The future on the water is electric. For the first time, an engine from a production sports car has been installed in a production motor yacht. What makes it so special is that the drive implanted in the new Frauscher 850 Fantom Air comes from none other than Porsche. That’s actually a bit of a sensation in itself. But it gets even better: the engine is that of the new Zuffenhausen SUV Macan, which will not make its official debut until spring 2024 – and it is fully electric. SeaHelp presents at this point in loose succession interesting, forward-looking projects in the field of e-mobility on the water..
The future on the water is electric – today there is no longer any serious doubt. In loose succession, we present new, innovative projects dedicated to e-drives on boats (see already our news on eD-TEC by former VW chief strategist Michael Jost, and on the H2C-Boat, which has a Fuel-Cell on board).
Fun turns serious: if in the recent past shipyards had presented boats with e-drives in order to greenwash their brand or push their portfolio as quickly as possible into the field of e-mobility (sometimes with dubious success), at the beginning of October a first serious project in the field of powerful, exclusive sport boats became reality. The name of the 8.67-meter-long and 2.49-meter-wide sport boat (draft at trim below: 0.9 meters): Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air.
Engelbert Frauscher would probably never have dared to dream that when he founded a boatbuilding company in Vienna in 1927: that 96 years later the name Frauscher would set standards in international premium boatbuilding – and in e-mobility on the water. And yet it is: the family-run shipyard, which has always been known for innovative ideas and precise craftsmanship, has made a giant leap into the international future of electric boatbuilding with its new electric boat.
The new electric boat is equipped with the drive technology of the future all-electric Porsche Macan, promising excellent performance
Equipped with the drive technology of the future all-electric Porsche Macan (which will not be officially unveiled until spring 2024), the electric yacht offers outstanding driving characteristics – something our editor was able to see for himself during an initial driving test for selected international journalists: “the new Porsche yacht from Frauscher accelerates rapidly and achieves an impressive top speed.
At the same time, the boat offers a comfortable driving experience, is easy to operate, and has several features on board that always ensure safety on board,” says Matt. Müncheberg of the specialized magazine sea & yachts. Also curves and waves master the 28 foot boat sovereign. And completely besides the small yacht possesses also still another point Design.
“We stand for modern, sporty and sustainable luxury – and we are redefining this concept. Our goal is to inspire our customers and fulfill their dreams,” says Lutz Meschke, Vice Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Financial Officer of Porsche AG. The Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air offers equally exceptional performance and luxury experiences as our sports cars, says Meschke.
The Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air uses components from the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), on which the new electric Macan will also be based
For use on the water, Porsche has adapted and further developed its drive technology designed for road vehicles. The Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air uses components of the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), on which the new electric Macan will also be based.
These include the lithium-ion high-voltage battery with a total capacity of around 100 kWh, a latest-generation permanently excited synchronous electric machine (PSM) with a peak output of 400 kW, and the associated power electronics.
Porsche drivers are accustomed to using several driving modes to select the drive characteristics that suit the situation. This is also possible with the Frauscher x Porsche, where it is possible to switch between the Docking, Range, Sport, and Sport Plus settings. During the test, this proved to be extremely practical: with Docking mode – in conjunction with a bow thruster – docking and undocking becomes child’s play. In Sport S mode, a top speed of up to 46 knots (85 km/h) is possible for 30 seconds.
The boat could go much faster, but for safety reasons it stops at 85 km/h
The boat could still go much faster, says Stefan Frauscher, one of the managing directors of the Ohlsdorf family shipyard; tests have shown a top speed of 100 km/h (54 knots) and more. But the safety of the driver and crew (there is room for up to nine people on the runabout) has priority; that’s why the speed has been sealed off at 85 km/h (85 mph). And to keep the temperatures of the engines within a manageable range (i.e. below 180 degrees), top speed is only possible for a maximum of 30 seconds.
But even in Sport mode and even in Range mode (the most efficient driving mode to cover the longest distances possible), the boat is still extremely agile and a lot of fun. The Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air, which is based on the successful day cruiser Frauscher 858 Fantom Air, adopts its 8.67-meter-long and 2.49-meter-wide hull almost unchanged and therefore offers just as much space as the latter.
A spacious sunbathing area with two comfortable cushions adjoins the bathing platform at the stern. A center aisle connects the rear of the boat to the freestanding helm station and cockpit. In the bow area, two more upholstered benches invite you to linger.
The damping of the battery bench was swinging by means of strong wire loops
The extensive changes and innovations to the boat are located – almost invisible to the driver from the outside – in its interior: where the tank and the combustion engine were previously installed, there is now the drive engine, the control system and other components of the electric drive; the battery bench has been installed as low and as far aft as possible.
It was suspended by means of strong metal wires – a damping technology used in tank construction, as forces of up to 50 G were measured during tests on the water – too much to be able to adopt the static mountings 1:1 from automotive construction.
The propulsion system also underwent a lot of fiddling in order to be able to transmit the brute torque to the water without having to dismantle it immediately if you want to “put the lever on the table” in sport mode. Therefore, a Sport-Z-Antrieb von Mercury is used in build number 1.
In terms of acceleration and top speed, the e-boat does a better job than its combustion counterpart – despite various safety features on board
The drive’s two counter-rotating screws do cost a little top speed, but they permanently ensure safe, powerful propulsion. And: for safety reasons, a two-second delay has been built into maximum acceleration in Sport mode, another good, sensible idea that increases comfort on board (and, by the way: in terms of acceleration and top speed, the e-boat still cuts a better figure than its combustion counterpart).
Thanks to Porsche’s 800-volt technology, the electric sports boat can be charged at DC fast-charging stations with more than 250 kW of direct current. Under ideal conditions, this should allow the battery to charge from ten to 80 percent SoC (state of charge/battery charge) in well under 30 minutes.
With just five DC fast charging stations with more than 250 kW DC, the entire Lake Garda can be electrified for suitable boats
“With just five of these fast-charging stations, the entire Lake Garda can be electrified for boats,” Porsche and Frauscher agreed at the boat launch. But AC charging at conventional household and high-voltage AC outlets is also possible, with an 11-kW charger fitted as standard.
But the electric yacht is not just powered by Porsche. The Studio F. A. Porsche in Zell am See (Austria) is also responsible for the design of the steering position. For example, an original Porsche sports steering wheel is on board. Five analog round instruments on the upper level of the instrument panel emphasize the Porsche look and inform about the essential data.
The two front seats have been redesigned by the designers from Studio F. A. Porsche. In line with the high EPerformance, they offer plenty of lateral support. Their appearance, with raised backrests, integrated headrests and embroidered crest, is inspired by the sports seats of Porsche sports cars.
The yacht is being built by Frauscher in Ohlsdorf. There they have a lot of experience in building e-boats
The yacht is being built at the Frauscher boatyard in Ohlsdorf, Austria. Frauscher will also handle all sales logistics and after-sales management.
Incidentally, this is not the first time Porsche has ventured onto the water: in 1959, the company presented the Type 729 boat engine to the public. It was based on the four-cylinder boxer engine of the Porsche 356, with power throttled down to 52 hp.
Electrically powered boats are also nothing new for Frauscher: as early as 1955, they presented their first e-boat, at that time for rental use. The family shipyard has built 3,000 electric boats to date, in times when the term “e-mobility” was still completely unknown.
The Frauschers even built a fuel cell boat 15 years ago. Now, then, an all-electric sports boat that deserves the name for the first time. “We are changing the boating world,” says Stefan Frauscher at the presentation on autumnal Lake Garda. Our conclusion: he’s right. Grandpa Engelbert would have been proud.
Technical data Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air:
CE category: C (coastal waters)
Length: 8.67 m
Width: 2.49 m
Clearance height: 1.35 m
Draft at trim high: 0.5 m
Draft at trim low: 0.9 m
Tare weight: 2,800 kg
Continuous electric motor power: 170 kW
Peak power electric motor: 400 kW
Battery capacity: 100 kWh/gross
DC charging power: > 250 kW
Charging power AC: 11 kW
Top speed in Sport Plus mode: 85 km/h (46 kn)
Crusing Speed: 41 km/h (22 kn)
Range at Cruising Speed: 45 km
Range at customer typical mix of slow, cruising and fast speed: 2-3 hours (depending on driving profile)
Base price: 561,700 euros (net)
Delivery of the first units: 2024
The boat will celebrate its world premiere at boot Düsseldorf 2024.
SeaHelp, the nautical breakdown service, has maintained a base on Lake Garda with a 200 hp fast response boat since 2020. Thus SeaHelp safety as well as the entire SeaHelp service is also provided to the sport skippers at the upper Italian “Lago di Garda”, the largest inland lake in Italy.