Welcome to the future: 5 futuristic yachts being built today
April 15 2019
The future of the motorboat has never looked so exciting but what form will it take? We take a closer look at five craft of tomorrow you can buy today
The 2019 Boot Düsseldorf show was awash with exciting new boats, brands and concept craft all claiming to represent the future of boating. Some were touting hybrid or pure electric drivetrains; others were offering radical new hull shapes, while yet another promised a completely fresh approach to its interior layout.
The one thing they all agreed on is that the market for motorboats is ripe for change, with customers looking not just for the next new model but for a genuinely fresh approach to the whole boating experience.
Having scanned the halls, here is our pick of the five most interesting new craft heading to a marina near you in the months ahead.
The hull has a single deep step to reduce drag, and a motor in the bow to balance the weight of batteries in the stern
X Shore is the closest thing yet to a Tesla for the sea according to its founder, the Swedish tech magnate Konrad Bergström. Having made his fortune in premium headphones and speakers, he has now turned his attention to creating an all-electric boat brand that offers proper performance and range in a stylish, sustainable and environmentally friendly package.
What makes it special?
The design features a tall bow for a dry ride matched with a modular cockpit for flexible seating options. The hull has a deep step amidships with a single exposed shaft taking the drive from the electric motor in the bow to the propeller, which is set in a stern tunnel to keep the drive angle as close to horizontal as possible.
A unique gearbox using magnetic teeth that never actually touch the cogs reduces friction for maximum efficiency. The result is a claimed top speed of 40 knots and a range of 60nm at 25 knots or 100nm at displacement speed. Charging takes 8-12 hours depending on the source and the battery is good for 5,000 cycles.
A touchscreen helm and multi-function wheel replace the usual gauges and switches, while a cork dial supplants the throttle
It’s not just the drivetrain that’s innovative. The helm station features a rotary dial instead of a throttle lever, the seats are mounted on sliding rails and the steering uses fly-by-wire technology. Even the decks are made of sustainably sourced cork instead of teak. Front and rear bow thrusters make light work of manoeuvres.
When can I have one?
There are two models available, the Eelex 8000 (pictured above and launched last year) and the smaller Eelex 6500 shown at Düsseldorf, deliveries of which begin later this year. Prices start from €249,000 ex VAT.