ELECTRONS #3: sparks & arcs & electric boating news

Plugboats ELECTRONS is an occasional collection of electric boat and boating items that we have written about before and are updating, or are going to write about but are waiting for more information / developments – or are just interesting tidbits you might want to know. So without further ado…

Mercury to launch electric outboards in 2022

4 electric boatsThis is very big, and Plugboats will definitely be writing about it as we find out more information. Mercury Marine is owned by Brunswick corporation, the world’s leading marine propulsion business, and roughly 1 out of every 2 boats in the U.S. recreational boat fleet are powered by Mercury products. Short take: Mercury electric outboards are coming soon. See announcement below.

At the company’s Virtual Investor Day 2021 Brunswick unveiled its “Next Wave” strategic plans and in his opening remarks Brunswick CEO Dave Foulkes said:

“We are using this Virtual Investor Day presentation to put down some markers:

By 2023, Mercury and ASG (the Advanced Systems Group division) together will launch 5 electric propulsion products, with the first products launching in 2022.

Over the same time period, ASG expects to have installed 15,000 advanced battery systems replacing internal combustion engine generators.

And Brunswick Boat Group will have launched electric boats in 4 different segments.”

It was reinforced later in the presentation by Chris Drees, President of Mercury Marine:

“We’ll launch five new electric outboard models by 2023. And we intend for Mercury to be the market leader in both conventional and electric marine propulsion by the end of that year.”

Stay tuned! This is exciting news! You can view the video of Investor Day 2021 or download the presentation from the Brunswick Corporation website


Candela: new logo, Formula E, Forbes magazine

Candela logo and Gustav HosselskagCandela and its electric hydrofoiling speedboat are – excuse the pun – flying. In late April the first Candela 7s arrived in New York, a few weeks later electric car racing fans at the Monaco E-Prix had an opportunity to take one of the electric speedboats for a a test drive, then the company launched their new logo and look, and just last week Candela Founder and CEO Gustav Hasselskag was interviewed in Forbes magazine.

The Forbes interview is with Contributor Afdhel Aziz, Co-Founder & Chief Purpose Officer at the ‘inspiring purpose consultancy’ Conspiracy of Love and co-author of the best-selling book “Good is The New Cool: Market Like You Give A Damn“.

The two-part article gives a good background on the reasons why Hasselskag decided to build an electric hydrofoiling boat, the technology involved, and the plans for Candela hydrofoiling ferries in Stockholm and beyond. Click »» here to read the Forbes article, How Candela’s New Electric Ferry Could Help Drive Zero Emissions Passenger Transport In Cities (Part One)


Energy Observer arrives in San Francisco on way to Olympics

Energy Observer hydrogen ship sailinh under the arches of the Golden Gate bridgeResearch vessel Energy Observer continues to prove that boats don’t need to spew carbon and particlulates into the atmosphere, even on transoceanic voyages. Last week she was enthusiastically welcomed in San Francisco, where the crew was able to spread the word of her zero emission solar/wind/hydrogen-from-the-sea technology in a city that is a pioneer in the energy revolution.

Aside from her continuing odyssey, Energy Observer is starting to make news by making her technologies commercially available through its new arm EODev. Fountaine Pajot will be incorporating that technology into their sailing catamarans, using a generator powered by hydrogen fuel cells to run the appliances, air conditioning and other ‘hotel’ functions on its SAMANA 59 catamaran.

Now it’s on to Hawaii for Energy Observer –  2,030 nautical miles / 3,750 kilometres across the Pacific – and then to Tokyo to promote hydrogen-based energies at the Summer Olympics July 23 to August 8.

See all of Plugboats coverage of Energy Observer


150kW e-boat supercharger up and running in Norway

e-boat supercharger in Floro, NorwayThis happy group in Florø, Norway is celebrating the new 150kW supercharger, the first in a series planned along the Norwegian coast that will be followed by stations in Aker Brygge and Bergen. As we wrote a couple of weeks ago, the network is the result of a collaboration between energy companies SFE and BKK, the municipality of Kinn, Florø harbour and electric boat motor manufacturer Evoy.

BKK’s subsidiary Plug, which already builds, owns, and operates onshore power plants for ships, will be overseeing network operation and management. The aim of the supercharger is to make it easier for companies in the area to switch their large workboats to electric. And of course, to service the electric boats Evoy has already provided to companies like E.Karstensen fish farming. 

“This is a beacon that shows the way,” said Leif Stavøstrand, CEO of Evoy. “It will create rings in the water that will reach around the world for high speed electric boat charging and the ring will start in Florø.”


Electric aircraft company developing marine hybrid system

cutaway diagram of elements of electric hybrid refitDuXion is a Canadian company that has developed an electric propeller motor for aircraft with a power-to-weight ratio of more than 10kW/k and has a patent pending on a ducted fan electric jet. Now they are working with marine hybrid veterans Aspin Kemp & Associates and Atlantic Advanced Power Technologies to develop a retrofitting system that makes it easier and more economical for small diesel-powered fishing boats to go hybrid.

The trio, all based in Atlantic Canada, have received funding from Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (COS) to deliver a physical proof of concept prototype. COS is an industry organization which promotes advances in ocean solutions by bringing together all kinds of marine companies, from startups to mature organizations, who have interests in everything from fishery and aquaculture to defence to shipping.

The DuXion/AKA/AAPT technology is designed to provide a quick and affordable hybrid-electric system with a gearless motor/generator adapted from the aircraft motor that integrates with a ship’s existing prop shaft and hardware.

The market is businesses like small fishing operations that want the fuel savings and environmental benefits of hybrid boats but can’t afford big engine overhauls or time out of the water. Within Atlantic Canada there are about 5,000 commercial fishing boats, most of them operating on diesel only, with hundreds of thousand of similar operations and boats around the world.


Tik Tok sensation performs first live show at London electric boat rental launch

Nathan Evans was a singing postman in Scotland who had been posting performances of pop and folk songs to TikTok without much acclaim. Until July of 2020, when his rendition of the traditional sea shanty “Leave Her Johnny” hit a chord in a locked down pandemic world. By January 2021 he had spurred an entire genre called ‘ShantyTok’ and his version of the New Zealand mariner’s tune “The Wellerman” had over 8M views.

The song went on to top the UK charts and Evans signed a contract with Polydor music, but it wan’t until this past week as the lockdowns lifted in the UK that he was able to perform live. Where else would you perform a sea shanty than on a boat? And the perfect opportunity arose when electric boat rental company Go Boat London was opening their new Canary Wharf outlet and Evans was in town to attend The BRIT Music Awards.

Check out the Plugboats Directory of Electric Boat Rentals & Charters

Evans said “I’ve been waiting to do my first live performance for so long since getting the number one and announcing my tour” and GoBoat co-owner Grant Sweeney wanted to ‘make a real splash’ with the Canary Wharf launch. 

“If I was going to do it anywhere it was going to be on the water” said the new Go Boat Ambassador “so I’m really glad GoBoat gave me the opportunity to do just that. I’ve had some real fun performing on the GoBoat and taking a look around Canary Wharf for the first time.”

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