Supiore electric luxury tender offers a quiet float


January 28, 2014

Back at the dock

Back at the dock

Image Gallery (13 images)

"Where electric cars have been a part of the streetscape for a long time, the boating market failed to pick up the pass and join the trend, until now." Dutch boat manufacturer Supiore may overstate the case a bit, but for every e-boat we saw at the boot Dusseldorf show last week, there was a fleet of liquid-fueled boats. Supiore's Uno is a stylish, solar-powered boat set to help redress the balance a bit.

Ordinarily, calling a boat stylish and eye-catching would be a matter of opinion, but we gathered a stack of evidence as we stood around patiently (somewhat) waiting for a clean photo opportunity. Nearly every single showgoer that walked by made an obligatory rubberneck, ogling the clean, stylish interior, safety cone-orange hull and glimmering solar panels. Even in a massive hall filled to the rafters with boat after boat, the Uno stood out.

As you can tell from the huge "100 percent electric" tattoo, Supiore is pretty proud of the fact that the Uno is all-electric. The 5.25-m (17-ft) vessel cruises the ocean, bay or lake for up to six hours per charge, thanks in part to the integrated solar array that pulls power from the beating sun above. The idea is that the cap'n and up to six friends enjoy a calm, steady float without worrying too much about rushing back to the dock to power up. The yacht's speed is electronically limited to 10 knots (18.5 km/h, 11.5 mph).

Sun soakers probably won't be able to resist the flirtations of the Uno's flat, smooth deck, and Supiore assures them they don't have to try – the solar panels have been designed to keep charging with only a minimal decrease in efficiency that will depend on the size of the sun soaker in question. In optimal conditions, the panels charge the battery at a rate of about five percent an hour. When the boat is plugged into an outlet, the recharge rate leaps to 20 percent/hour.

Behind the Uno's short glasshouse awaits an interior that is deceivingly simple. What appears to be a basic wood table is actually a multifunctional piece of equipment that houses a grill, sink with a retractable faucet, water tank and drink cooler. The owner and guests can relax, enjoy cold drinks and prepare a full dinner out on the water. An audio system with dual 75-watt speakers provides the soundtrack, while the LED lighting ensures the evening doesn't have to end at nightfall. Port and starboard stowage space provides room for storage.

Supiore explains that the Uno's unique shape is dictated by stability – because what good is a calm, quiet electric drive if the boat lurches violently like a bucking bull the whole trip? As far as construction, the boat has double-foam walls and an epoxy impregnated frame.

Supiore was handing out "world premiere" paperwork at the 2014 Dusseldorf boat show, but it looks like the Uno made an appearance or two prior to the show. We're guessing it drew its share of rubberneckers at those events, too.

Unfortunately, Supiore's materials do not list Uno pricing. The company did not respond to our pricing request prior to publication, but we will update if and when it does.

Source: Supiore

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

Damn, it might be expensive if they are afraid to say the prices.


Yeah... the speed limit could have you boating in bad weather because you couldn't get out of the way in time... Actually the designers did not have enough power available and moving slow is more efficient having a more reasonable range... later they found the excuse for low speed: quiet... how about fast and quiet?


The orange paint job will come in handy when the aging batteries leave you stranded.


I think that the speed limitation could lead to range difficulties if the outward leg of the trip was with the tide. This would certainly be the case around the U.K. coast, especially off the West and South West coasts.

Mel Tisdale

I think this is really nice, especially with the hidden features. I think it would be great for a quiet cruise.

I think a fuel cell would help with range and power. Like the one from Intelligent Energy.


Nice, but I think I'd want to carry a small generator as a backup in case the clouds come out fast and you have to get to shore before the weather turns to complete crap.

Keith Lamb

From the article: "Sun soakers probably won't be able to resist the flirtations of the Uno's flat, smooth deck, and Supiore assures them they don't have to try – the solar panels have been designed to keep charging with only a minimal decrease in efficiency that will depend on the size of the sun soaker in question."

Heh . . . yeah, right. Any shadowing of a solar panel will render it virtually useless. Even just the shadow of a pole no bigger around than your thumb will reduce the efficiency of a panel far in excess of the percentage of the panel that is shaded by such a small object.


Except for the topside obstructing solar cells, everything old is new again, and in production somewhere else for a long time.

... The boat is a sleek, neo-Edwardian piece of work, built to the designs that Elco, the first electric boat builder in America, used when it was founded 110 years ago. The company supplied 55 launches for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, ferrying thousands of sightseers on the fair’s waterways. ...

Dave B13

@ KrakaTaoJones

It depends on how the individual cells are wired together.


there is basic reason the electric power works for cars better than boats. Most of a car's energy is getting it up to speed. At highway speeds it only needs a dozen horsepower to overcome aero drag and cruise along. However, water offers a much greater amount of drag and requires continuous high level of power. If you can get the boat planing, the drag can be reduced. However, weight is also the enemy, particularly for planing hulls. The power density of the batteries just can't compete on a $, weight or capacity-basis with petro fuels. So, any e-boat is likely to be a displacement hull, which has a built-in speed limit factor. So your options are cheap but heavy lead acid batteries, l-ion like the Tesla, which then is expensive or a battery/charger system like the Prius.

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