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IPFS News Link • Entertainment: Outdoor Recreation

GS22E electric tow boat gives a preview of clean, quiet watersports

•, By Loz Blain

The Super Air Nautique GS22E offers watersports fans a handsome, quiet, emissions-free fun machine ... at a price.

Miami's Nautique is heavily into the towed watersports scene, offering a portfolio of 13 leisure boat models designed for water-skiing, wake and surf boarding, and combinations of all three. Twelve of these use a typical roaring combustion engine to get the job done – including the multi-sport GS22, which runs a 6-liter, 400-hp PCM engine and carries more than 50 gal (190 L) of fuel in standard trim.

The thirteenth is different. Built in partnership with electric marine specialists Ingenity, the GS22E takes the flexible watersports platform of the GS22 and goes fully electric with it. Out goes the engine and gas tank, and in goes a high-torque, maintenance-free 220-kW (295-hp) electric motor and a hefty 124-kWh battery pack.

The result is a powerful zero-emissions tow boat that runs, say the two companies, for about two to three hours on a charge under normal watersports usage. It also offers a radically different experience; it's so quiet that people in the cabin don't have to raise their voices to chat with one another – the water is louder than the boat. Indeed, depending on what's happening out the back it seems you can easily have casual conversations with a wakeboard rider from the back seats, or possibly even a shouted chat with a water skier at speed.