The Hinckley Co. this morning announced that it developed a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system for its Picnic Boat 40. The SilentJet system was developed in collaboration with Twin Disc.
“We know our clients want what’s next, and they also want common sense solutions,” Hinckley CEO Geoff Berger said in a statement. “The electric Dasher turned heads … but the practicality of going any distance on electric given the best current technology wasn’t ideal for our clients. With SilentJet you can travel farther with the hybrid diesel system than with Dasher’s electric platform."
“Furthermore, we learned that electric-powered waterjets are much quieter and produce less vibration than traditional propellers,” he added. “To deliver a truly silent cruising experience that feels almost like sailing, we knew our waterjet propulsion system was the best fit.”
The SilentJet system consists of two 550-hp Cummins diesels and a single 80-kWh battery pack that charges using shore power or from the engines while underway. A clutched electric motor on each shaft runs the jet impellers when the diesels are not running.
Hinckley said the electric-only cruise speed is 7 knots, with a range of at least an hour. Cruising at 5.5 knots extends range by 30 minutes. Recharging the battery takes about 30 to 45 minutes with the engines running or eight to 10 hours plugged into shore power.
“With SilentJet, you glide away from the dock and cruise through the harbor in total silence,” said Hinckley vice president of sales and marketing Scott Bryant. “When faster speeds are desired, or the battery requires charging, the diesel engine comes on automatically. Since all the electrical loads on the Picnic Boat can be supported by the battery while at anchor, there’s no need for a noisy generator.”
The first SilentJet Picnic Boats will be delivered in 2025.