Highfield RIBs Go Electric

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Highfield Boats has launched two models that will showcase technology from Pure Watercraft, a Seattle-based outfit that has developed an all-electric outboard motor.

The first two boats — an 11-foot, 10-inch or 12-foot, 6-inch RIB — are existing models in Highfield’s extensive line of aluminum-hulled boats, modified in collaboration with Pure to accommodate electric propulsion components.

“We are excited to partner with such an innovative company and to collaborate on a series of boats designed to aid the environment at the same time, they are providing owners with hours of boating fun,” said Highfield Boats general manager Tom Watson in a statement. “Whether they are used as primary boats or as tenders, these silent, zero-emissions, virtually maintenance-free RIBs are sure to deliver a premium boating experience.”

Both boats are offered as complete packages — including a single lithium-ion battery — via Pure Watercraft. The company says delivery is planned for early next year.

A charger is also part of the starter kit. According to Pure’s FAQ section, it’ll recharge one battery at 120V from half to full in 4.5 hours; at 240V, that drops to 1.5 hours with either one or two batteries.

Pure claims their outboard produces 25 kilowatts of power, but with a high-efficiency prop that turns at half the speed of a gasoline engine, power is comparable to a 50-hp outboard. With a second battery to extend range and boost speed, both vessels should top out at 25 mph with a range of 14 miles. At a harbor-friendly 3 mph, range is boosted to 68 miles.

The company further states that the outboards have no scheduled maintenance, should last up to a decade with regular use, and are significantly lighter than a comparable gas propulsion package. 

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