The world’s fastest production e-boat, the SAY 29E runabout by SAY Carbon and powered by a 360 kiloWatt electric motor, will be on display – and for sale – at the Düesseldorf Boat Show January 18 to 26.
The record of 50 knots (93 km/h, 57.5mph) was set June 24, 2018 on Lake Zell in Zell am See, Austria during the IONICA electric mobility trade fair and conference. The international powerboat authority UIM (Union International de Motonautic) brought two high speed video cameras to record and verify the record and presented the official certificate to SAY pilot Claas Wollschläger. During one of the runs the boat actually hit a speed of 95 kmh, but the speed record rules require 6 runs that are then averaged.
The verification is quite the process. The pilot needs to control the boat to navigate between two buoys on all 6 runs, and the videos from the cameras are synchronized to a time code that measures to the 10,000th of a second.
World’s fastest production e-boat hit 95 kmh / 59mph
Like all world record machines, the SAY29E by definition has leading edge technology developed by visionary and ambitious engineers and designers.
In the case of SAY Yachts the technology is carbon fibre construction and the visionary is Kurt Wagner. We almost take carbon fibre for granted now, because we see it in every day consumer products like fishing rods, golf clubs, even phone cases and guitars. But it definitely qualifies as a miracle material with an unmatched strength-to-weight ratio and the ability to be molded to almost any shape.
Kurt Wagner is a plastics engineer who founded carbon fibre company Carbo Tech in 1993 and grew it into a company with over 700 employees and one of the world’s leading Formula 1 carbon specialists. In 2012 he set his sights on the boating world and approached sailboat racing enthusiast Sven Akermann about partnering with SAY (Sven Akermann Yachts).
Kurt saw carbon fibre offering a great opportunity to increase the efficiency and speed of powerboats while also decreasing fuel consumption. He immediately set to work bringing the quality control disciplines and engineering levels of the automotive market to the boating community and in 2015 he and his partners purchased SAY. By the end of 2016 SAY boats were available through a dealer network that covered Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Spain.
Carbon fibre: perfect properties for a fast e-boat
SAY had been making (and continue to make) high speed, high style luxury boats for fossil fuel propulsion with V8 motors as large as 483 HP. The team had developed a very distinctive and efficient wavecutter bow that slices effortlessly through waves, with side wings providing stability and precise handling. And all of these capabilities are tied directly to the unique properties of carbon fibre construction.
The hull of the SAY 29 weighs only 400 kilograms – just under 900 pounds. That is astoundingly light and an ideal match for electric propulsion. For the drive train and batteries of the Electric 29 the SAY team contacted Kreisel Electric, one of the most innovative electric propulsion companies anywhere. You can see some of their other work in this video of the Kreisel founders out for a ride in a Frauscher 747 electric prototype..
By the middle of 2018 SAY was ready to show the world exactly how good the 29E is, and talked to the people at IONICA about coordinating their world record attempt with the e-mobility conference. History was made, and along with the pure speed records, the SAY 29E was also awarded a German Innovation Award for excellence in Travel, Sports & Outdoor Goods.
The key word in their record, of course is world’s fastest PRODUCTION e-boat. The world’s fastest electric boat is the Jaguar V20E racing boat developed by Jaguar and Williams Advanced Engineering (yes, the auto racing Williams). That boat hit a top speed of 88.6 MPH (142 kmh) over a 1 mile stretch on the tranquil waters of England’s Coniston Waters lake.
The Jaguar, of course, is not for sale. But you can purchase your own world’s fastest production e-boat, the SAY29E. The base cost is € 196,000, and you can get take a look at this engineering marvel at Boot Dësseldorf this week in Hall 5, Stand D46.