BlueNav hybrid electric propulsion

As a powerboater, I try to stay on top of the evolving solutions in electric propulsion. So far, very little has come along that could be considered a practical alternative to gas or diesel power where a boat like mine is concerned. Planing, especially in big water like Georgian Bay, is energy intensive, and there aren’t yet any reasonable answers for retrofitting an existing boat like mine without reducing range to maybe 20 miles.

The French company BlueNav holds out some promise of a hybrid solution with its BlueSpin retractable motor. You keep the “thermal” engine(s) for the operating mode that requires energy outputs an electric system can’t manage, namely running at planing speed, but then you have these retractable electric motors that automatically take over when you lower them and are operating at lower speeds. I haven’t done enough research to know about the costs or practicalities of the retrofit, but this is a big step in the right direction.

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