Epoch Skiff: the electric boat (with foils), but for all budgets


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Epoch Skiff, the electric boat with foils
Epoch Skiff, the new electric boat with foils

Electric motors and foils continue to populate boating news, but more importantly, they are beginning to leave the high end of the market that we had become accustomed to. Indeed, from America comes a more economically sustainable solution and, not for nothing, a finalist nominee for the Gussies Electric Boat Awards 2022: Epoch Skiff. Wheelable, fast and designed for electric foil sailing, it is available in three sizes starting at ‘only’ $35,000 (foil, batteries and motor included!).

Epoch Skiff

Designed by Epoch Boats, Epoch Skiff will be brought to market in three different sizes, 14, 16, and 18 feet, and will be configured differently depending on the intended use, whether that be fishing, river boating, or use as a tender. In addition, should it be necessary to trailer the boat or approach shallow waters, the entire foil system is designed to fold up taking up minimal space, achieving an extremely shallow draft.

Epoch Boats – Testing and prototyping phase

Epoch Skiff – Propulsion

In terms of motorization, the electric outboard motor ranges between powers equivalent to about 15 to 25 horsepower of a heat engine, while the standard battery power is 5kWh, quickly rechargeable. An overall propulsion that is not only energy sustainable and quiet, but also efficient when combined with the foil system designed by Epoch, which thus lifts the boat out of the water to reach speeds in excess of 30 knots. In terms of range, it reportedly ranges from 30 miles at 30 MPH to 60 miles at 20 MPH. The batteries, again according to the company, recharge (depending on the level of charger used) in a minimum of 2 hours to a maximum of 10 hours depending on, among other things, the power available.

“Our goal,” says Epoch CEO Tom Ward, “is to develop a greener boat that would reduce the boater’s impact on the environment, but we knew it also had to have the performance and wow factor that today’s boaters want. Most electric boats are too slow or too expensive for the average boater. Epoch’s boats are designed to work efficiently with an electric motor and a relatively small battery to achieve higher performance, range and speed at a cost comparable to many combustion boats with similar options.”

Epoch Skiff: the advantages of an electric boat with foils

The electric boat is often associated with a sustainability discourse. This is true, but up to a point. Until all energy is produced from renewable sources, what is eliminated is mainly “on-site” emission. The advantages of an electric boat, however, are there and they are very interesting. First, the feeling of sailing on a less noisy boat, sounding more like a sailboat. Those who have tried it know that it is an experience with great appeal. The electric motor, then, needs (virtually) no maintenance. At the same time, sailing on foils, with a compatible sea, makes for very smooth sailing enjoyment. This is without mentioning that foils allow for a significant reduction in fuel consumption at cruising speed.

Epoch Boats – Testing and prototyping phase

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