The Eegle 20m looks set to be the first production electric trawler yacht and it has the speed and range to rival its diesel-powered counterparts...
Silent Yachts may have led the way with its electric cruising catamarans but now a Swiss entrepreneur is hoping to appeal to monohull enthusiasts with the first battery-powered trawler yacht, the Eegle 20m.
Designed by Spanish naval architects Bravo Yacht Design, whose previous clients include Rodman, Horizon and Nuva Yachts, it is a 65ft (20m) swift trawler yacht with a top speed of 20 knots and a range of 80nm under electric power alone.
For longer journeys, a petrol-powered generator extends the range to over 1,000nm at its normal cruising speed of 7.5 knots. The first boat is already in-build at French yard Martinez Construction Navale with an expected launch date next year.
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According to lead designer Tia Simo, the trawler style is particularly well suited to electrification. Its shallow keel allows all of its 600kWh lithium ion batteries to be installed below the water close to the centreline.
This low centre of gravity makes for an extremely stable design, which keeps roll to a minimum and makes the standard fin stabilisers even more effective.
The four compact 150kW motors also take up far less space than big diesel engines and are packaged below the tender garage floor.
With no complex cooling systems or daily engine checks to worry about, there is no need for a conventional engineroom, freeing up almost all of the lower deck for accommodation.
Each pair of motors is linked to a single gearbox and shaft. In displacement mode, only one motor is running on each shaft but for shorter bursts both motors are engaged to push it into semi-planing mode.
To make the most of this, the hull has been tuned to be at its most efficient at either 7.5 knots or 18 knots.
The garage itself houses the 50kW petrol range extender as well as a pair of Jet Skis or a single larger tender.
The reason for specifying a petrol rather than diesel generator is partly because of its smaller dimensions and quieter running but also because its 1,000-litre fuel tank can be used to refill the Jet Skis as well.
The final part of the equation is an array of solar panels on the flybridge hardtop and wheelhouse roof capable of generating up to 9kW.
This is enough to propel the Eegle 20m at a modest 3.5 knots on solar power alone, although realistically it will be used in tandem with the batteries to extend the all-electric cruising range beyond 80nm and top-up the batteries when at rest.
The batteries can also be recharged using shore power, with the time taken depending on the number of available sockets and rating of the power supply.
With no engineroom eating into lower deck space, there is room for a larger than normal full-beam owner’s suite towards the aft end of the hull with a separate dressing room, study area and bathroom.
This still leaves space for two further doubles amidships and a VIP suite in the bow. The other unusual feature of the design is a full-beam saloon that spreads across the space usually occupied by the side decks.
The extra width makes for a very spacious main deck that’s all one level with a curved breakfast bar next to the aft galley, a generous lounging area amidships and a twin helm station forward.
It has all been left open-plan to maximise sightlines and make the most of the 360-degree views. A door next to the helm gives access to the foredeck but it’s not entirely clear how you’d deal with fenders or carry the lazy line forward when mooring stern-to.
The man behind the new Eegle brand, Swiss entrepreneur Adrien Antenen, made his money in recycling plants and wants to use his expertise in sustainability to launch a new range of environmentally friendly electric craft.
He commissioned the design from BYD and is financing the build of the first boat with a view to making it a full production yacht. The finished boat will be priced at around €2.5million ex tax.
Tia Simo, lead designer of the Eegle 20m, who studied naval architecture at Southampton University, told MBY: “We share the same idea as the client.
“We have to push to create yachts which are environmentally friendly. If we take care of our seas, we will be able to enjoy it in the future.”
Eegle 20m specification
LOA: 64ft 8in (19.73m)
Beam: 16ft 5in (5.0m)
Displacement: 22.9 tonnes
Power: 4 x 150kW electric motors
Batteries: 600kWh lithium ion
Solar panels: 9kW
Range extender: 50kW petrol
Fuel capacity: 1,000 litres
Cruising speed: 7.5 knots
Top speed: 20 knots
Pure electric range: 80nm@ 7.5 knots
Hybrid electric range: 1,000nm @ 7.5 knots (range extender)
First published in the October 2021 issue of MBY.
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