Two award winning marine companies, both based in Finnish ownership, are now partnering in electric propulsion, with Elan offering Oceanvolt electric motors on their full range of sailing yachts across three model lines: the E-Line, Impression and GT (Grand Tourer).
Elan, founded in 1945, has three European Yacht of the Year awards to its credit – 2006, 2007, 2011 – and Oceanvolt’s pioneering ServoProp variable pitch sail drive was winner of the highly respected DAME Design Award at the METS show in 2017.
The technologies behind the boats and motors are well suited to each other. Elan was one of the first manufacturers to use the VAIL (Vacuum Assisted Infusion Lamination) hull construction technology to reduce hull weight while maintaining strength and stiffness, and the electronics of all models are designed to keep consumption low.
Oceanvolt electric motors perfect match for Elan
To match up with Elan’s variety of sailing yachts there is a wide range of Oceanvolt electric motors that include saildrives from 6kW to 15kW (8 to 20 hp) and a modular shaft propulsion system that enables motors to be stacked to build 10, 20 and 30 kW (15, 25, 40 hp) configurations.
The decision to offer the Oceanvolt motors across the entire Elan model lineup was made after evaluating the results from a series of pilot projects the companies undertook together.
Elan is known for its ability to design boats with what it calls 60/60 appeal “where the racing eye will focus on the boats’ obvious race-winning potential and feel the designs are biased in his direction, while the cruising temperament will see his own particular interest as being the one that commands the 60%“.
Their three distinct model lines are tailored for different usage and audiences – from professional and amateur sailing crews to families who love to holiday on the water, but there is no doubt that they are all for yachtspeople who know and appreciate the finer elements of sailing.
As Elan says, for these people sailing is about a connection to nature, the serenity of the sea and the challenge. Beyond the obvious attraction of electric propulsion – no noise, no exhaust, no smell, no environmental restrictions – Oceanvolt electric motor options provide “the instant power output benefits of electricity in emergency situations, no engine rev settling, no pre-start waiting and low maintenance costs”.
For their yachts, they estimate the electric operating range at 25 to 70 miles at 5 knots (depending on the battery pack options and power generation), and note it is more than enough to get sailors in and out of marinas and bays with plenty left over for unforeseen problems out of home port.
Pioneer of hydrogeneration
The hydrogeneration option, which is available on all Oceanvolt electric motors, is obviously an important part of the equation and attraction. Power to recharge the battery bank can be generated at anything above 5 knots, and generation increases exponentially at faster speeds. In addition to all-electric, Elan is offering a hybrid option that makes a 48V DC generator available for emergency situations.
Oceanvolt, founded in 2004, has a long history of working with high end yachting. In 2016 their 15kW system was on board the only 100% clean powered boat in the Vendee Globe 45,000 km round-the-world solo race. Four yers after contributing to the Conrad Colman Ocean Racing team in that gruelling test, they worked with the Alex Thomson Hugo Boss entry in the 2020 competition.
As the market for electric boats and propulsion is starting to really take off, they have completed two successful crowdfunding campaigns in 2019 and 2020, netting a total of over €4.25M (US$ 5.1M ) and adding CEO Tommi Lassila, who had been with huge multinational marine corporation ABB for 29 years.
Just yesterday, (February 24, 2020) they hosted their first ever webinar: “Benefits of electric propulsion & things to consider when retrofitting your boat to electric” hosted by Derek Rupe, CEO of Oceanvolt USA and Captaineer electric boat refitters. You can view it below.