Finnish electric boat company Valkama and UK electric motor manufacturer RAD Propulsion are partnering on a new Picnic cruiser that promises a blend of speed, range and comfort.
The all-aluminum craft is powered by a RAD 40 that provides 40kW of continuous power (≈ 60 hp). The motor has an extremely low profile designed so that it doesn’t intrude onto the vessel’s deck space – the outboard remains behind the transom when tilted up.
That space saving is important for Valkama, who have kept their Picnic relatively small – 5.1 meters (16’ 8”) – but packed it with the kinds of features and amenities usually found on larger boats.
Behind the cockpit area there is a banquette-style seating area for 5 (including the captain) that surrounds an Italian design ceramic grill. There is also a refrigerator, foldable teak table, and storage compartments under the seats. A high end blue-tooth enabled audio system provides the music and atmosphere.
The Picnic cruiser lives up to its name. At 5 knots, everyone can enjoy the food and beverages and company for 5-6 hours with the 36kWh battery. In order to get to open waters or a favourite spot quickly, the RAD 40 can get the cruiser up to a top speed of 18 knots with an autonomy of 1.5 to 2 hours at that speed.
A CE classification of ‘C’ means the vessel is suitable for coastal waters, large rivers and lakes and can handle a wind force of 6 on the Beaufort scale (22-27 knots) and waves up to and including 2 meters (6.5 feet).
Top speed of 18 knots for 1.5 – 2 hours
Valkama was founded by Antti Siiskonen and Petri Ääri, who have backgrounds in marine components, motors (Yamaha Motor Europe) and boats (Axopar). Chairman of the Board Arttu Laasonen has a stable of green tech and sustainability oriented startups including cleantech seed investor Green Campus Innovations and Endev, which offers solutions that turn sewage and industrial sludges into usable heat and nutrients.
That sustainable philosophy is what led the team to consider aluminum for the hull, and the C classification and overall durability is a bonus. The heavy duty robot-welded aluminum plates in the Picnic not only provide durability on the water but are also part of the company’s sustainability philosophy. Unlike some of the plastics and composites used in other boats, aluminum is 100% recyclable.
On the charging front, the Picnic has CCS/type 2 charging and the company claims that if it is charged “with the EU electricity mix, you save more than 2 metric tons of CO2 emissions during a typical season of 50 hours of boating. This saving equals about 80 trees planted.”
Vicky Farrow, RAD’s sales manager said of the partnership: “ We have chosen to partner with Valkama not just because of their excellent boat range, but also because we have a very similar sustainable ethos. All Valkama’s electric boats are made of long lasting aluminium and components that allow for easy refit and eventually are 100% recyclable at the end of their long lifetime.”
Siiskonen said about working with RAD “It makes a real difference for us as boat builders. The team listens to our requirements and do what they can to make it work for both of us. It’s very refreshing to have a forwarding thinking partner, especially in this ever-changing sector of the market.”
The Founder’s Edition of the Valkama Picnic is limited to 10 boats available for the European markets and 20 for the U.S. markets in 2024. Siiskonen says deliveries will be made on first-come-first serve basis. A reservation can be placed with a deposit of €1900. The total end price is €83,900 VAT included. Full details available on the Valkama website.