September 13th, 2012 by garrettcortese

Where’d the exhaust bubbles go?

Last week before Surf Expo got underway we had the privilege of heading over to the Correct Craft factory in Orlando to check out their brand new Super Air Nautique 230e. Yes, the “e” is for electric. You may remember seeing something about Nautique’s all electric ski boat last year. Well this time they’ve again teamed up with the folks at LTS Marine and gone bigger. Much bigger. The 230e we got to check out was a fully functioning SAN 230, but instead of an engine and a gas tank, it had two large electric motors and a bunch of batteries. The boat uses zero gasoline. Nothing but high voltage electric power in a 23-foot wakeboard boat seems pretty insane, and it kind of is.

When we got to ride in the boat and test drive it, the first thing you notice is how much quieter it is. The hum of the V-drive is still quite audible, but not having a giant V-8 motor in the back seriously cuts down on the noise factor. When we got to shoot photos of team rider Kyle Rattray riding behind the 230e the lack of noise was even more noticeable. At one point we were straight behind Kyle following him up and down the lake and it was almost bizarre to hear zero engine noise coming from the towboat. Sitting in neutral is actually quite deceiving in the 230e. It feels like the boat is turned off because there is no noise. Even at a slow idle there is very, very little noise, so it is fairly deceiving. But it is great for talking with other people in the boat or even a downed rider when turning around to pick him/her up. The second thing you notice about the 230e is how powerful it is. Electric motors contain a lot more torque than gas powered motors, so getting out of the hole was not a problem at all, even with the additional weight. Nautique informed us that the 230e with its large electric motors and batteries actually weight about 200 pounds more than a standard 230 with its V-8 motor, a full tank of gas, and ballast filled, so the 230e is no sleight vessel in terms of getting up on plane.  While the dashboard and components weren’t finalized on the 230e, it was pretty fun to see a digital screen with readings for the electric motors and batteries giving you a readout of kW and percentage of charge left, rather than a looking at a fuel gauge and RPM’s.

Here are some of the specs for the 230e. It is interesting to think that in the not too distant future these are some of the things we will be gauging when shopping for new wakeboarding boats.
Max / Continuous Power: 160 kW / 110 kW
Belt Transmission Ratio: 2.5/1
Max Torque at Propeller: 850 Nm (625 pound/foot)
Energy Capacity: 78.7 kWh

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