Meet the Tesla of Luxury Electric Yachts

Sep 15, 2017

Yacht builder Hinckley is charting out a new course in its nearly 90-year-old business: it's going electric.

This week, at the 47th Newport International Boat Show, Hinckley unveiled the Dasher, a 28.6-foot fully electric luxury yacht—the world's first, according to the company.

Electric boats aren't entirely new. Electric boats dominated waterways until the internal combustion engine rose to prominence in the 1920s. In the modern era, Duffy Electric Boats has been making its iconic quiet-water cruiser since the late 1960s.

But the few electric boats available today are designed for calm waters, not the choppy seas. The Duffy, a small electric boat with top speeds around 5 or 6 miles per hour, is a common sight around marinas for a reason.

The Dasher aims to be something different—a Tesla for the water, so to speak. Hinckley isn't sharing the price publicly, telling Fortune that the "price is available upon request." However, a spokesperson did say estimates run north of $500,000 and are in line with the price of other Hinckley yachts of similar size.

The Dasher, designed by Michael Peters, is equipped with twin 80 horsepower electric motors. The boat uses two 40 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion batteries from BMW i3, the electric car produced by German automaker BMW. The yacht's batteries give it a 40-mile range when driven at the 10 miles per hour cruising speed. Cut that range in half if the boat is used at fast cruising speeds of 18 to 27 mph.

The yacht gains a full charge in under four hours using the dual 50-amp charging. The boat accepts dual 50-amp charging cables, which Hinckley says are standard on most docks.

The company achieved a lighter weight vessel by hand-painting it with an epoxy composite that looks like Hinckley's signature varnished teak look without the weight or maintenance costs associated with real teak wood. The company also used 3D printing for its titanium hardware and console details for the boat.

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