New All-Electric Pilot Boat Design Unveiled

The British Columbia–based naval architecture firm Robert Allan has unveiled a new all-electric pilot boat design dubbed the RAlly 1600-E.

The new all-electric aluminum pilot boat design is based around the idea of meeting applications where runs are under 5 nautical miles in distance or so. This new design builds on an earlier steel version of the design, and features a fully electric twin screw drivetrain and a top speed of 20 knots. Accompanying the drivetrain are twin auxiliary generators that could be used if need be.

In this mixed-use scenario with a 5 NM run, the RAlly 1600-E can complete a full operation totally on batteries with 30% of nominal battery capacity to spare.

The propulsion motors are 500 kW 2,800 rpm permanent magnet 750 volt AC electric motors controlled by frequency convertors providing a full range of speed. The motors drive through standard ZF or Twin Disc 3:1 reverse/reduction gears to conventional shafting and 840 mm propellers. … The battery system consists of 70 modules of Spear SMAR-11N-224 units providing a capacity of 815 kWh. As required by Class they are arranged in a separate compartment which is located in the middle of the boat between the accommodations and the machinery space.

Robert Allan has yet to disclose potential pricing, potential manufacturing location, and when such a boat might come to market.