Tornado launches carbon-neutral RIB

The Tornado 6m ZERO-E RIB Photo: Torqeedo The Tornado 6m ZERO-E RIB Photo: Torqeedo

Tornado Boats has launched a new, climate-neutral coach boat for sailing clubs in response to World Sailing’s Challenge 2024.

The Tornado 6m ZERO-E RIB is powered by Torqeedo’s Deep Blue 50R outboard and a 40 kWh Deep Blue battery.

World Sailing, the sport’s governing body, set a challenge to the marine industry to ‘push the boundaries of low carbon innovation for support boats at international events.’ Challenge 2024 set two goals - to halve the number of combustion-powered coach boats at Olympic Class events by 2024, and to eliminate fossil fuel-powered official boats by 2025.

Emission-free propulsion

Lars Hjorth, owner of legacy RIB manufacturer Tornado Boats, decided to take up the challenge. “I started looking into building an electric coach boat about three years ago, but thought the price was too high for the market at the time,” he said. “Now, I believe the market is ready, partially due to the automotive industry and partially due to World Sailing’s Challenge 2024. This will help to drive customers to the emission-free propulsion option.”

The boatbuilders at Tornado Boats heavily modified a 6m RIB to fit the Deep Blue system’s most energy-dense high-capacity battery, recessing the suspension system into the hull and manufacturing a custom battery cover which included the seats in the boat, and a compartment for the cooling system and system management unit.

Final testing has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Lars is optimistic that the boat’s range will be sufficient for a full day at typical coaching speeds.

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