Hello owners and fans of Tesla Motors,
Since I was aware of how Tesla Motors is revolutionizing the car industry, I have had ideas to replicate a similar business model to help advance the earth’s transition of water transportation off fossil fuels and towards electricity.
Tesla Motors has announced many times that they would sell power-trains to other companies, and the boating industry is one that is long over-due for innovation.
Are there any individuals (engineers and investors), with given skill sets or similar drives, interested in a start-up a company that would provide compelling, high-performance, electric boats?
We would start the same with as…
Tesla: Prove that electric boats can be the best boats in the world and transition much like Tesla did from the Roadster to the Model S and X. Although, because boats are not used for mass transportation, we could keep a focus on performance or have a lower-cost model, in the future, that would give recreational boaters a sustainable boat purchasing option.
There are many hurdles that we would have to overcome, but the basis of the work has already been set out. Boating sales are not as common as one would think, so we could meet demands with the right amount of capital, but we to do this by making use of what the boat industry has already innovated and incorporating the costs of the battery-technology Tesla has already engineered.
Aerodynamics is above all for batter range, acceleration and speed, so we could start with a design body that benefits the battery and basically follow the business model of Tesla Motors. Not because we want to copy Tesla because they are successful and we all want to get rich, but because they have the best capitalistic mission statement and business model: To focus on profit to survive, but re-invest capital to tactical a larger problem: hydrocarbon energy extraction and consumption. If we focus on our ethics, alike Tesla Motors, the start-up has unlimited potential. But this would not be achieved by focusing on high-market production, high sales and high profit, it would be done by making a compelling high-performance, sustainable boat that convinces people that water transportation with electric power-train is the future.
If you are interested, leave a comment here with what you do and why you would want to be a part of it.
The low production, high cost, high-performance luxury boat (off the top of my head: think of an Allison Craft powered with batteries) will be purchased from individuals who have spendable capital. With a boat house, a charging system could be installed and the boat would charge over night or when not in use, and solar panels could be installed on the roof of the boathouse to provide a fuel-free driving experience for life. As a cottage owner, I do not know what could be more exciting than never having to pump to re-fuel your boat again. Am I wrong?
I want to point out that the market we would be
targeting is, at first, the high-speed boating market, than recreational market, so the range a high-speed boat requires will be much less than a speed boat, but because of the power needed to push a craft across such a resistance surface such as water, we will have to balance cost per kWh, top speed and acceleration with battery conservation.
I am a Canadian, so I will use Canada as a stat-point, and right now, there are 3 million engine/jet powered boats in Canada. All require fossil fuels to run (considering the boats are purchased and not home-lithium-ion made). The average amount of boats sold in a year is much smaller than the amount of high-speed boats sold in a year (similar to the numbers sold of high class cars, like the Model S, versus cheaper cars like the Honda civic), so, if there is large amounts of capital in selling these high-speed boats, one could consider, instead of only producing a limited amount of high-speed boats, producing more boats to raise capital and re-invest into the mass marketable recreational boat model.
The average boater in Canada is from 31 to 49 years old, has children at home, and has a household income $44,000 to $99,000 a year. Boating is solidly a middle class activity that is due for innovation.
As a start-up trying to convince recreational boat buyers that electric-power trains are the best way to fuel a boat, we could target the $90-100k price range. Or simply build a handful of boats that everyone wants but because of the limited production, not everyone can buy. This will create a buying frenzy over a boat that was never made to be mass bought. If we produce a “roadster” type of boat alike Tesla, keeping in mind that the original plans of Tesla did not work out (with Elon having to dump his remaining capital in 2006 to keep the company afloat), we should focus on the actuality of the tec
hnology that exist and propose a boating craft that isn’t completely different from a traditional boat design, but one that simply powered in a way that no other has ever seen. And in a way that gets boat fans talking. That will win over the minds of speed-boat fans, and then, with the created capital of the speed-boat or from investors interested in investing in a start-up (with goals similar to Tesla: accelerating mass sustainable transportation), or from selling the boats to the high-speed boating market, we can use invested capital to target the recreational boating markets and produce a mass-marketed electric powered water craft.
I do not have any experience in boat engineering, but from what I have researched we would need to use a water-propulsion power-train fueled by lithium ion cells. The idea of using water, on water, to push a boat seems to be the technology that we will start with as a basis. Engineers, please correct me if I am wrong or you have a better idea: I really want to hear it.
I am a 24 year old law student, but I am a founder of a small business that has provided income while studying. I also invested a small amount of money, at a great time, in Tesla when first heard of the company, through researching Elon Musk. The value I have to put forward with the start up is not a value needed to start a company, but it is a value I am willing to risk to take a chance and help out in transitioning a fully-sustainable water, land, and air transportation world. I do not have experience in engineering, but I have a dire interest for physics and boiling concepts down to their fundamental values, and I believe that, with the right minds and people who want to change the way the water-world uses energy, we can easily convince the boating market that electric power-trains are the only way to go. And do so by making great boats that compels people and others to buy electric powered, jet-water propulsion water-crafts
I’ve long been fond of quoting the 16th century Scottish philosopher David Hume who wrote that “all advantages are attended with disadvantages.” For Hume the good life had nothing to do with the quest for perfection, but the effort to discover the wise compromise that might inch us closer to fulfillment. Every person who contacts The Mulithull Company is striving to follow Hume’s advice (whether they know it or not!). They hope to make the wise compromise when choosing their yacht. As such, they seek honest answers to three primary questions:
- Is a sailing catamaran really right for them?
- If so, what is the best catamaran for their needs and budget?
- And which catamaran offers them the most value for their dollar?
Here I’ll endeavor to tackle the first question by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of a catamaran over a monohull.
The great success of catamarans in charter programs over the past decade is due primarily to the fact that catamarans offer enormous advantages over monohulls when the anchor is dropped. These benefits are as follows:
- Catamarans are considerably more stable than a monohull. As such, they do not bang back and forth in swells. So catamaran cruisers can eat, sleep, and live far more comfortably on the hook than a monohuller.
- Catamarans are much wider than monohulls and therefore provide enormous aft cockpits. In tropical climates this is an enormous plus because cruisers tend to spend the majority of their time dining, reading, and lounging in the cockpit under the protection of the bimini.
- The main salon of a catamaran is on the same (or nearly the same) level as the cockpit. Unlike a monohuller, catamaran sailors do not step down into a deep dark place (where the windows are generally above eye level), but rather straight from the cockpit into a light filled salon. I don’t mean to get New Age here, but catamaran sailors truly “Live in the Light.” Onboard a catamaran you remain intimately connected to the world outside. This makes cooking, reading, dining, navigating and lounging far more pleasant on a catamaran than a monohull.
- Because catamarans are more stable, those onboard do not enter into an extended stowing routine whenever they hoist anchor. Similarly, catamaran sailors do not enter into an extended un-stowing routine when they drop anchor. Having lived on both catamarans and monohulls, I cannot stress what a huge plus this is for live-aboard sailors.
- When sailing with three or more people catamarans offer much more privacy as the two hulls, and the suites and heads within them, are far away from each other.
Because a catamaran does not have to carry a heavy lead keel underneath to stay upright, they are generally faster than a similarly sized monohull – especially off the wind. However, catamarans that carry keels cannot point as high into the wind as a monohull. They will, however, typically arrive at an upwind destination at about the same time because they are moving much faster. They sail a greater distance, but at a much higher speed.
A catamaran with daggerboards and good quality sails will point as high as a similar sized monohull. It will also travel at a much higher rate of speed and therefore arrive at upwind destinations sooner. (Note: these are generalizations based on apples to apples comparisons – a performance monohull vs. a performance cat, a cruising cat vs. a cruising monohull, etc.) It is important to note that most of the production catamarans on the market are under-powered charter designs made for trade wind sailing. In light airs many of these designs perform poorly unless larger headsails or a roachier mainsail are added.
In winds under 8 knots most catamarans, due to extreme wetted surface drag, are not any faster – and often slower – than similar sized monohulls.