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NEWPORT 2017: Hinckley debuts Torqeedo-powered electric boat

Hinckley debuts Torqeedo-powered electric boat

The Hinckley Company said Dasher is the world’s first fully electric luxury yacht.

NEWPORT, R.I. — The Hinckley Company unveiled Dasher, its new all-electric 28.5-footer with twin 80-hp Torqeedo engines, dual BMW i3 lithium ion batteries and zero wood, at the Newport International Boat Show on Thursday.

“This is the lightest Hinckley ever,” Scott Bryant, director of new product planning at Hinckley, told a group of owners and boating media on Thursday. “The teak you see on this boat is not wood.”

Instead of actual varnished teak gunnels, the company has used a patented hand-painted, lightweight composite “Artisanal Teak” that is difficult to tell from the real thing.

Check out a video of the boat being revealed to the public for the very first time.

The process took more than 2,000 pounds out of the boat, allowing it to travel 28 mph at top speed. The boat can run about 40 miles at a 10 mph cruising speed before it needs to be charged; at top speed its range is about half that, Bryant told Trade Only Today. It takes about four hours to fully charge.

“One of the problems with electric cars is there are not many charging stations,” Bryant said. “But there’s power at marinas.”

The boat was designed from the keel up for electric power, Bryant said.

“Building an electric boat for the sake of making an electric boat wasn’t going to be the right move,” he said.

“We have a long tradition of innovation in pursuit of the perfect yachting experience,” Hinckley CEO Peter O’Connell said in a statement. “From the early use of fiberglass in the Bermuda 40 in the 1960s to the adoption of jet drives on the category-defining Picnic Boat, we’ve always worked to combine the latest technology with cutting-edge naval architecture to do what has not yet been done.”

Hinckley used 3D printing to create the titanium hardware on the boat, as well as the console. That allowed the company to get the precision necessary to remove the weight and still build a durable and reliable boat that stayed true to its Hinckley roots, said Hinckley COO Michael Arieta.

The idea for Dasher, named in honor of the very first Picnic Boat, came from a collaboration among Michael Peters Yacht Design, America’s Cup engineers, composites experts and others in innovation and tech industries.

The owner can push a button and “the boat comes to life — yet it’s silent,” Bryant said. “The boat disappears and becomes an experience with your friends and family.”

“I hear about this from our customers and all boaters — the guy running the boat wants to be part of the party,” Bryant said. “Talking to our customers I’d ask them about what their favorite or most memorable experience was on their boat, and the call goes from a half-hour call to a one-and-a-half hour call. It was a powerful experience. Being with their loved ones is what they remembered. Electric propulsion really supports that because it’s totally silent.”

Read more about Dasher in the November issue of Trade Only Today.

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