Hinckley Yachts claims to build “luxury yachts with innovative technology.” Their new 28’6″ fully electric runabout Dasher lives up to the boast. Fortune magazine referred to it as the “Tesla of luxury yachts.”
The new design, which uses carbon fiber to keep the boat light, features twin 80-horsepower Deep Blue 80i 1800 motors from German company Torqeedo, best known for its electric outboard motors. Two 40-kilowatt-hour BMW i3 lithium-ion batteries provide power to the motors.
Hinckley quotes the range of the boat to be 40 miles at the design speed of 10 MPH, or 20 to 25 miles at 18 to 27 MPH. (As they choose to use miles-per-hour rather than knots, my guess is that the range is in statute rather than nautical miles.)
The Dasher may be in some respects comparable to the Tesla as it represents the application of advanced technology to transportation. It is also similar to the Tesla Roadster in that it will be quite expensive. That is slightly unfair to the Tesla Roadster, which costs somewhat more than $100,000, whereas the Hinckley Dasher is expected to cost somewhere north of $500,000 when it goes on sale in 2018.
With luck, the development of what Hinckley describes as “world’s first fully electric luxury yacht” will lead to advances in the technology resulting in lower cost electric watercraft. The Tesla Roadster may cost over $100,000 but the new Tesla Model 3 has a starting price around $36,000, for example.
Until that day comes, those who want a moderately priced all-electric runabout may want to stick with a Torqeedo outboard on a jon-boat.