Electric boats made their mark at the Salone Nautico Venezia, held in the first week of June. With an E-Village with 30 exhibitors, the E-Regatta was also a success.
Despite the floods from the AquaAlta and then the total evacuation of tourists and boats from Venice, when the Venetians told the world about rediscovered silence, pure air, shoals of fish and jellyfish in the canals, VeniceAgenda2028 has been busy working from home and in boatyards to make the e-regata even more spectacular next summer of 2021. Using Zoom conferencing and emails we have been further refining the Rules of the e-regata to make it more interactive and ludic. These rules can now be downloaded below. Electric boatbuilders from the Veneto region and the North Italian Lake District are planning the Prologo, a prototype e-regata to test out these rules and to improve them further. Two days ago, a new electric open boat, based on the traditional Venetian topetta, was launched from Murano and is considered as just the beginning of Venezia's decision to make a sustainable comeback (find the post in Electrify Venice Facebook page). Plans are also underway to hold an e-regata world championship, with candidate venues already received from Toronto (Canada), Helsinki (Finland), Bristol (UK), Strathclyde (Scotland), Paris (France) and of course Venice. We welcome both other venue proposals and overall sponsors, with the plan to created the marine equivalent of Formula-E automobiles. Concerning other types of electric boat for Venice, we know of several projects for both passenger boats and workboats and will keep you posted about these in the months to come
In order to promote the developoment of zero-emission, low wash/wake, manoeuvrable and reasonably autonomous electric boats, we have decided to publish the description of the e-Regata as open-source, available to anybody in the world wishing to organise such a competition. Depending on the waterway you use, you may need to modify small details.
These Race Instructions (RI) have been developed by Kevin Desmond (watersport historian and founder of VeniceAgenda2028, Hartmut Ginnow-Merkert (European Championship for Solar Boats), and Jeroen Droogsma (Solar Sport One) and Roy Cooper: In case of a discrepancy between the Italian, German, and English text versions, the English text shall prevail.
Any situation not covered by these rules will be decided on by the Jury. Each team shall participate in compliance with recognised principles of sportsmanship and fair play. The responsibility for a competitor’s decision to participate in the race is for his alone.
Note from Kevin Desmond, chairman of the Electric Boat Association and co-founder of VeniceAgenda2028
Andreas Apostolopoulos, Founder and Chairman of the Greek Electric Boat Association and organiser of the “Go to Port” e-boat competition for schools around the Aegean and Ionian Islands, has proposed the following simple, but practical and noble idea:
I have an idea, which I believe is very significant for the promotion of Electric Boats worldwide. Everybody knows two things: that a boat must have a paddle on board if ever gets out of power and secondly that our world is suffering from the plastics pollution. Around the oceans and lakes of the world are seas of plastic which are destroying aquatic life. My idea is for a paddle that every boat must have on board, with a small spoon-net at the other end: In other words, a paddle-for- plastic-net. With this 2in1 tool, the owner can use the paddle end for navigation and the net end to plastic garbage from the sea whenever they find it, so helping to reduce the pollution. It must be made entirely of biodegrable material, wood or circular-recycled plastic, with the netting in hemp or coconut coir. The net section can be detachable, to better facilitate paddling.
I suggest also that every leisure port should have at its entrance or in a place very easy to reach from both water and walking, a big closed bin (which opens easily for people coming with a boat and from water) where the recollected plastic garbage can be thrown. The design and/or colour of these onshore plastic recollecting bins should be internationally the same, so that any boat having plastic garbage, can recognise them easily
With my country’s legendary tradition as a seafaring nation, I choose to call this device a “kaπa-sigma ®”. The initial letters “kaπa-sigma ®” are from the Greek phrase “Κουπί Σωτηρίας®” (koupi sotirias) which in English means , “Paddle of Salvation” (of Salvage), and it responds to reality . A paddle can help you at difficult times at sea, but also it can save the environment if it can collects garbage. I propose that a “kaπa-sigma ®” becomes a regulatory tool for every electric boat worldwide, if we want to say that we are not merely zero emission and silent, but that we are caring about the environment.
Andreas Apostolopoulos, Ilion, Greece.
Electric boats were one of the key features at the Salone Nautica di Venezia, held at the Arsenale from 18 th to 23 rd June. The two waterbus companies, Alilaguna and ACTV each displayed a hybrid-electric prototype able to handle the relentless 24/24 hr tourist demand. The latter has decided to build an initial batch of 35 of these during the next two years to replace their noisy-smoky-diesel versions. Alongside Vizianello’s HEPIC fuel-cell waterbus and their Nuvolari-designed “retro-look” hybrid-electric water taxi, were three electric workboats also built locally by Veritas, Amadi and VeniceGoGreen’s Cargo31 for the City’s Chamber of Commerce. Also present were e-boats from Transfluid, solar-assist Nauma-Tec, X-Shore (Sweden) and Q-Yachts (Finland). The Italian Powerboat Racing Federation showed an uncompleted prototype of a Formula-E circuit raceboat. In this way, 27,000 Venetian and Italian visitors discovered the “electric boat”. Officially opening the event, both Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, President of the Italian Senate, then Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro spoke about a green sustainability for future generations and declared that in the future the only type of boat in Venice would be electric. Brugnaro also bought Ca’Farseti, the Transfluid hybrid electric wooden cabin runabout for the Municipality, stating “Soon there will be real possibilities to convert the boats and then we will think about the regulations with the various categories: to pass at certain times and in certain places you must have the electric.”
Talking of the ACTV and Alilaguna hybrid waterbuses, he added “One of these days we have a race: we have two solutions, we can say that surely all the boats will become hybrids and in our Grand Canal they will go electric.” Kevin handed out as many EBA Grebe logo visiting cards as he could. The cherry on the cake! Also during the event, VeniceAgenda2028 in association with Inland Waterways International and Assonautica Venezia developed their plan and signed an agreement for a “Zero Emission Lakeside Festival” in June 2020. This will include the four-discipline E-Regatta (a Venetian word) and “Noi Siamo Electriche!”, a much-to-be publicized electric boat procession along the city’s Grand Canal. The racing structure and official presentation of this will take place in October 2019. Other interested parties expressed an interest in holding e-Regattas on Lake Annecy (Fr), Lake Como, Lake Bracciano and Brindisi (Italy) and Lake Beloton (Hungary) and even in North America – an embryonic championship for a new sport. Watch this space!
VeniceAgenda2028 announced that the Foundation of His Serene Highness, Prince Albert II of Monaco had decided to accompany them in this voyage. A decision was also made by Vela representing the City of Venice to hold two Electric Water Taxi E-Regattas, including a six hour endurance trial, one on Lake Como and the other in the Arsenale during the 2020 Boat Show. Electric runabout manufacturers around the world will be sent Venice Boat Show 2019 Report