OPERATOR of specialised clean-up boats, Water Witch, has confirmed that it is now using Torqeedo electric power on its range of litter collection craft and pontoon workboats.
Water Witch has been building specialised clean-up boats for more than 50 years, with some 200 debris and trash retrieval workboats deployed in harbours and waterways around the world.
Torqeedo electric power is now offered as a replacement for the standard four-cycle outboards on its whole range of Versi-Cat vessels.
“This is a clean, green, safe, zero-emission solution with long life, low maintenance and minimal operating costs,” Water Witch director Jackie Caddick said.
The Torqeedo propulsion package consists of a Cruise 10.0 outboard with two Power 48 intelligent lithium-ion batteries weighing just 36 kg each. A cockpit control panel gives the operator a view of system status, including range at current speed. The system delivers six to eight hours of service between charges.
The response from customers, according to the company, has been overwhelmingly positive.
“From high-end marinas to commercial harbours and even hydro-electric dams, the environmental benefits of a completely zero-emission solution have really sparked interest,” Ms Caddick said.
“In fact, many of our owners are also enquiring about converting their existing vessels to an all-electric drive. Retrofitting is very easy, basically just a straight swap. It’s a very cost-efficient option.”
This year, Water Witch is introducing a new, larger 8.0-meter boat to its Versi-Cat series with Torqeedo electric power as standard fit. The new model has a more traditional hull shape, which is designed to improve transit speeds to 10-11 knots using the same propulsion and provide better seaworthiness for operating in coastal waters. The new design also offers a more varied range of functions, including oil spill response.
“We have been impressed with the reliability and advanced technology of the latest Torqeedo electric mobility range,” Ms Caddick said.
“We are passionate about the environment, and we see this technology as a critical step towards being carbon-neutral in our efforts to keep plastic pollution from entering our oceans and landing on our beaches.”