Skip to main content

VIDEO: Builder debuts 18-foot electric-powered catamaran

An innovative boat that began as a discussion five years ago at the Miami International Boat Show has come to fruition and stands out as an example of effective use of small-engine electric power.

The new Light 18 from Wing Systems uses Torqeedo electric motors to power its hydrodynamic hulls. The Light 18 made its debut in April at Charleston Race Week in South Carolina.

“We went through two years of prototypes, design and development,” Wing Systems director of special projects Skip Barker said. “We designed it from the keel up; the Torqeedo motor was part of the design from the very beginning.”

The Light 18, an acronym for Low-Impact Green Hull Technology, is a center console design with hydrodynamic catamaran hulls. It is designed to take advantage of Torqeedo's high-efficiency electric outboards without sacrificing maneuverability, stability and speed. The principle of the design will allow the builder to create other sizes and models, Barker said.

Equipped with two Torqeedo 9.9-hp motors and four lithium batteries, the Light 18 has a top speed of 15 knots and a cruising speed of 10 to 12 knots. At 6 to 8 knots it has a range of as much as 10 hours. Gasoline-free operation makes the Light 18 particularly useful for environmentally sensitive applications, such as water quality management and reservoir maintenance. It has been available as a crew boat on a volunteer basis at sailing races and regattas. Its silence and speed make it an ideal coaching launch, Barker said.

"Making its debut at Charleston Race Week as a media platform, the Light 18 was quick, nimble and able to get close to the action without disturbing the sailors with wake, noise and exhaust," Torqeedo president Steve Trkla said. "Torqeedo's quiet electric motors allow for easy communication on the water, so they're ideal for safety vessels or coaching boats."

Each hull has more than 9 square feet of planing surface. Powerboats have tremendous trouble between 8 and 12 knots, Barker said. On the Light 18, the displacement-to-planing transition is made almost instantly, he said. “That’s what these hulls do magnificently.”

Next up, Oyster Bay, N.Y.-based Wing Systems is designing a vessel for the higher-voltage Torqeedo 30-hp and 80-hp engines.

Related

3_Manitou-MY23-VW06-Rotax-Engine-Cutaway-Feature

Clearing the Deck

Bombardier Recreational Products unveiled the Rotax outboard with Stealth Technology in August

AdobeStock_306648964

Shoring Up Your Defenses

Marine businesses are just as open to cyberattacks as all kinds of other businesses in nearly every industry

1_Silent_Jet_Render_Main0214

Hinckley Unveils SilentJet

Hinckley Yachts teamed up with Wisconsin-based transmission-maker Twin Disc to create a hybrid electric system called SilentJet that can switch automatically from diesel to electric power, depending on how much throttle you use.

IMG_8361

Finding the Next Buyers

Discover Boating commissioned a research study to fine-tune targeting efforts in marketing.

AdobeStock_172380409

How to Create a Great Workplace

With insights gleaned from more than 16,000 individual industry employee satisfaction surveys, the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas has gained new understanding and answers of how to drive employee engagement.

Insider Access

My hope is to include at least one insider story in every issue of Soundings Trade Only to provide a look at corners of the trade that some folks might not know exist.

AdobeStock_310603612

Two Secrets to Getting Results

Any leader can give reasons for failing to achieve acceptable results. The best leaders overcome inevitable challenges, and some of those leaders make it look easy. Some seem to drive results effortlessly, while others struggle.