The electric RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) introduced by RS Electric Boats at Boot Dusseldorf just over a year ago has been refined into a next generation model – the Pulse 63 – that is longer and features a more efficient hull shape to reduce drag and promote quick acceleration.
Like the original Pulse, the electric propulsion for the 63 is from RAD Propulsion and is a hubless rim drive – the propeller blades are attached to an outer rim rather than a central axle – that is integrated into the hull of the boat. The system includes advanced electronics developed by RAD that enable features like cloud-based data analysis, geofencing and speed limits that can be set for different users.
The 40 kW (≈ 50HP) motor is powered by a 46kW modular Lithium Ion battery pack from Hyperdrive that provides up to 400 volts with a maximum capacity of 5.76kWh / 111.4Ah. Each battery in the pack is individually controlled, conditioned, and managed by the RS-developed PDU (Power Distribution Unit). They are rated IP54 and are also stored in a specially designed air and watertight box to prevent moisture contamination.
Four electric RIB models: Coach, Leisure, Work, Tender
The extra length of the Pulse 63 (just a half metre longer than the 58) allows a lot of flexibility in design and passenger capacity and four models are available, tailored for specific user needs and desires: Leisure/Sport Boat, Coach Boat, Work Boat and Superyacht Tender.
Different aspects of electrification in general and the Pulse 63 in particular match up well with the ways the boats are used. The common thread is that all customers are going to appreciate the lack of fossil fuel fumes and quiet of an electric boat. The hull-integrated rim motor reduces noise and vibration even further and the RIB hull itself gives a smooth ride and an air cushion effect.
In the coach boat and work boat models, the RADBus technology that links, controls and monitors all of the electric propulsion elements brings significant benefits. For use in crowded spaces like regattas where sailors and pilots have varying skill levels, the Bluetooth-enabled RADTag acts as a wireless emergency kill-cord for man overboard safety and the rim motors have no external rotating blades.
For work boats in particular the data and monitoring abilities make life easier and more productive by tracking the Pulse 63 usage and location. The ability to connect to the cloud for real time and long term information management is a boon for staying on top of maintenance and charging schedules.
Top speed of 23 knots
Fuel is a big part of the cost of running a workboat, so the investment in battery electric propulsion can be quickly recovered with the ongoing savings of an e-boat. The battery on the Pulse 63 can be re-charged 2000 times at +85% with standard charging taking 8 hours and a fast-charging option available that completes the task in 50 minutes.
One thing we haven’t mentioned yet is the speed and range. With the longer hull and new shape, the Pulse 63 can hit a top speed of 23 knots (42 kmh/25 mph) and run for about 20 Nm / 37km at that speed. Cruising along at 5 knots you can enjoy the range of up to 100 Nm / 182 kilometres, depending on conditions and weight/number of passengers.
RS Sailing, parent of RS Electric boats, is the world’s largest small-sailboat manufacturer and has been making sailing dinghies for over 25 years. They use the MarineShift360.org life cycle assessment (LCA) tool to analyze the carbon and overall environmental impact of their materials and production techniques and have put that learning to use in all their boats.
Drawing on that experience and expertise, the Pulse 63 electric RIB uses a lightweight, strong and durable laminate proven in RS sailboats that can be recycled at the end of its useful boating life. The PET hull core is made from recycled plastic bottles with naturally sourced flax fibre composite used in key areas.
None of that attention to sustainability takes away from the electric RIB’s style possibilities. The colour of the tubes, decks and upholstery can be customized and there is a variety of seat layout, canopy and battery configurations. Tow posts and lifting points are also available.
RS Pulse 63 Specifications: rselectricboats.com
|Length (inc tubes)||6.3 m / 20′ 6″|
|Beam (inc tubes2||2.3 m / 7′ 6″|
|Dry Weight||610 kg / 1340 lbs|
|Propulsion||RAD40 Hubless Rim Drive – 400V|
|Battery||46kw Hyperdrive GEN4 14-Cell (52V nom) Lithium-Ion Modular Pack|
|Max Speed||23 knots / 42 kmh / 25 mph|
|Charging Time||50 mins (3-phase charge) • 8 hours (1-phase charge)|
|Range||Maximum Range: 100 Nm
5 kts: 100Nm
10 kts: 70 Nm
15 kts: 45 Nm
20 kts: 25 Nm
|Seating||1 – 8|
|Hull Materials||Sustainable PET (recycled bottles), Natural Flax Fibre, Wood|