E-mobility is so hot right now — that hasn’t always been the case, but Hinckley Yachts has been building plug boats for five years!
In 2017, the company revealed its 28-foot Dasher day boat concept, which would have been the world’s first fully electric luxury yacht. But while prospective customers quite liked the idea of electric propulsion and quieter running, they didn’t like the idea of having such a limited range. It could cruise at 7 knots for only five hours, and then it needed four hours to get back to a full charge with dual 50 amp charging.
But now, in 2022, Hinckley feels that it’s gotten things a bit more right with the new Picnic 40 S SilentJet, a hybrid version of its popular Picnic Boat. The Picnic Boat itself launched in 1995 with engines mated to jet drives that gave the craft nimble maneuverability and quick acceleration, while its shallow draft and propeller-less drive made it well-suited for a rocky coastline.
The new SilentJet will have the same contemporary hull design as the current iteration of the Picnic Boat, but instead it will be powered by a centrally mounted 80 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The twin 90 kW electric motors are mounted between the twin Cummins diesels and the boat’s Hamilton jet drives. Under electric-only power, the SilentJet should be able to cruise for at least an hour at just under 7 knots and up to 90 minutes at 5.6 knots.
Scott Bryant, Hinckley’s vice president of sales and marketing, said, “You’ll be able to glide away from the dock and cruise around in total silence. Then you can drop the hook and run everything on battery power — air conditioning, an electric grill, all the systems — again in total silence, without the need for a noisy generator.”
Hinckley is still in the testing phase, giving potential buyers demo rides in a modified, single-engine Picnic Boat 36. But currently, the plan is for the first SilentJets to be delivered in spring 2025. Bryant estimates that it will cost about 20% more than the standard Picnic Boat, so about $2.64 million.
Hinckley Electric Yacht | Picnic Boat
SOURCE | IMAGES: HINCKLEY, VIA ROBB REPORT.