Let’s say you are member of the 1% and need a motor yacht that will make all your wealthy friends jealous. But you also are socially aware and don’t want to spew diesel fumes or other carbon emissions into the atmosphere while motoring out to your private island in the Caribbean — which is solar powered, of course. What choices do you have in the marketplace today? One, actually — the Hinckley Dasher.
Hinckley is one of the oldest and most respected yacht builders in the world. When the company decided to build an all electric yacht for its customers, it didn’t just cram a bunch of batteries and electric motors into an existing hull and call it a day. That’s the approach many car manufacturers have taken to making electric cars. Instead, Hinckley started from scratch, designing a boat that surrounds those batteries and motors with the latest technology.
Weight is the bane of all electric vehicles. The heavier they are, the shorter distance they can go before they need to be recharged. Hinckley builds the hull and its supporting structural members from carbon epoxy composites for high strength with low weight. Then it fits dual batteries sourced from the BMW i3 into waterproof chambers in the hull and adds twin 80 horsepower electric motors. All metal trim pieces from the throttles to the chocks for the mooring lines are made of 3D printed titanium and the cockpit is trimmed in a lightweight composite hand painted to look like teak.
A sliding window rises up from the center console to protect the occupants from wind and salt spray. A fully electronic control panel keeps the skipper fully informed about range and state of charge while underway. In place of the conventional transom, boaters will find a swim platform that makes getting into and out of the boat while on the water a breeze.
Back at the dock, built in dual 50 kW chargers can restore the batteries to full power in about 4 hours. The 28′ 6″ yacht has a cruising range of 40 miles and a top speed of 27 miles per hour. And, of course, it is completely silent while underway, allowing boaters to enjoy conversation or the sounds of nature in a way that is simply not possible on a conventional yacht.
What is the difference between a yacht and a boat? Usually several extra zeroes in the purchase price, and the Hinckley Dasher is no exception. At $500,000, it is not inexpensive. Yet if cachet has a value, it is worth every penny. The first of the new all electric yachts should be ready for delivery this summer.
The sleek hull was designed by famed marine architect Michael Peters of Sarasota, Florida and it is a thing of beauty with design cues that hark back to the days of Jay and Daisy Gatsby. If you own one of these, perhaps you should consider installing a green light at the end of your dock.
Hat tip to Ken Anderson.
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