The newest entry in the electric pontoon market is the Wired 23-R, powered by the Vision Marine E-Motion 180E electric outboard system to provide all the benefits of electric propulsion for pontoons coupled with the speed and excitement of a big motor.
There was a time when pontoon boats were made simply for cruising around the lake as a party or picnic boat. Things have changed in the past few years, though, and many ‘toons now come with high powered motors so the day can include things like wakeboarding. The bigger motor also lets the owner get out to remote areas quickly, which can be handy for ‘getting away from it all’ and also for hitting some favourite fishing holes.
High power electric pontoon top speed: 25 mph
Electric propulsion has been great for the pontoon owner who don’t necessarily want the speed. There is no motor to yell over (or get in the way of the music), and there is no exhaust fumes to spoil a day in the fresh air.
Until now, though, there has not been a high power electric pontoon option, at least not one with this kind of kiloWatts/horsepower.
The E-Motion 180E is named that because it delivers 180 horsepower – about 135 kiloWatts – which enables a speed of 25 mph – plenty for getting somebody up on waterskis or a wakeboard. (It’s the same electric motor used in the Four Winns H2E electric bowrider).
Watersports are another time a no-noise no-fumes electric motor shines. It means the boat and skier/boarder can easily communicate, and the skier/boarder doesn’t have to suck up carbon monoxide while they’re trying to get some exercise.
The 23-R is technically a tri-toon, meaning it has three pontoons instead of two, and measures 23 feet long and 8 1/2 feet wide. All of this combines for plenty of stability and room for 12 people, food, drinks, boards, skis, fishing tackle, pool noodles, floaties or whatever else they may want to bring along.
Three battery pack options
In terms of batteries, the 23-R comes with three options that provide different ranges for different usage. The basic pack stores 43 kiloWatthours of energy, giving a range of 55 miles at a speed of 5 mph. Doubling and then tripling the battery pack provides 86 kWh and 110 miles or 129 kWh for 165 miles of range, again at 5 miles per hour.
If you think of it in hours, even that smallest battery pack can provide 11 hours of cruising at 5 mph, or roughly 5 1/2 hours out on the water at 10 mph. Increasing speed requires more battery, of course but that’s why the options are there, and one of the nice things about a pontoon is that there is lots of room for placing those batteries so that they won’t effect performance.
All battery packs can be charged with the system’s 120 / 240 Volt 30 Amp onboard charger. On shore, no special infrastructure or equipment is needed, the regular 220v available at all marina locations will do the job. Charging will usually be overnight, but that’s another reason pontoons are well suited to electric propulsion. For most pontoon owners, it is not often that the boat is going to be required to be on the water for long full speed runs twice in one day.
When it comes to that slow time on the water, the Wired 23-R comes wired (sorry) for sound, with a complete entertainment system and intuitive UI integrated with the E-Motion 180E controls.
You can check out the new Wired high power electric pontoon at the Vision Marine booth at this week’s Fort Lauderdale Boat Show – C37 in the Broward Country Convention Centre.