Modular electric boat motor up for DAME award

A new modular electric boat motor that can be assembled in different configurations has been nominated for a DAME Design award, one of the boating industry’s highest honours.

The motor, designed by Finn Limseth and his team at Norwegian startup SeaDrive, can be put together to perform as:

  • fixed or rotatable saildrive/pod that can operate by either pushing or pulling the boat through the water
  • retractable azimuth side thruster
  • retractable stern mounted houseboat motor
  • outboard with electric trim and tilt

The motor has three power levels: 5 kW / 24 volt, 10kW / 48 volt and 20 kW / 96 volt.

The video below gives a good demonstration of the ways it can be configured..

Gearing up for mass production

The total SeaDrive system was given a big introduction at the Sjøen boat show this past spring, but it already had a large order in hand for its houseboat version – 50 motors for delivery to a client in the Middle East.

The necessity of building those motors along with the enthusiastic response at Sjøen jump started the company into preparing for serious production mode.

Norwegian business paper Finansavisen reported in June that the Innovation Norway agency became involved and helped find investors and set up a factory with the goal of making as many as 1,000 motors per year, according to SeaDrive Chairman Sture Karlsen.

Innovations Norway has also been important in the launch of Evoy Marine, another startup from the country that is getting close to achieving the world speed record for a production electric boat.

With the factory in place SeaDrive is moving ahead on all fronts, having announced a partnership with Orust e-Boats of Sweden and with high design houseboats by La Mare of Poland.

Modular electric boat motor fits many projects

modular electric boat motor in pod configuration under the hull of a Viking wooden shipThey will also be providing four azimuth pod motors for the Saga Farmann, a project in which the reconstructed wooden Viking boat Klastadship will set off on a five month voyage to the Black Sea and back in 2020.

While SeaDrive sees a big future in the sailboat and houseboat markets, they also have their eyes on the outboard market and have been working with Norwegian power boat racer Frode Sundsdal.

DAME Award winners to be announced at METSTRADE

As the demand for electric boat motors grows, there are other companies like Navigaflex of Switzerland that are taking a one-size-adaptable-for-all approach. While the Navigaflex execution is much different from SeaDrive’s, the design intent is the same.

The DAME Design Award that SeaDrive is nominated for has been around for 29 years and is widely regarded as the most significant marine equipment competition of its kind. There are seven categories in which entries are judged on styling, function and innovation by an international panel of top boat, interior and industrial designers, naval architects and user experts.

The winners will be announced at the METSTRADE show in Amsterdam on November 20. Each year the combined registration fees for the DAME Awards are donated to a nominated charity. This year’s charities are Sailing4Handicaps & The Little Optimist.

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