Bagoù – France’s radical new electric catamaran

With dual inverted bows to reduce drag and a wide space for dining, entertaining and swimming, this new electric catamaran is designed for a party of up to ten to enjoy a relaxing and quiet day on the water.

The Bagoù 7.0 is the creation of Bagoù Boats founder Jérôme Clément, an avid sailor and head of an an electricity company in Lorient, Brittany (‘Bag’ is the local dialect for boat and ‘Bagoù’  is the plural).

M. Clément is no stranger to boat design, having previously worked at electric and hybrid specialists Barillec Marine and on the Race for Water trimaran. But for the 7.0 he enlisted the experience of fellow Breton and naval architect Julien Marin.

The experience is the thing

Together they sketched out the experience they wanted to create for customers. They envisioned the Bagoù as a boat to be used for relaxing days on the water, with swimming off the stern and an open, almost home-like feel to the main area where guests could stretch out to enjoy sunbathing, cocktails and aperitifs or even a meal.

In some ways It is similar in concept to the electric Elux modified pontoon design that ex-medical entrepreneur Howard Root offers at his Minnesota boatyard. GM also introduced an electric pontoon cruising boat designed for relaxation at the Detroit Boat Show.

Speed is not the critical issue with the Bagoù, but efficiency (read battery range) and stability are both important. Hence the catamaran hulls patterned after sail powered racing yachts and the choice of material: plywood / epoxy to keep weight down.

Twin motors and batteries on each catamaran hull

When empty the Bagoù weighs only 850kg / 1875 lbs and the unusually high and visually striking hulls are less than  60cm /2ft wide at the waterline. In addition to reducing drag, they were designed to accommodate the motors and have the batteries held inside each ‘pontoon’.

While the boat can accept any outboards, the team worked with Torqeedos as their preferred motors and tested it with twin Cruise 2.0s, Cruse 10.0s and even two Deep Blue 50 kiloWatt RXLs. The range and speed obviously vary depending on the motor and battery, but the boat is optimized for speeds from 5 to 18 kts.

two view of the electric catamaran showing different tables and seating arrangementThe experience inside the Bagoù 7.0 is what drove every decision about the boat. The width in and of itself – 2.77m / 9ft outside and 2.5m / 8ft inside – provides a smooth ride as well as plenty of room for up to 10 people.

There is a large U-shaped bench with storage chests underneath, dining area with table and a wide swimming platform area. The cockpit and console have all of the instruments to monitor performance including speed, consumption, remaining battery capacity and range.

Plans for multiple layouts and options

The first model of the Bagoù was unveiled at France’s Grand Pavois boat show last week, but there are plans to give customers multple options for different experiences.

Xavier Petitcolin, in charge of development and marketing for Bagoù said “The advantage of building this platform is that it allows us to adapt it to different architectures. We can absoluytely see a bimini roof and versions with a closed cabin or tailored specifically for a diving club.”

The boat is aimed at both the pleasure boat and commercial market. “We also target professionals in river tourism and gastronomy” said Petitcolin. “For example, it could be used as a hotel shuttle or tour boat or we could imagine a restaurateur organizing and cooking dinners on the water.”

A test drive

As for the first model on display at the Grand Pavois, the proof is in the pudding. French boating magazine Figaronautisme LINK had the opportunity to go out for a test drive and had this to say:

In the version we tried (2 X Cruze 10s with 10 kW / h of batteries each) we sailed for about 5 hours at 6 knots with 7 people on board for a very pleasant ride on a beautiful sea with a slight chop. The engine controls are well placed and the acceleration is fast, letting us quickly clear the docking area and wake from other boats. All in all the boat lives up to its promise, and of course, what seduced the people on board is the absence of noise. It feels like being on a sailboat.  

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