Torqeedo has won the largest marine equipment design award for its innovative new Cruise Pod electric saildrives.
The electric propulsion pioneer Torqeedo won the largest marine equipment prize of the year today (15 November) – for the second time in four years. The DAME (Design Awards METS) award 2016 was presented to the German manufacturer for its Cruise FP range of integrated electric drives.
It is a deserved award for a company that has unveiled a series of new and innovative electric propulsion alternatives over the last decade from electric outboards to high voltage motors.
The Cruise FP is an electric saildrive leg that can directly replace a diesel-powered saildrive, together with comparative performance and pricing. Retrofitting a Cruise pod looks particularly straightforward.
The lightweight and efficient motor, the same as those proven in Torqeedo’s outboard range, is contained within the pod underwater (keeping it cool). The Cruise pod drives are, however, designed to be part of a fully integrated Torqeedo system that includes lithium batteries, electronic throttle and touchscreen user interface.
The Cruise models can be charged from shore power, solar panels or generators – yet have full hydro-generative power while sailing, even if the folding props version is chosen.
Torqeedo conducted flow resistance trials with a pod on a 30ft Dehler and reported a decrease of less than 0.04 knots speed (compared to having no motor/propeller). The pods are currently available to suit yachts from 25-40ft.
The DAME comes a month after Hanse’s E-Motion Rudder Drive was unveiled in corporation with Torqeedo and Jefa. This system effectively integrates a Torqeedo Pod within a rudder blade to provide an electric propulsion alternative with supreme manoeuvrability.
The DAME award is particularly impressive if you consider the high volume of innovative products on the shortlist of this year’s awards. Record numbers took top honours as 28 products were named as category winners or presented with special mentions.
The DAME Awards Jury of eight industry experts praised Torqeedo’s Cruise FP for its “beautiful engineering and close attention to detail design, its integrated approach, its compact dimensions and its market realistic price.” It sees this product as “an exciting development that will promote green boating and create exciting new opportunities too for the interior design of sailing yachts by removing the need for a traditional engine space aft of the companionway.”
“In the marine industry we collectively need to make boating much more fun for the end user,” said the chairman of the jury Bill Dixon. “To do that we need products that are interesting and make boating easier, exciting, enjoyable, comfortable and less stressful. This year’s DAME 2016 Awards provides great cause for believing we are heading in the right direction; our winner this year is a brilliant example of how true innovation, advances in technology and application of design will push boating ahead.”