Vantage Yacht Club, a boat rental and yachting club operating from three different Chicago harbors, recently replaced the 16 stock batteries on the company's green picnic cruisers with four Torqeedo Power 26/104 lithium marine batteries. Last year, the company's forward-thinking owner, Jason De Palma, added the eight 22' electric picnic cruisers to his fleet of express cruisers, yachts and pontoons.
Shortly after this investment, he discovered that the boats' original 16, 6V deep cycle marine stock batteries required for the boats' 48V DC motor couldn't keep up with his demanding rental operation. These heavy lead acid batteries required 14 hours to charge and had a limited runtime. Constant commercial use quickly aged the batteries and De Palma faced an annual replacement cost of several thousand dollars for each boat.
Seeking a better solution, Vantage replaced the stock batteries on one of the cruisers with four Torqeedo Power 26/104 25.9V lithium marine batteries. The company also added eight Torqeedo chargers, two for each lithium pack. When the first Torqeedo-equipped electric boat resumed operation in downtown Chicago, the advantages quickly became apparent.
The high performance Torqeedo batteries each weigh in at only 53 lbs., but deliver a whopping 2,685 watt-hours. Vantage found the switch to lithium removed over 800 lbs. of battery weight and allowed each boat to use 20 to 30 amps per hour less, while experiencing a 40% gain in top speed. Especially significant for the rental operation's profit margin, the new Torqeedo batteries decreased downtime. Total recharge time was cut in half, from 14 hours to only 7.
"We get two additional revenue trips per day due to lower boat weight, faster recharge times and the ability to discharge down to 20%," said De Palma.
Lithium batteries also have an extended cycle life compared to lead acid types. De Palma notes that Torqeedo represents the most advanced battery technology on the market today. With customer safety as the company's number-one priority, De Palma appreciates the Torqeedo battery's stability and rugged casing.
"Plans are underway to convert the remaining batteries powering our Green Fleet to the Torqeedo Power 26/104," said De Palma.