Why We Do It

“What possessed you?” asked University of Virginia rowing coach Kevin Sauer in 2016, toward the end of a long conversation about the details of the outboard motor we were developing.

There are reasons we built the outboard motor we did, but the more important question is why we’re on this mission in the first place. What drives us is the opportunity to change boating for the better, to get more people out on the water, appreciating it like never before.

I grew up fishing for bass and bluegill at Lower Otay Lake, in San Diego County, California, about four miles from the Mexican border. In the hot, dry climate, the lake was an oasis, where my dad and I would sometimes fish from shore, and sometimes take a rented rowboat or outboard boat and catch bluegill to take home. Later, a friend and I would catch crawdads at the local farm pond and take them with us, to sell as bait. The San Diego lakes had recently become renowned for record bass, but we never caught much. My most vivid memories of that time are of walking around the lake, looking into the water for fish, seeing dragonflies on cattails, and struggling with a rented outboard that wouldn’t start.

Fast forward to high school, where I discovered the sport of rowing. In a quaint New England town, the river was a window onto the changing colors of the leaves, the snow falling, rising and falling tides, and ice breaking on the first row of the spring. We felt the river through all our senses, escaping the classroom to strive for perfect harmony and rhythm, sometimes distracted by the rumble of the outboard on the coach’s launch.

My love of the water and boats is far from unique. Boating has been part of human history for at least 800,000 years, since before homo sapiens. About half the US population goes out in a boat every year. It’s part of our heritage, but it has been suffering in recent years. While participation is rising, boat ownership has been declining, and the age of the average boat buyer keeps going up. People want to go out on the water, but they don’t want to own today’s boats.

This is the problem we’re trying to solve. We want to connect more people to the water they love, by making it a better experience for those who own and operate boats, and for those who share the water with them. None of today’s technologies, even electric propulsion, makes boats quiet, powerful, environmentally friendly, and affordable; therefore, new technologies must be developed.

So this is our mission: to build the technology that enables a new era in boating that is more enjoyable, accessible, and environmentally friendly than ever before.

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 16’ 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

Pure Watercraft Launch

While we’ve been working hard at this for the past 5 years, now is the public launch of Pure Watercraft and the Pure Outboard, with pre-sales of the Pure Outboard open now.

Our team of experienced, dedicated engineers has been working on revolutionizing boat propulsion from the ground up. The result is an outboard motor vastly different than the ones on the market today, and far superior for many applications than gas-powered alternatives. Pure Outboard is the first step as we strive to bring boating to a new level of performance, convenience, and enjoyment.

Welcome to a new era of boating.