Electric boat wows crowds and woos women and kids

The ’sofa boat’ is a quiet, zero emission option for tender or transport.
MIAA
The curiously named 'sofa boat' was a star attraction at the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show last week, ferrying visitors and VIPS alike around the superyachts, marinas, and pontoons, all under the power of an electric engine.

The electric boat, who was enjoying its maiden voyage at ADYS, is a 3.5m 'floating fun platform' - designed, developed and built in the UAE with a folding sun canopy covering the seating area, joystick steering, and a soft-foam bumper to allow easy manouvrability among other craft in crowded marinas.

'I wanted to offer boats that were enjoyable to women and families - low noise, easy-to-handle craft that are perfect for quiet sundowners or a more glamorous arrival at a private yacht than in a tender,' says Dr Martin Mai, Managing Director, Abra Marine, the boat's designer and manufacturer.

'The boat is completely powered by electricity and has 0% carbon-dioxide emissions. It can be charged via an electric socket and has batteries that give it 12 hours of continuous power. We also have a solar-powered version in development.'

The solar-powered version will run by the power generated by seven square metre solar panels that generate 1,000W peak electric energy, with the ability to run for up to 10-hours. The company also offers a 'B2B' version of the sofa boat - complete with laptop docking points and a fridge for refreshments on the go, perfect for those extremely confidential business meetings out at sea.

Capt. Berend Lens van Rijn, CEO of Belevari Marine, the Abu Dhabi-based marine consultancy, charter, brokerage and service company responsible for bringing this concept boat to ADYS, says the company is currently in talks to set up a charter licence to charter the boats in Abu Dhabi.

The basic model is offered at AED59,000 with add-on customisation options such as luxurious leather seats, refreshment tables, a stereo system onboard or a two-sofa configuration.

More at www.belevari.com