Scott Bryant, Hinckley’s director of new product development described the boat: “This isn’t just an existing design, where we dropped a couple of electric motors in. The boat has been designed, ground up, for electric propulsion.”
The Dasher is the lightest boat Hinckley has built to date, weighing just 6,500 pounds. The lightweight design was achieved by using carbon fiber in the hull and stringers. The weight was further kept down by the use of what Hinckley calls artisanal teak. Instead of the traditional dense hardwood, artisanal teak is actually a molded composite material that is hand painted with wood grain. Bryant says the results are, “literally indistinguishable from real teak."
Yacht has range of 35 nautical miles
The Dasher will cut through the water powered by twin 80-horsepower Deep Blue 80i 1800 motors from German company Torqeedo. Each engine is driven by a 40-kilowatt-hour BMW i3 lithium-ion battery.
The boat will have a range of about 40 miles (35 nautical miles) at a comfortable cruising speed of 10 mph, or 8.6 knots, and up to 25 miles (22 NM) at speeds of 18 to 27 mph (15.6 to 23.5 knots). The Dasher will be equipped with a touchscreen console that will provide the boat's captain with updated GPS information as well as a circle icon that expands and contracts to indicate the vessel's remaining range in real time. The data adjusts to the boat's current speed at any given time.
First Dashers to be delivered in 2018
While you’ll still need a boat license to drive the Dasher yacht in most places in the world, it has been designed with more novice captain in mind, simplifying the boat's controls. A retractable windshield and a JoyStick means docking is relatively easy. If an all-electric yacht sounds like just the toy for you, you’ll need about half a million USD and the patience to wait until Summer 2018 to get your order fulfilled.
Public test rides on Dasher prototypes will happen later this year. Hinkley expects the statistics released along with the boat's announcement will be able to be improved upon by the time the boat is in full production. Bryant expands on this saying:, “When we started this project [a little more than two years ago], our test boat actually used a totally different battery, similar in weight to the existing i3 batteries that we have in there now. But it had about 30 percent less power density, which translated to 30 percent less range. So, really, we are riding a development wave in ways that’s pretty significant right now in the marketplace.”
Hinckley promises to continue electric development
Hinckley doesn't have plans to go completely electronic but they do think many of the features developed for the Dasher will be seen in future yacht iterations to come. Bryant says: “I don’t believe that Dasher will be our only electric-propulsion product.I think what we’re looking to do is to incorporate a bunch of the features that we’re introducing on Dasher into our other products. There’s so much going on in the automotive space, and just in the energy-storage space right now, that to not be a part of it is just silly.”