Marine

Supiore electric luxury tender offers a quiet float

Supiore electric luxury tender...
Back at the dock
Back at the dock
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Supiore's Facebook page indicates that it added the rear deck for last week's Dusseldorf showing
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Supiore's Facebook page indicates that it added the rear deck for last week's Dusseldorf showing
The solar panels on the front deck take advantage of available solar energy
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The solar panels on the front deck take advantage of available solar energy
There was hardly a moment when the Uno wasn't surrounded by a crowd
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There was hardly a moment when the Uno wasn't surrounded by a crowd
We finally get our chance for a clean photo
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We finally get our chance for a clean photo
The Uno is highly customizable, offering color options for the hull, floor, seats and other components
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The Uno is highly customizable, offering color options for the hull, floor, seats and other components
On its way to the water
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On its way to the water
The all-electric Uno has a run time of up to six hours
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The all-electric Uno has a run time of up to six hours
Supiore is based in Amsterdam
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Supiore is based in Amsterdam
The electric drive eliminates the noise and smell of gas
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The electric drive eliminates the noise and smell of gas
Ready to hit the water
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Ready to hit the water
The Supiore Uno out on the water
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The Supiore Uno out on the water
Back at the dock
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Back at the dock
The central table unit has a BBQ, drink cooler and sink
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The central table unit has a BBQ, drink cooler and sink
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"Where electric cars have been a part of the streetscape for a long time, the boating market failed to pick up the pass and join the trend, until now." Dutch boat manufacturer Supiore may overstate the case a bit, but for every e-boat we saw at the boot Dusseldorf show last week, there was a fleet of liquid-fueled boats. Supiore's Uno is a stylish, solar-powered boat set to help redress the balance a bit.

Ordinarily, calling a boat stylish and eye-catching would be a matter of opinion, but we gathered a stack of evidence as we stood around patiently (somewhat) waiting for a clean photo opportunity. Nearly every single showgoer that walked by made an obligatory rubberneck, ogling the clean, stylish interior, safety cone-orange hull and glimmering solar panels. Even in a massive hall filled to the rafters with boat after boat, the Uno stood out.

There was hardly a moment when the Uno wasn't surrounded by a crowd
There was hardly a moment when the Uno wasn't surrounded by a crowd

As you can tell from the huge "100 percent electric" tattoo, Supiore is pretty proud of the fact that the Uno is all-electric. The 5.25-m (17-ft) vessel cruises the ocean, bay or lake for up to six hours per charge, thanks in part to the integrated solar array that pulls power from the beating sun above. The idea is that the cap'n and up to six friends enjoy a calm, steady float without worrying too much about rushing back to the dock to power up. The yacht's speed is electronically limited to 10 knots (18.5 km/h, 11.5 mph).

Sun soakers probably won't be able to resist the flirtations of the Uno's flat, smooth deck, and Supiore assures them they don't have to try – the solar panels have been designed to keep charging with only a minimal decrease in efficiency that will depend on the size of the sun soaker in question. In optimal conditions, the panels charge the battery at a rate of about five percent an hour. When the boat is plugged into an outlet, the recharge rate leaps to 20 percent/hour.

The all-electric Uno has a run time of up to six hours
The all-electric Uno has a run time of up to six hours

Behind the Uno's short glasshouse awaits an interior that is deceivingly simple. What appears to be a basic wood table is actually a multifunctional piece of equipment that houses a grill, sink with a retractable faucet, water tank and drink cooler. The owner and guests can relax, enjoy cold drinks and prepare a full dinner out on the water. An audio system with dual 75-watt speakers provides the soundtrack, while the LED lighting ensures the evening doesn't have to end at nightfall. Port and starboard stowage space provides room for storage.

Supiore explains that the Uno's unique shape is dictated by stability – because what good is a calm, quiet electric drive if the boat lurches violently like a bucking bull the whole trip? As far as construction, the boat has double-foam walls and an epoxy impregnated frame.

Supiore was handing out "world premiere" paperwork at the 2014 Dusseldorf boat show, but it looks like the Uno made an appearance or two prior to the show. We're guessing it drew its share of rubberneckers at those events, too.

Unfortunately, Supiore's materials do not list Uno pricing. The company did not respond to our pricing request prior to publication, but we will update if and when it does.

Source: Supiore

View gallery - 13 images
10 comments
hungrygiraffe
Damn, it might be expensive if they are afraid to say the prices.
GoodLife03
Yeah... the speed limit could have you boating in bad weather because you couldn't get out of the way in time... Actually the designers did not have enough power available and moving slow is more efficient having a more reasonable range... later they found the excuse for low speed: quiet... how about fast and quiet?
Slowburn
The orange paint job will come in handy when the aging batteries leave you stranded.
Mel Tisdale
I think that the speed limitation could lead to range difficulties if the outward leg of the trip was with the tide. This would certainly be the case around the U.K. coast, especially off the West and South West coasts.
BigGoofyGuy
I think this is really nice, especially with the hidden features. I think it would be great for a quiet cruise.
I think a fuel cell would help with range and power. Like the one from Intelligent Energy. http://www.intelligent-energy.com/
Keith Lamb
Nice, but I think I'd want to carry a small generator as a backup in case the clouds come out fast and you have to get to shore before the weather turns to complete crap.
KrakaTaoJones
From the article: "Sun soakers probably won't be able to resist the flirtations of the Uno's flat, smooth deck, and Supiore assures them they don't have to try – the solar panels have been designed to keep charging with only a minimal decrease in efficiency that will depend on the size of the sun soaker in question."
Heh . . . yeah, right. Any shadowing of a solar panel will render it virtually useless. Even just the shadow of a pole no bigger around than your thumb will reduce the efficiency of a panel far in excess of the percentage of the panel that is shaded by such a small object.
Dave B13
Except for the topside obstructing solar cells, everything old is new again, and in production somewhere else for a long time.
... The boat is a sleek, neo-Edwardian piece of work, built to the designs that Elco, the first electric boat builder in America, used when it was founded 110 years ago. The company supplied 55 launches for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, ferrying thousands of sightseers on the fair’s waterways. ... http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/batteries-included-85918365/
Slowburn
@ KrakaTaoJones
It depends on how the individual cells are wired together.
Dekarate
there is basic reason the electric power works for cars better than boats. Most of a car's energy is getting it up to speed. At highway speeds it only needs a dozen horsepower to overcome aero drag and cruise along. However, water offers a much greater amount of drag and requires continuous high level of power. If you can get the boat planing, the drag can be reduced. However, weight is also the enemy, particularly for planing hulls. The power density of the batteries just can't compete on a $, weight or capacity-basis with petro fuels. So, any e-boat is likely to be a displacement hull, which has a built-in speed limit factor. So your options are cheap but heavy lead acid batteries, l-ion like the Tesla, which then is expensive or a battery/charger system like the Prius.