Vita electric workboat will operate up to 10 hours a day at Silicon Valley marina

Vita Power has announced the first US delivery of its ‘SeaDog’ all electric workboat to Westpoint Harbour, an award-winning marina situated in the heart of Silicon Valley. The 5.5 meter (18 foot) RIB will support the daily operations of Westpoint.

Workboats are a rapidly growing segment of the overall electric boat market, with some of the most prominent manufacturers being Vita, RS Electric Boats, X Shore, and a number of boats powered by Evoy electric motors, particularly in the aquaculture industry.

See the Workboats Category Entries in the 2023 Gussies Electric Boat Awards

The reasons for the growth are because of performance both on-water and economically. On the water, the instant high torque of an electric motor provides excellent towing and pushing force, even at low RPMs. That torque also allows complex manoeuvres to be achieved easily, even in the tight spaces so common in a marina.

On the economic side, workboats being constantly in use means the daily savings of charging with electrons versus filling up with expensive gasoline or diesel rapidly add up to offset the initial battery investment. After that, the financial advantage just increases with more money in the boat owner’s pocket every day.

Vita electric workboat advantages

That advantage comes even sooner in California because of key incentive programs like the Commercial Off Road Equipment (CORE) voucher program pioneered by the California Air Resources Board  (CARB) and the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program. These subsidies/incentives essentially enable a commercial operator to purchase a new electric workboat for the same price as a comparable fossil-fuel powered vessel.

Vita electric workboat being captained by Westpoint President Mark Sanders
Westpoint Harbor President Mark Sanders pilots the new Vita SeaDog

The flip side of workboats being constantly in use is that prospective owners may be concerned about how long a charge will last on the boat and how quickly it can be recharged. For use time/range, workboats perform a variety of tasks on any given day, so it it depends on what the boat is required to do. At the reduced speeds typical of port activity, the SeaDog offers up to 10 hours of continuous use capability.

The SeaDog is the smaller of Vita’s electric RIBS, the larger being the 7 metre Seal model. Both are powered by Vita’s all electric V150 propulsion system, giving the SeaDog a 20 knot cruising speed and 30 knot top speed. 

For charging, Westpoint Harbor installed a DC marine fast charging stations from the Aqua superPower network in 2023 with a second unit to begin operating this summer. (Vita Power was the first electric powertrain to be compatible with high-speed DC charging.)

With those units the SeaDog can fully charge in under an hour and get rapid top ups between shifts as necessary, going from a 20 – 80% SOC (State Of Charge) in as little as 30 minutes. 

‘Amazingly powerful and agile in tight spaces’

“Westpoint Harbor is very pleased to receive the first SeaDog electric workboat to be delivered in the region” said Westpoint President Mark Sanders. “The RIB is  amazingly powerful, agile in tight spaces and, above all,  silent and produces no airborne or waterborne pollution. This not only preserves the peacefulness of our environment, it makes for a perfect workboat for our harbor”.

Vita CRO for North America, Tanguy de Lamotte, says “This delivery marks an important milestone for Vita, electric boating in the US and our focus on developing reliable, high output commercial boats that deliver maximum emissions impact and performance for the customer. We’re delighted that Westpoint Harbor has chosen the SeaDog to support its decarbonization efforts and are excited about the growing appetite for electric workboat solutions throughout the Bay Area and California.”

Vita Power  Westpoint Harbor

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