A Vision Marine Technologies Bruce 22 equipped with the company’s E-Motion 180e engine set the new electric boat speed record for the famed Lake of the Ozarks Shootout this weekend, reaching 49 mph / 78 kmh in its third and final run.
This is the third year that there has been a category for electric boats at the Shootout, and the third year that Vision Marine Technologies (formerly Canadian Electric Boat Company) has competed…and won!
In 2018 Randy Vance, an Editor at Boating magazine, set the initial Ozarks e-boat record of 25mph / 39kmh in a Torqeedo-powered ‘panga’ style boat from US boatmaker Calypso. Then in 2019 Randy piloted a Volt 180 with a Torqeedo Deep Blue 80 and 30kW BMWi3 battery and moved the record up to 30mph / 48kmh.
New 180E powers electric boat speed record
In November of 2020 the Canadian Electric Boat Company became Vision Marine Technologies and closed a $27M Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq exchange. One of the exciting things about the newly named corporation was its announcement that it would be developing its own high power electric outboard.
This year that outboard, the e-Motion 180E, was strapped onto another VMT hull – the Bruce 22 – and set the new record, almost doubling the speed from 25mph to 49 mph in just 3 years. What a testament to how quickly electric boat technology is advancing!
The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout is the largest unsanctioned boat race in the US, named one of the nation’s eight “must-see” boating events according to Powerboat Magazine. This was the 33rd running of the Shootout. It was started in 1988 when a bunch of local boat owners set up an informal competition to find out whose was fastest.
It has grown since then to host 70,000 to 100,000 spectators during event weekend and it it has become a large donor for local charities, including eight Lake-area rescue teams. Last year over $400,000 was raised for 40 different organizations.
Congratulations go out to the team at Vision Marine for this record, but they have their eye on not just the Lake of the Ozarks record, but the world electric boat speed record.
The race for the electric boat speed record
The fastest electric boat of any description is from Jaguar Vector Racing, which hit a speed of 88.6 mph / 142kmh in 2018 over a 1 mile stretch on the tranquil waters of England’s Coniston Water Lake. That is a boat developed in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering with the sole goal of breaking the record.
For production electric boats, the world record is held by SAY Carbon – 57.5mph / 93 kmh – set June 24, 2018 on Lake Zell in Zell am See, Austria during the IONICA electric mobility trade fair and conference.
Getting an official record requires a detailed protocol. The international powerboat authority UIM (Union International de Motonautic) brought two high speed video cameras to record and verify the record and presented the official certificate to SAY pilot Claas Wollschläger. During one of the runs the boat actually hit a speed of 95 kmh, but the speed record rules require 6 runs that are then averaged.
That was the stumbling block for Norway’s Evoy Marine in their attempt at the production boat record on a cold November day in 2019. Everything was set up with 4 runs at maximum speed, the average of the first two being 63 mph – over 100 km/h. But the winter weather of Norway got in the way and not enough runs were completed to officially qualify.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the two companies that are out there with these electric boat speed record attempts – Vision Marine Technologies and Evoy Marine – are the same ones that have high powered outboard motors available for order. You can find details of each on their websites:
PHOTO of BRUCE 22: ©Jeff Helmkamp / LakeExpo.com