“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”, chimed Roy Scheider in 1970s classic Jaws. In the climate conscious world we live in nowadays, however, you’re more likely to hear calls for boats to become cleaner and more eco-friendly.
One firm hoping to do just that is Viking Life-Saving Equipment, which could soon offer what it claims to be the world’s first electric rescue boat.
Viking Norsafe, the life and rescue boat arm of Viking Life-Saving Equipment, has worked in partnership with electric outboard manufacturer Evoy to electrify its Mako-655 rescue boat.
The 6.55 metre Mako-655 is an existing boat design powered by a traditional petrol engine. Due to current IMO and International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations, rescue boats of this type must have at least one combustion engine.
Viking Norsafe is hoping to challenge this regulation, with the long-term goal of overturning the existing rule with the assistance of classification society DNV, who have submitted an application to SOLAS to support electric technology in boats.
The Viking Norsafe E-Mako-655 is powered by one of Evoy’s electric outboards, with Viking Norsafe’s head of research and development, Erik Mostert, stating that adding electric propulsion to its rescue boats was beneficial thanks to reduced maintenance and increased reliability.
Evoy is currently working on its new 225kW Outboard Storm, which is set to become the world’s most powerful electric outboard engine when it lands in 2024.
Commenting on the partnership, Evoy CEO and co-founder, Leif Stravøstrand said, “We are very excited for the partnership and frame agreement with Viking.
“They are and have been a beacon in maritime safety for decades and we are humble that they have chosen Evoy to showcase to the industry that electric is a highly viable solution already today. Going electric for these types of boats will give great benefits for their owners and users."