Powerboating is a true joy unless you’re trying to talk to the person next to you. Boat engines are noisy, whether they are inboards or outboards. The constant roar of the engine has ruined more than one party, and perhaps even a relationship or two.
Enter Pure Watercraft. A Seattle company, Pure Watercraft has its designs on a new kind of boating experience, one that is whisper-quiet, thanks to its electric motors.
We can hear the old salts now, poo-pooing the very idea of an electric motor. They’ll claim they have no range, are poky slow and aren’t worth a hill of beans (or a bucket of salt water, in this case).
Pure Watercraft founder and CEO Andy Rebele will challenge that assumption any day. He recently took boating enthusiasts, investors and the media on a test ride of his newest creation, the Pure Pontoon. The fully electric boat is the result of a partnership with General Motors, which acquired a 25% stake in Pure Watercraft.
Ready to party? Pure Pontoon is up to the task. It builds on the company’s progress over the last 12 years as it continues its quest to disrupt the $44 billion global leisure boating industry. The company’s motors, battery packs, throttle and charger system have been tested on rigid inflatables and small launches. They have proven to not only be extremely reliable but extremely friendly to the environment, especially when compared to traditional boat motors that run on gas.
The idea of a social boat, as these boats are often referred to, began in 2017. The challenge was to make it efficient without sacrificing performance. The solution was a hydrofoil system that gently lifts much of the 25-foot, 9-inch boat out of the water. By cutting drag, the energy needed to push the boat through water was reduced by 21%.
The boat is powered by a single 25-kilowatt (50-horsepower equivalent) electric motor. You can also order it with two motors. With the twin option, you can reach a top speed of 26 mph. With the single, 14 mph. Range depends on how much you want to open the boat up. If you to go full throttle, you get about 30 miles; at a slow cruise of 5 mph, you can go about 120 miles before recharging. A handy charge status meter at the helm shows you how much charge you have left before you’re thumbing another boat for a tow. The actual range also depends upon how many revelers are aboard. The Pure Pontoon can carry up to 10 people.
The price for the single outboard model starts at $75,000; for the twin motor version, tack on an additional 20 grand.