Capoforte SQ240i (6 m) is the slow Italian electric boat by choice


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Headmaster SQ140i
Headmaster SQ240i

Against the wear and tear of modern life, why not relax and sail slowly, at five knots? Let’s think about it, life on land is hectic that maybe when you go to sea, it’s worth slowing down, becoming aware of your surroundings, relaxing. Sailor stuff? Perhaps. Certainly this type of boater, on motor boats, is new. The market, however, shows us that a demand, albeit very specific, is already there.

The new Capoforte SQ240i is a 6-meter electric boat, designed by Christian Grande, and developed specifically for this propulsion right from the hull lines. Also propelling it is Yamaha‘s first electric outboard motor-Harmo.

I tested this hull and this motorization in the Venice lagoon, in Murano to be precise. The location is not accidental since a boat of this type, with the performance it offers, is particularly suitable for inland waters and “city” mobility.

Headmaster SQ140i
Headmaster SQ240i

Chief SQ240i – Who it is designed for.

In Italy we think of the Serenissima, but around the world there are several cities where mobility also passes over the waters that run through them. In Venice, with speed limits, theoretically, at 7 km/h this medium thus appears as very suitable.

The boat was really designed ,” explains Alessandro Russo, marine division manager of Yamaha Motor. for use in a river or lagoon city where preservation of the environment and artistic and cultural heritage is paramount. In addition, we will return to Venice at the next Boat Show, which, like Yamaha, pays great attention to the environment and is a promoter of electric propulsion for the preservation of the land.”

Headmaster SQ240i

On electric, pros and cons, one could talk for hours. Mature or immature technology? For a few? A fad? A necessity? Each position has its pros and cons. The fact remains that the change taking place in the mobility sector cannot but involve boating. It will not be “electric” boating that will solve the world’s pollution problems, but surely our segment is also called upon to play its part in the transition to increasingly sustainable forms of boating.

Headmaster SQ140i
Headmaster SQ240i

This Chieftain has first and foremost the merit of being born on a novel approach. Those who buy this boat will know that the top speed will be about 5 knots, with a range of 8 hours at this speed. Praise for slowness, but also the ability to navigate for a long time at a constant speed.

It is a calm test, one of the calmest I have ever taken. I move around on board with complete peace of mind; the deck layout, conditions and type of sailing allow it. On board, however, there is no boredom. Of course, it all depends on expectations. If you want a thoroughbred for racing, you will not be satisfied here.

It is not immediate to get into the mindset of a motor boat that does no more than 5 knots. Thinking about a means of transportation to move in an environment such as “urban,” however, the sense instead is there, starting with the need to also protect the surrounding environment (not only in terms of emissions) as in the case of Venice. To this must be added how quietness and total absence of vibration take comfort to a higher level.

Hull control, then, thanks in part to Yamaha’s joystick, is very simple, and every maneuver becomes easily manageable. One can also use the joystick, for example, directly to navigate and not only when mooring. Yamaha’s Harmo outboard shows a total affinity for this one-handed control tool with which to navigate.

Steering wheel and throttle still remain the primary steering mode and, given the characteristics of the hull, do not make the need for the joystick feel too great.

SQ240i Piano Head – Performance

Designed with a hull made especially for this type of propulsion, as we said, it develops a top speed of about 5 knots with two batteries of about 400 Ah, ampere-hour, each and thus 800 Ah total. Basically, if the power consumption of my motor (3.7 kW Harmo Yamaha with Rim-Drive technology) is 80 amps at 5 knots with two 400 Ah batteries each I will be able to sail for about ten consecutive hours.

The data, in accordance with those provided by the instrumentation during the survey, are expressed in km/h. No conversion was done to keep exactly the same numbers that were collected.

Spins Speed Consumption
200 3.1 km/h 2 amp
350 4.4 km/h 5 amp
450 6.0 km/h 11.5 amp
550 7 km/h 18 amp
650 8 km/h 30 amp
750 8.6 km/h 42 amp
850 9.8 km/h 60 amp
950 10.4 km/h 81 amp

About the Harmo Yamaha outboard

The motor is equipped with RIM-drive technology for more efficient electric propulsion when compared with a propeller of the same size. The electric motor is actually mounted around the outer edge of the propeller, allowing greater thrust at lower speeds than equivalent conventional motors.

Harmo can be used to push boats that are already “sizable” and has been tested on boats up to about 6.4 meters.


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