“When it comes to developing something a little more eco-friendly, we think the tender is a great place to start,” explains Audrey Hodgdon, director of sales and marketing at Hodgdon Tenders. “Our point was: We have these great existing boats, designs, and hull platforms, could we make what we already have into an electric boat?”
The Hodgdon team has perfected their formula of award-winning vessels over the years but was so impressed by sea trials of an electric boat at the 2019 Monaco Yacht Show, they decided to investigate if the technology could be applied to its existing vessels. “There are a number of obvious benefits of electric propulsion, with key ones including environmental, noise and vibration mitigation, and reduced service requirements. Our hope is that as the technology develops, it will become more mainstream across all boating applications,” she remarks.. The US-based builder wanted to mirror the aesthetic of their existing Venetian line, therefore the electric tenders share the same hull as their traditional diesel powered tenders, also designed by Michael Peters Yacht Design.
The new Hodgdon tenders can be charged on the mothership using either AC or DC, at any port using AC, and at all Vita superPower DC shoreside charging stations. Both of the models will utilise Vita Power, a high-performance, fully electric powertrain that has a network of charging stations across Europe in superyacht hubs such as Monaco, Cannes, and St. Tropez. The electric Hodgdon models use the standard powertrain architecture and control system from Vita and employ mostly the same technology for both sizes of tender (the 10.5m has a single-engine, three battery configuration whereas the 12m benefits from twin motors and four batteries). The technology can be adapted and adjusted based on the different variables and requirements of the vessel, including the power requirement of the boat, the drive solution, and any ancillary electrical loads. The Hodgdon team estimates that the range of each vessel will be between 20-50 nautical miles. “There are so many factors that impact range, from temperature to sea state to how the boat is being run,” Hodgdon explains. The design team prioritised the limousine tender as the first application of the electric technology as it is primarily used for shorter trips from the mothership to shore, both of which can have superchargers. The electric tenders can be fully charged in less than three hours.
The process of modifying the existing 10.5m tender design wasn’t without its challenges, as the smaller craft’s engine room had to be reconfigured to adjust to the Vita powertrain equipment. However, the larger 12m electric tender could easily accommodate the equipment and actually created more guest space on board. “Overall, there is a reduction of equipment normally needed for a standard diesel boat, which allows greater layout and interior flexibility,” explains Hodgdon.
Hodgdon Tenders’ foray into electric power reflects the growing expectation that builders and manufacturers should offer clients eco-friendly, sustainable options. These new models have an approximate build and delivery time of 15 months and are an excellent option for owners looking to reduce their yacht’s impact on planet earth.
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