Yamaha just introduced its HARMO electric outboard to the U.S. at the big International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) in Tampa.
The outboard couples a 48-volt power supply with a high-yield, low-drag 3.7 kilowatt motor. The rim-drive electric motor and specially encased impeller provide 225 pounds of static thrust. Yamaha says that is the equivalent of a conventional 9.9-hp gasoline outboard. The electric outboard’s running time depends on the type of battery, the size, configuration and other parameters.
Rim motors have been used for thrusters and some other marine applications in the past, but Yamaha says this this the first time they’ve been used on an outboard motor.
The system includes Yamaha’s Helm Master joystick controls for easy docking and intuitive driving; it also has digital steering and a 140-degree total steering angle for easy maneuvering and sharp boat handling. The control system means you can rotate a single-engine boat in its own length or move it sideways with twin engines. It also has a 74-degree tilt angle to keep the impeller out of the water.
The motor offers silent operation, fast response and dramatic maneuvering. The HARMO unit weighs just 121 pounds, and Yamaha says it can maneuver a boat up to 32 feet in most conditions.
“HARMO is the perfect system for horsepower or internal-combustion restricted waterways,” said Ben Speciale, president of Yamaha Marine U.S. Business Unit. “Ultimately, it is up to our boat builder customers to decide how to integrate it into their boats.”
The system is available to boat builders in Europe now, and will be available to U.S. builders within 18 months.
Yamaha says the HARMO name recognizes the harmony that exists between a vessel, its propulsion system, its passengers and the environment. Read more: