Pure Watercraft’s New Battery Pack Dramatically Increases Range For a Powerful & Clean Boating Experience

Seattle, WA  December 13, 2018  Located on the shore of Lake Union, Pure Watercraft set out to redefine boating with their Pure Outboard electric motor. In the process, they developed a battery pack with the highest energy density in marine, matching that of the best electric cars.

The 118 lb battery pack uses industry-leading Panasonic lithium-ion cells and has a capacity of 8.85 kWh. More energy per pound means a boat can get up on plane more easily and stay on plane for longer. Active thermal management leads to longer battery life and the ability to travel greater distances at high speed.

It’s also clean. The Pure Outboard emits no exhaust or noxious fumes, spills no oil or gas into the water, and is whisper quiet. It starts at the touch of a button, is immediately ready to drive, and charges easily via a standard 120V or 240V outlet available in most garages and marinas. Between the savings in fuel costs and the elimination of maintenance costs, a typical outing will cost about one or two dollars in electricity.

“Our team built the outboard motor and battery pack system from the ground up”, says Andy Rebele, founder and CEO of Pure Watercraft. “Throughout the process, each component has been designed to maximize efficiency.” 

The current system is set to replace traditional combustion outboards up to 40 horsepower. Range depends on use: a typical  aluminum fishing boat equipped with two battery packs could go at a trolling speed of 3 MPH for about 50 hours, or 25 MPH for about an hour. Charge time is as fast as 90 minutes from half to full charge using a 240V outlet.

The quiet speed of the outboard has already caught the attention of anglers seeking a competitive edge. Likewise, elite rowing teams such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford and the University of Washington have pre-ordered the Pure Outboard for their coaches. “We’re eagerly awaiting the Pure Watercraft system because it will transform how we coach our team,” says Michael Callahan, Head Coach of men’s rowing at University of Washington.

Pure Watercraft is starting customer deliveries in January 2019 and is currently accepting $500 pre-order deposits. A system starts at $14,500 for a Pure Outboard motor and one battery pack.

Product Features:

Pure Outboard Battery Pack

  • Voltage (nominal): 350V
  • Capacity: 8.85 kWh (multiple packs can be combined for larger capacity)
  • Cells: 18650 form factor
  • Weight: 118 lbs
  • Water Resistance: IP67
  • Thermal management: Active

Pure Outboard Motor

  • HP: 40 HP equivalent
  • Weight: 110 lbs
  • Water Resistance: IP67
  • Voltage (nominal): 350V
  • Prop RPM at peak power: 1500 RPM
  • Propeller: 16″ diameter 3-blade propeller
  • Motor: 20 kW continuous power PMAC motor, passively cooled underwater in line with propeller
  • Motor controller: closed loop liquid cooled
  • Gear set: two-stage, 7.67:1 reduction

Wye Island Challenge – an Epic Marathon

Wye Island Challenge Pure Watercraft

The Wye Island Challenge is an electric boat race that has run annually since 2001, which makes it a pretty unique venue to test electric boats. We took the Pure Outboard there to see how it stacked up in real-world conditions.

Entries this year included a wide variety of hulls and power trains. There was a hydrofoiling boat built from a canoe hull, with two pedal-controlled rear foils and a front foil with automatic leveling. Last year’s winner and record holder John Todd came with the boat that won last year, a very efficient single hull that planes easily. Other entries included a rare Boston Whaler catamaran, a converted rowing shell, the ‘Erged On II’ which had won years ago (now with a 14 year old pilot), and a bright yellow single hull boat. In all, there were more than a dozen entries. The most common power train was a Torqeedo that had won on various hulls from 2013-2015, and some competitors had ‘overvolted’ it by adding more batteries in series to get a little more power. John Todd’s record holding boat used a custom built system with a larger motor, with air cooling.

We mounted the Pure Outboard on a new Still Water Design  hull, and its first outing was the test run on the Wye the day before the race. It’s a tri-hull craft with a center pontoon slightly higher than the two side pontoons. Instead of the normal bench seat, we had a simple chair set up for a single driver.

Off we went at the starting horn, with a turn around the first day marker, and the Pure Watercraft entry got ahead of the pack, setting the pace at 21 MPH. John Todd caught up, though, and held steady as the course crossed the channel, with the occasional huge wake, which John’s boat traversed without hesitation. Approaching the lighthouse that marks the entry to the Wye River and the beginning of Wye Island, the other boat fell back, and we discovered later that it was because the motor had overheated and failed (blew up might be a more apt description). The race got lonely, as the Pure system kept ahead and reached the required rest stop at the halfway point, and spent the 10 minute stop alone. After starting the second half, approaching Wye Island again, a couple of other competitors were spotted approaching their rest stop.

The return trip was more ‘adventurous’. The Pure boat ran aground on mud on the side of Wye Island, and worked itself free after a minute or two, and some serious doubts about whether a rock or oyster bed might have done some damage, but the motor had emerged in fine shape. Entering the channel for the final crossing back to the starting line, the most treacherous section of the race, there was a clear shot home, but the gargantuan yachts that ply those waters are not accustomed to slowing down for small boats. When the Pure boat was less than ¼ mile from the finish line, three yachts silently conspired to send wakes from all directions at once, and the boat got inundated, salt water over everything. After blowing water out of the prototype connectors (the permanent ones are waterproof to an IP67 rating), the system started back up again and finished at the same speed at which it started: 21 MPH.

Unfortunately, no one was there when the boat finished. The ‘officials’ didn’t anticipate anyone finishing that early, so they were nowhere to be seen. We took our own finish time, which was 1 hour 10 minutes to the original start line. The previous record was 1 hour 35 minutes, and the previous multi-hull record was 2 hours 13 minutes. The margin over the old record was about 1 minute per mile, so instead of 4 minute miles in the previous fastest boat, the Pure boat did sub 3 minute miles.

See our course and a video of the adventure:

Wye Island Electric Boat Marathon 2017

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