McLaren’s Design Boss Builds Stunning Electric Boat

DEC 15 2015 BY MARK KANE 19



Frank Stephenson, a design director at McLaren Automotive, presented his new powerboat Riverbreeze, which turns out to be all-electric.

The wooden boat looks gorgeous and was built for recreation.

Specs fail to appeal to those who had hoped for sporty performance, but the Riverbreeze is a different kind of boat.

A 4.2 kW motor and 14.7 kWh of batteries (eight Varta 12-volt marine batteries, lead acid we believe) is enough for silent sailing, and to allow for the occupants to calm down and spend some time with friends.

“Stephenson and crew will spend a good 10 hours cruising the Thames, rising and falling on a series of locks, all the way to Lechlade at the edge of the Cotswolds—the river’s highest navigable point, near the bubbling source of the Thames. The electric boat depletes roughly half its battery en route, Stephenson says, but there are charge points all along the river. And, where his signature sports cars and bikes are fast, Riverbreeze is about slowing down.

“For a designer, it’s all about that balance. I’ll get up at 6 a.m. and beat myself up on a high-decibel Ducati all day. So when I get on the boat, all I want to hear is the birds and the water.

“And there’s no laws against drinking and driving on the river, so we’ll just smoke a pipe, drink some whiskey and chill.”

Source: The Drive

Categories: General


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19 Comments on "McLaren’s Design Boss Builds Stunning Electric Boat"

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6 hp is kind of lame, but that is a beautiful boat. I guess if you are just boating on quiet rivers or maybe the odd canal it would be ok since you are in a no wake zone most of the time anyway. But can you imagine trying to keep that beautiful boat from scraping on the side of a lock?

It might be faster than one would expect – with only 6hp you will be running “flat out” all the time, and then you can perfectly adapt the gearing and the propeller for maximum efficiency. 8mph or so would already be a pretty decent speed.

Pretty, but the tail drags too low to the waterline. 😛

it super nice !

It must have an enormous frunk under that huge front deck… I think for my one I’ll leave it all open, (and have a folding top for the inevitable downpour – this is England we are talking about!)

Put lots of batteries up front then use a Remy 100 hp electric three phase motor.

If the put in lithium-ion batteries he could add some zest to the performance.

Someone’s going to have to explain how this guy could possibly pick lead acid batteries in 2015. Maybe someone needs a Batteries 101 class at community college.

Imagine no Diesel STINK.
That’s worth it’s weight in gold.

Wonder what sort of numbers this boat would show if it were fitted with the battery and motor of a Model S/85.

How can it be legal to get smashed and drive a boat? lol

It’s not in the US. Here the same drinking-and-driving laws apply on the water as on the road. The difference is that the water is much harder to patrol, so people do it anyway.

In the US, it is not illegal to drink and operate a vessel. However, it is illegal to be impaired or intoxicated and do so. So, sipping whiskey, or drinking a beer, and running a boat is legal… up to a point.

I have rented an electric boat on Lake Union Seattle. It is a pleasure to cruise without the noise, vibration and stink of a Diesel engine.

This is a perfect candidate for a recycled LEAF battery with 75% capacity left.

Critics ! What have you ever made? Each different kind of boat that travels on the same body of water will give you a quite different experience. I use a canoe, a small 10 hp car topper fishing boat, pontoon boat and ski boat all in the same big lake and its connecting waterways, each one gives it’s own sensory pleasures. Think about that the next time you get on your jet ski and buzz someone’s serenity! But my question is, for your final voyage, what will you take? How about a canoe casket?

While I admire the boat for being electric, this part I love, please excuse and understand me for making a statement regarding the boat itself.

RIGHT here is your ANSWER to where the HARDWOOD from the TROPICAL FORESTS goes. When you see DEFORESTATION and the DEVASTATION it creates and you think about global warming, THINK about the UBER-WEALTHY on their WOODEN runabouts and MAHOGANY DECKED YACHT.

Yet the ruling class will still blame the consumer, the masses for global warming, for environmental population and deforestation. More taxes or trickle down taxes from utilities on the consumer? Keep this boat, the yachts and the forests they come from in mind…

What about the RAIN FOREST this boat comes from?

How long is she?