Swedish hull design company Petestep teams up with Zodiac and Torqeedo. The first project is the electric superyacht tender Avon eJet 450

Zodiac Nautic’s new electric yacht tender, the Avon eJet 450, will run faster and softer than its predecessor. The hull technology used for the RIB, provided by Petestep, improves the performance of Zodiac’s new fast electric jet boat. Thhe Swedish hull designers from Petestep and French RIB manufacturer Zodiac announced their new collaboration earlier this week.

Torqeedo is the third member of the group to supply the electric motor and the marinised battery technology from the BMW i. According to a statement, the new Avon eJet boat series is the world’s first electrically powered tender boat for larger yachts that offers “a similar range and better comfort on board than conventional combustion engine tenders”.

Maximum speed rises by 10%

The collaboration with the Bordeaux-based inventors of the inflatable boat is a new step for Petestep towards internationalisation. “We found the Petestep technology very exciting when we first saw it, and the eJet 450 hull even exceeded our high expectations,” explains Antoine Hèber-Suffrin, head of development at Zodiac Nautic.

“Petestep’s simulations proved to be very accurate. The glide speed range was actually increased by 15% and the maximum speed by 10% compared to a conventional hull”.

Also the comfort on board is proper, says Hèber-Suffrin: “The ride is incredibly dry”. It was similar for us in the float test. The Tiger has gone off with the Petestep hull for the Finnish Silver shipyard.

Demanding specification expectation

While on other hulls the glide stringers run parallel to the keel direction, Petestep uses so-called “deflectors”. These gradations run – unlike the known parallel stringers – from an optimally calculated point to the stern.

The development of the Avon eJet 450 was quite challenging, because the intended berth for the boat model are the tender garages of superyachts. A newly developed electric jet engine reduces the boat’s emissions and maintenance intervals to zero.

The specification also stated that the hull was so efficient that the available battery capacity would allow more than an hour of gliding. At the same time, the tender should be gently immersed in the waves. And the boat should be smooth. So that there is a plus in ride comfort compared to dinghies with gasoline or diesel.

First simulation, then production

Petestep carried out simulations with the hull design. The wetted area of the hull was reduced and the splash water was redirected downwards and backwards. This resulted in significant improvements in performance and dryness on deck.

In autumn 2017 the bosses of Zodiac and Torqeedo presented the first version, the eJet 430, in Cannes. “We continue to use Torqeedo’s deep blue system in our eJet 450 with Petestep hull technology.” Antoine Hèber-Suffrin, Z Nautic Group’s head of development, told float that.

Jonas Danielsson, CEO of Petestep, likes the holistic approach: “It is very satisfying to see how well the overall package works with the quiet electric powertrain in the Avon eJet 450”. Petestep was founded in 2012 with the goal of improving the performance of gliders after developing a novel hull that improves the efficiency and comfort of motorboats.

Avon is planning further models in the eJet range. The first copies of the electric tender from the now announced cooperation have already been produced, float learned on request. The construction number 1 of the series production recently went to the USA.