VESSEL REVIEW | H2C Boat – Demonstrator RIB with hybrid electric-hydrogen propulsion

Photo: Torqeedo
Photo: Torqeedo

Dutch sailing organisation Watersportverbond recently introduced a demonstrator coach boat powered by a combination of electricity and hydrogen.

Developed by Dutch startup H2 Marine Solutions, H2C Boat will be used to assist in the training of competitive sailing crews. Its support role mainly entails carrying support personnel and safety equipment that a racing crew might need at any time during training, hence the requirement for a compact craft that is also capable of long-endurance, reduced-emission sailings.

<em>Photo: Torqeedo</em>
Photo: Torqeedo

The idea for a reduced-emission coach boat came about during the 2018 World Sailing Championships held in Aarhus, Denmark. When Dutch Olympic sailing coach Jaap Zielhuis saw a harbour filled with coach boats of the various teams, he realised then that such vessels also needed to be capable of generating low emissions like the racing yachts they were designed to support.

The work on the demonstrator boat is a collaboration between Dutch partners that include Watersportverbond, the Sailing Innovation Centre, Delft University of Technology, and Habbeke Shipyard. Design and construction of the boat is part of a broader project that aims to demonstrate the technical viability of a green hydrogen supply chain in the maritime sector in the Netherlands.

The 6.8-metre, 1,100-kilogram rigid inflatable boat (RIB) is fitted with a Torqeedo electric outboard motor powered by a 40kWh lithium-ion battery and an additional 51kWh hydrogen fuel cell that functions as a range extender, ensuring a maximum endurance of six hours, or an endurance of 50 minutes at a top speed of 25 knots. The propulsion arrangement also enables the RIB to generate significantly lower noise and emissions compared to conventional coach boats.

H2C Boat has already commenced operational sailings, having begun supporting training activities as part of the 2023 World Sailing Championships held in The Hague in August.

H2C Boat
Type of vessel:RIB – Demonstrator
Owner:Watersportverbond, Netherlands
Designer:H2 Marine Solutions, Netherlands
Builder:Habbeke Shipyard, Netherlands
Length overall:6.8 metres
Displacement:1,100 kilograms
Main engine:Torqeedo outboard
Maximum speed:25 knots
Batteries:Torqeedo lithium-ion, 40 kWh
Type of fuel:Hydrogen

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World