Many people in the marine industry are very aware of the increasing viability of electronic propulsion systems on boats and yachts of all sizes and shapes. The American market has seen some great electric and hybrid electric drive boats in various classes and hull designs, from Greenline Yachts' diesel-electric hybrid coastal cruisers to X-Shore's center console day boats (see the Eelex 8000) and Twin Vee's new electric power cats. The bottom line is electrically-powered vessels are on the rise from a variety of builders and interest in this next evolution of boats and yachts is higher than it's ever been before. Furyan Marine Technology is a new company with some very big ambitions in this segment that aims to address four main challenges facing the 35 foot (10.6m) powerboat segment of the leisure marine market. The prototype Furyan F35 (below) will be available to order late in 2021.

Furyan F35 Electric Hybrid Boat

Above: The Furyan F35 electric powerboat charging at the dock. Photo/Rendering by Furyan Marine Technology.

Shifting The Paradigm: Most Powerboats Are Still Fueled By Fossil Fuels

While the overwhelming majority of powerboats are still powered by fossil fuels, rapid advancements in technology, rising concerns over environmental pollution and a global interest in reducing personal carbon footprints, along with increasing regulations and legislation, are all combining to persuade a growing number of power boaters to consider alternative power sources. Furyan has stepped to the plate in this realm to focus on delivering solutions for eco-conscious boaters and budget-minded boat owners while helping to solve some of these major challenges. The team behind Furyan is an experienced group of British race car engineers and boating enthusiasts who set out on a mission together to create a "petrol electric hybrid superboat".

A Unique Electric Hybrid Serial Cascade Propulsion System

Furyan has developed their unique electric hybrid serial cascade propulsion system with all of these factors in mind. This system features two motors that run in series matching the propellor load curve to the linear power line of the electric motors. The motors are linked through a dog-clutch engagement so each motor runs at maximum efficiency. The combined duty cycle of this system will have a 68% saving on fuel and CO2 (simulated sea conditions) and 100% clean CO2 when running on all electric.

Furyan F35 electric hybrid propulsion system

Above: A side view of the Furyan F35 electric hybrid serial cascade propulsion system. Photo/Rendering by Furyan Marine Technology.

As many boaters know, running on electric propulsion eliminates the potentially harmful and polluting gases from the emissions of traditional gasoline-powered internal combustion engines including the following:

  • Nitrogen oxide (NO) – harmful to humans and the planet, in high concentrations they are responsible for acid rain

  • Sulphur dioxide (from SOx) – a toxic gas directly harmful to human health

  • Carbon monoxide (CO) – an odorless, colorless yet poisonous gas that is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned and is potentially fatal to humans

  • CO2 - is harmful in high doses and exposure can produce a variety of health effects including headaches, dizziness, restlessness, a tingling or pins or needles feeling, difficulty breathing, sweating, tiredness, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, coma, asphyxia, and convulsions.

  • Hydrocarbon (HC) – any organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon vital to combustion engines powered by fossil fuels. Essentially, hydrocarbons are fossil fuels, and incomplete combustion of fossil fuels leads to increased hydrocarbon emissions. Hydrocarbons are also vital to produce the majority of transportation on Earth, including electric cars and even bicycles. Diesel engines, including large marine engines, often put out a higher level of hydrocarbon emissions than other combustion engines. Simply put, hydrocarbons change the composition of the atmosphere and can pollute water sources, stunt the growth of crops, endanger forests and cause cancer.

  • Particulate matter (PM) – (also called particle pollution): is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the emissions of combustion engines. These can include dust, smoke, dirt and microscopic materials and chemicals that are inhalable and potentially dangerous to humans and animals. They are carcinogenic and can get into human lungs and bloodstreams plus they are the main cause of smog and haze that reduce visibility in many areas. Switching away from fossil fuel powered combustion engines makes sense for us and the planet.

Furyan Uses Green Boat Building Materials And Methods: Low-Embodied Carbon Hulls

Furyan has carefully selected a natural lightweight fiber for the hull of their boats that has a low CO2 manufacturing ratio. The production process uses 85% less water and 70% less energy than carbon fibre. This natural material is CO2 neutral over its life cycle and has 60% lower embodied energy than injection moulded polypropylene at the same stiffness and is 40% lighter in weight. The Furyan hull is 100% recyclable.

Battery Life: What happens when the battery is fully discharged or fails?

A key barrier to the take-up of electric powerboats (and electric cars) is range anxiety. Understandably in the case of an ocean going, seaworthy cruising boat this anxiety can be greatly increased. Range is important to boaters, especially those cruising long distances along the coast or offshore. Clearly, fully discharged batteries or battery failure, will limit the boat's ability to return safely to shore.

Electric Boats: What Is The Range?

This is often the first questions boaters ask about an electric boat. Fortunately, Furyan has designed an almost fail-safe system that ensures a safe return to port in virtually any scenario. The Furyan F35 has four independently wired battery packs, so if one fails the others can still provide power. The battery packs power two motors as part of the Furyan cascade propulsion system. If one motor fails the other can safely return the boat to port.

Finally, the Furyan cascade system includes a range extending generator. Th range extending generator can charge the battery packs or drive directly the motors again ensuring a safe return to port. There need be no "range anxiety" with the Furyan Eco Hybrid system.

A More Efficient Hull Design

In the past with cheap marine gas and readily accessible fossil fuels, traditional powerboat builders - especially larger yacht manufacturing brands - were not always immediately concerned about the overall efficiency of the hull design. Going faster simply meant using more fuel, and often the focus was on seaworthiness and durability over efficiency and drag. Additionally, propellor slippage as a boat accelerates can account for up to a 30% loss of energy. In the automotive world this can be likened to “wheel spin” and the introduction of traction control systems helps to reduce the energy wasted.

Furyan designers come from the fast paced world of F1 and high end automotive engineering, a sector in which the UK leads the world. The Furyan team have undertaken extensive design and development work to design the hull so that it has 28% less drag than conventional designs. The production process uses 85% less water and 70% less energy than carbon fibre. This natural material is CO2 neutral over its life cycle and has 60% lower embodied energy than injection moulded polypropylene at the same stiffness and is 40% lighter in weight. The Furyan hull is 100% recyclable.

Advantages of the Furyan Eco Hybrid technology

Lower operating costs - the first most obvious and very clear advantage to the Furyan system, and any electrically powered vessel in general is the cost-saving. An analysis of boat companies that have converted to an electric hybrid drive system shows a 70% saving on diesel fuel costs and reduced maintenance costs

Improved performance - hybrid/electric propulsion enables full power from a stationery position and quieter running. Many refer to this as the "instant torque" of electric motors.

Eco friendly: boats converted to an electric hybrid propulsion system can show a 60% reduction in harmful emissions (NOx, Sox, HC, CO2 and particulates). The Furyan hull, as noted above, is made from a natural fiber and is also recyclable with a low CO2 manufacturing ratio.

Safety at sea: battery packs and motors are on separate circuits; the range extending generator can either drive the vessel or recharge the batteries; a dielectric coolant fluid protects the cells from cell fire.

Regulatory compliance: compliance with the increasing regulatory environment, which is only likely to get more stringent in the coming years and decades. Purchasing an electric boat can "future proof" your investment for these changing regulations.

Luxury Marine Cruising With An Eco-Consciousness

Step aboard the F35 to find a spacious and refined cockpit with generous open space for entertaining. Comfortable overnight staying is easy in any weather, a lifestyle with a clean conscience. The Coupe features a covered cockpit with opening sunroof area. 

Furyan F35 Electric Hybrid Boat

Above: a rendering of the upcoming Furyan F35 "coupe" electric-hybrid powerboat model - note the covered cockpit and sunroof. Photo/Rendering by Furyan Marine Technology.

The Furyan F35 may be the perfect choice for environmental sailing when you value easy clean living on the waters but want the ease of an electric hybrid propulsion system without the physical demands of a traditionally wind-powered sailboat. Virtually everything on this boat has been designed to perfect the experience at sea and minimize the boat owner's carbon footprint. Visit the Furyan website for more details.

Written by: John Travis
John Travis is the Managing Director and Head of Engineering at Furyan Marine Technology Ltd and has over 35 years of experience in European and North American motorsport. John has worked on a number of hybrid and electric vehicle projects, is a powerboat enthusiast and owner of a Grandezza 34oc with an interest in boat design, construction and hydrodynamics and a passion to make marine activities cleaner. He has held various positions throughout his career including: Chief Designer at Penske and A1GP (Ferrari), LOLA, BAR, Spyker and Wirth Research (Honda, Ferrari, Dynamik and Lockheed Martin).