Vision Marine gearing up for another Ozarks electric boat speed record

Vision Marine Technologies, who set a speed record for electric boats of 116mph at last year’s famed Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, is getting ready to go back this year and break their own record…again.

‘Again’ because they first set the record in 2021 with a speed of 49 mph in a monohull Bruce 22 piloted by Vision Marine Head of Performance Patrick Bobby. The previous electric boat record for the Shootout had been 30 mph and the reason for the big jump to 49 was that the Bruce had the (then) brand new Vision Marine E-Motion 180E high power electric outboard.

Electric boat speed record was set by this Hellkats catamaran in 2021

For the next year’s races, Vision Marine’s CEO, Alexandre Mongeon, convinced three time world speedboat racing champion Sean Torrente to try his hand at an electric powered boat. They strapped two of the 180Es onto a 32 foot Hellkats widebody racing catamaran and more than doubled the 2021 record with a speed of 109 mph.

Then, for 2023, they got serious 😉

Torrente and his business partner, Sean Conner, had started designing their own speedboat in July of 2022, a canopied 32 foot catamaran for the Super Stock class of fossil fuel powered racing. The hull underwent computational fluid dynamics testing and data analysis and the tweaking of more than 40 different variations with a plan to debut it in a race in Key West, Florida, in late 2023.

Electric boat speed record broken three years in a row

Mongeon suggested that it would be just the right boat for the 2023 Shootout in August, the two Seans (their company is named S2 Racing) agreed, and work began to rig it up with a pair of the latest iterations of the E-Motion 180e outboard. The drive had also been undergoing similar kinds of testing, improvements and refining, and everyone was keen to see what the result of the pairing could be.

The result was another record – 116 miles per hour. 

After the Ozarks race the electric outboards were taken off, the canopied cat went on to the ICE racing circuit and now, armed with all of the data from those races (and 5 patent applications for E-Motion technologies, see below), the team is set to go again for the 2024 edition. They are actively setting up and testing now.

Read ‘Behind the scenes at the Vision Marine speed record’

The Lake of the Ozarks is a 92 mile long reservoir in Missouri that snakes through the Ozark mountains with dozens of long straightaways and some 70,000 homes and 180,000 boats along its 1150 miles of shoreline. The ‘Shootout’ was started in 1989 when some locals got together to see who had the fastest boats.

S2 speedboat hat set 2023 electric boat speed record

It is now the largest unsanctioned charity boat racing event in the USA, attracting 100,000 people over a weekend who come to see hundreds of boats racing in 70 classes – everything from weekend boaters with stock 22 foot runabouts to full time professionals with ethanol-fuelled racing rockets.

One of the great accomplishments of the 2023 Vision Marine records is that it gave electric boating instant credibility among these avowed piston-heads, and was covered by mainstream sports and news outlets like ESPN, Forbes and others. It also got coverage in Plugboats, of course, as well as in mainstream boating media.

To capitalize on this, Vision is offering sponsorship opportunities on this year’s boat. Decals, signage and livery are a key part of fossil fuel racing, and the simple appearance of the boat is another way of reinforcing to people that electric boating is ‘ready for prime time.’

Another indicator is that Vision Marine is not alone in chasing electric boat speed records. Just a few months after they hit the 116 mph mark on the Lake of the Ozarks, a group of students on the Princeton Electric Speedboating Team put a 14 foot hydroplaning boat in the waters of Lake Torrance in North Carolina and hit a speed of 114.20 mph, verified by the American Power Boat Association.

In 2023 the combined Vision Marine / S2 Racing team had a very short time to do on water testing for what was then a brand new boat and in fact had only 24 days before the Shootout to put together the boat, motor and battery package, then run tests in Florida, then take everything up to Missouri and do final adjustments for the Ozarks course.

This year, they have all of the data from last year’s event to work with, all of the data from S2 Racing’s offshore events, more advancements and evolutions of the E-Motion 180E, and maybe most important, time.  Here’s wishing everyone good luck on this year’s quest!

Vision Marine Technologies Recent Patent Applications

  1. Communication Cryptographic System technology that enhances security for users, ensures the conformity of all system components, and delivers an elevated boating experience. (April 26, 2024)
  2. Method and apparatus for controlling the cooling water system of an electric marine vessel. The patent application addresses the unique challenges of designing and operating electric propulsion systems in marine environments. (May 1, 2024)
  3. Control & Power Management Software that offers precision and control over the motor’s torque capabilities, which are crucial for optimizing performance, safety, and enjoyability for users. (May 7, 2024)
  4. Dedicated high-voltage marine battery pack. (May 22, 2024)
  5. Vehicle Control Unit apparatus (VCU) that maximizes the functionality of an intelligent electric marine powertrain. (June 3, 2024)

Vision Marine Technologies

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