kW, about 3 hp), and the eLite is 500 watts.

International electric boat association

All of the action in electric boats and boating around the world has led to the formation of IEMA – the International Electric Marine Association – which has already brought together an impressive 40+ members and is emerging as a strong voice for electrification in all aspects of boating, shipping and related infrastructures.

IEMA has the mission to The IEMA mission is to ‘empower the electric marine industry and accelerate the global transition toward a cleaner, more sustainable future.’ It already has almost 100 member companies from around the world.

Adria Jover, President of IEMA, said “Our collaborative approach brings together our members into an ecosystem to actively cooperate in establishing a sustainable and thriving global electric marine sector for everyone’s benefit. We do this because we know there is not just one solution to challenges this new industry faces, and we need to work together.”

IEMA has been confirmed to assist the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona in April with its own satellite event. The Association will hold its first Annual Members Meeting and keynote presentation at the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge in July.

Jeff 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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