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Electric Nautique at Silver Spray Sports this Sat.

MCskiFreakMCskiFreak Posts: 327 Baller
edited May 2011 in Technique & Theory
This Saturday the electric nautique will be available for test rides at Silver Spray Sports in Fenton, MI from 10am - 4pm. Any other ballers in the area planning on going?
Matt Welton - Resident boat nerd
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Comments

  • DWDW Posts: 2,317 Mega Baller
    How could a gear head skier pass that up?
  • MJEMJE Posts: 120 Baller
    I'll be there to check it out.
  • 454SS454SS Posts: 169 Baller
    I would love to go see it but I will be skiing up north tomorrow.
  • DWDW Posts: 2,317 Mega Baller
    Very well done application. The boat is obviously very quiet with only the running gear (prop) making mechanical noise and the noise of the water on the hull. Very quiet from shore. Great torque, certainly plenty to do the job. Top speed reported to be 40 mph. The Lithium Ion batteries are early generation units so with newer technology batteries there should be an improvement in battery life.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,913 Mega Baller
    As someone who often skis at 6am on a public lake, I am always extremely interested in quiet boats!

    In principle I think a ski boat is a pretty reasonable target for electric engines, as the torque is high and the needed range is (somewhat) limited.

    What kind of battery life are we talking about now, and where might it go with newer batteries?

    Is anybody working on a hybrid? It's going to be pretty hard to get electricity down to my dock.

    How 'bout weight? Is it similar to a gasoline engine?
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,602 Administrator
    @Than Bogan Your Alive!

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  • MCskiFreakMCskiFreak Posts: 327 Baller
    Ill post the video that I took with a cell shortly. Here is what LTS's engineer had to say about the boat. They are looking to have a production viable boat within the next 2 years, with the next test bed being a larger wake boat. The current boat does not use the most up to date battery systems which means that they are getting 25 passes at 36mph. Obviously the life increases considerably as the boat is slowed down. The current battery system has a life expectancy of approximately 15yrs. Charging can be accomplished through traditional 220 v which takes about 2 hours, but with 480v commercial charging the boat can be charged from flat to 100% in 15 min. Overall I was very impressed with what they had accomplished so far with the boat, it operated very well and had tons of power out of the hole.

    @Than

    The spray and the boat passing through the water still produced considerable noise at speed, off plane the boat is silent and with 2.5:1 reduction it allows for an idle speed of 200rpm at the prop, which gave the boat amazing slow speed controllability.

    Epic already has a hybrid version of one of there boats, Styer marine and Mastervolt already have a number of hybrid yachts on the market. Styer's system uses the same VW diesel that MasterCraft had available for the Prostars so in theory one could develop a hybrid ski boat for limited development costs.

    As far as weight, the boat was 200 lbs heavier than the standard 196, and the placement of the drivetrain caused the CG and CB to be shifted to the rear a small amount, which also caused a slightly larger wake.
    Matt Welton - Resident boat nerd
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,224
    Than, Epic has/had a wakeboard boat with a hybrid engine. They claimed a 50% drop in fuel usage. They were estimating $125k to $150k for it when it first was debuted 2 years ago.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • DekeDeke Posts: 403 Baller
    Just thinkin'... For us high altitude skiers, this power plant would not really be affected unless there are prop efficiency issues. Top speed should be same no matter where you are.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,913 Mega Baller
    @Than Bogan Your Alive!

    I'm just as surprised as you! It was a long, dark, snow-covered winter here.

    [ And even more so in my mom's basement playing Dungeons and Dragons... ;) ]
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • MCskiFreakMCskiFreak Posts: 327 Baller
    @Brent, Michel was not there it was LTS's engineer who was there with the boat.
    Matt Welton - Resident boat nerd
  • rq0013rq0013 Posts: 567 Solid Baller
    I like this boat alot. Thats pretty good charging times with older batteries
    Rob Quetschke
  • DWDW Posts: 2,317 Mega Baller
    Bruno was there demoing the boat. My impression was more towards 4 hours for full recharge on the existing batteries which are not nearly as good as the current Lithium Ion offerings. Bruno thought the recharge rate would be cut to less than half of what it takes now with better batteries. Added weight was about 200#, CG moved back about 2" so that would affect the wake. The two electric motors drive the prop shaft via two gilmer belts and the motors. Top speed is 40 mph but could be altered with different prop. Certainly plenty of torque, quoted at 650 ft-lbs. Given the prototype nature of the application, one can be pretty certain there will be significant design evolutions and hardware improvements coming fairly quickly, for example the batteries themselves.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,913 Mega Baller
    Following up on the noise: Can you elaborate on "considerable noise?" Obviously I don't expect anything that is shoving water out of its way to be silent, but when a boat hums by on the lake, what I hear is only its engine. So I'm figuring that typical engine noise is dramatically louder than typical water noise (or else attenuates less as it travels over water for some reason).
    I'd LOVE to see some decibel comparisons between this and a gasoline boat, especially at some distance away (like some point between 100 and 500 feet).
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • MCskiFreakMCskiFreak Posts: 327 Baller
    Hmm It was loud enough to be noticeable over the wind noise while at speed, but I believe you are correct in stating that you notice a gas engine noise over the sound of the water. It wasn't anything that would be a problem for someone wanting to ski early, just much more noticeable than what I would have expected.
    Matt Welton - Resident boat nerd
  • DWDW Posts: 2,317 Mega Baller
    I would certainly agree that it (or any boat) travelleing through the water at 30+ mph will generate significant "water" noise, and have to agree with MC it was a bit surprising how noticible that was. Thus, the boat is not "silent" as you can hear it pass by. From the outside, you pretty much only hear the water spray noise, no "engine" noise that is customary to hear so it is much quieter than an IC engine powered boat. As a passenger, you do notice the running gear noise, basically the noise from the prop and also the water spray noise. It takes a lot of energy to propel a tourney boat at 30+ mph so there will be a fair amount of energy dissipated noise regardless "engine" type.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,913 Mega Baller
    Interesting! Definitely seems some decibel measurements are in order. I wonder if it ended up *seeming* pretty loud because the expectation is for it to be much quieter?

    But "obviously" it must be quieter than a combustion engine, so the question would be: exactly how much? And I also have this vague idea (that I can't seem to support with any specific physics just yet) that the boat will seem much quieter at a distance than a combustion engine does.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • MCskiFreakMCskiFreak Posts: 327 Baller
    I would generally agree with your statement, the rumble from an engine is something that anyone would notice whereas the sound of the water on the hull is a completely different "type" of sound that I dont think as many people on a public lake would be bothered by during those dawn patrol sets.
    Matt Welton - Resident boat nerd
  • LazLaz Posts: 349 Solid Baller
    Will there be a version 2.0 demonstrated this year?
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,514 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'm assuming the electric motor is not intended to be a "green" or fuel saving solution, but rather an option for those requiring a quiet boat for certain lakes? Taking the additional cost of the boat, charging station, electric bill and replacement batteries down the road, a gas motor will end being much less expensive over the life of the boat. It's a cool concept, but I couldn't imagine ever owning one. Also, the demand would have to be there for advances in R&D to make it a viable option. Just look at the lack of progress of the electric car from the 70's, and boats are a much smaller market. Nissan and Chevy are about to lose their butts on the Leaf and Volt (the U.S gov is the major buyer of volts, which doesn't constitute demand).
    Scott Calderwood
  • auskierauskier Posts: 460 Baller
    the electric bill in comparison to a gas bill for the season would be a fraction of the cost! didnt nautique quote something like $4 a recharge? what does it cost to fill a Lxi these days? For me its over $200USD. that is a LOT of skiing in the 196ev!
    also, there is nothing to service on an electric drivetrain. no oil changes, belts, impeller, spark plugs etc etc to worry about.
    Lack of progress since the 70's??? there has been HUGE progress since the GM EV1 days 10 years ago.
    fuel prices are only going one way, up. batteries are advancing rapidly. So much so, that technology exists that its possible to charge a battery in half the time it takes to fill your gas tank with a range that is twice as long as most cars. making such technology rapidly available and mass produced is the issue currently. but it will happen.
    Toby
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,913 Mega Baller
    Note that swc is talking about the total expenses over the lifetime, not just the operating costs.

    Unfortunately, that's a complicated case to make, and not just because a lot of prices vary around the country. The other factor is the resale value and it's anybody's guess how electric boats will do in that department.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,514 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Correct Bogan, I meant lifetime. My friend just replaced the battery in her Prius (after 3 years of use) for just under $5k. Even if massed produced batteries cut that price in half, it's still expensive. I also recently read that the GE charging station for the Leaf and/or Volt is about $4,500. I would assume one could have the appropriate outlet installed for much less though?

    How much have electric cars really advanced since the EV1 or Insight? The Leaf or volt will take you about 40 miles on a nice day. Doesn't seem like we've come too far to me, but I suppose that's just one consumer's opinion. And fuel wouldn't have to increase in price, if we'd tap into our own resources - but that's a different topic!

    My original thought was what Brent mentioned... an E boat would be great on a lake with no gas motors allowed. Of course, watch out for the tax man! There's already talks in DC about taxing electric cars by the mile, since they won't receive any fuel tax revs. Then you pay tax on your electric bill for a nice double ding:-(

    Again, cool concept, but best wishes in the market place. If it hasn't worked for cars (without gov subsidies), a tiny niche waterski market will be tough.
    Scott Calderwood
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,913 Mega Baller
    swc -- I agree with a lot of your thoughts. In particular I think pure electric cars are still not a viable business. But I feel that pure electric, at least in principle, makes a lot _more_ sense for a ski boat than it does for a car, for several reasons:

    1) A ski boat really doesn't need a ton of range -- for my use case I need to get about 2 hours of operation out of a charge.
    2) A ski boat _does_ need a ton of torque. Electric motors typically have far better low-end torque at a similar power rating. (Or so I've been told.)
    3) The noise level of a boat can be extremely important -- potentially allowing skiing in places or at times where it was previously politically impossible. This is far less important for a car. In fact, it's arguable that a completely silent car is mildly more dangerous because nobody can hear you coming.
    4) With $2,000 skis nearly standard, it's obvious that this admittedly small niche has some money, and so the price may not be as big of an obstacle.

    The biggest strike I see against the concept, though, is that getting electricity down to a lake is not necessarily trivial. Gas can always be put in cans and carried.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,913 Mega Baller
    Sun? What's that? :)
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • MAD11MAD11 Posts: 578 Crazy Baller
    To me the hydrogen fuel cell option seems to make a ton more sense, but I'm far from an expert. They tested the Honda Clarity on Top Gear and it seems to perform well. I think they said its only for sale in CA right now. Sure getting hydrogen at the lake will be a big issue also, but no recharging time. Maybe Horton should try to test drive one when he gets back home.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,913 Mega Baller
    Interesting fact about solar panels: Invented by my grandfather (Daryl Chapin) and 2 others at Bell Labs.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,263 Mega Baller
    @Than you nerds have to stick together!
  • DWDW Posts: 2,317 Mega Baller
    A couple of notes from the thread: It won't be maintenance free, there are drive belts, conections, control modules, etc. to maintain. A development challenge will be the low volume making economies of scale a bit of a challenge. Hopefully, the opportunity will keep the project alive (noise as one key advantage, battery potential another). Gas prices won't hurt either.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,913 Mega Baller
    @MattP True dat!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
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