The new e-motion Rudder Drive could revolutionise the way sailing yachts are propelled.

It has been developed by rudder manufacturer Jefa and electric outboard specialist Torqeedo, in partnership with boat builder Hanse Yachts.

The quiet, new Rudder Drive features an electric engine, which replaces the diesel engine and its components as well as the complete sail drive, so no need for thrusters.

It is promised to offer outstanding maneuverability due to the unique rudder placement of the 4 kW (8 horsepower equivalent) Torqeedo electric motor, plus minimal weight: 100 kg less than the diesel sail drive option.

The Hanse 315 is the first sailing yacht by a major manufacturer with an industrially produced electric drive.

The core of this innovative concept is the specially adapted Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 with folding propeller, designed in to the rudder blade itself. The Jefa rudder blade’s range of motion was extended to a total of 100 degrees. Demanding manoeuvres can now be accomplished without a separate thruster. While motoring, the yacht can spin on its own axis – both forward and in reverse. While docking, the stern can easily be maneuvered into the proper position. This is highly useful in windy conditions or in narrow slips.

Making 4.5 knots with calm seas, the new Rudder Drive equipped with four lithium-ion batteries has a range of up to 30 nautical miles. At lower speeds, the range is significantly increased. The Rudder Drive can also be used with two batteries if a shorter range is required. The maximum speed is 6.1 knots – nearing the maximum speed of the diesel version.

The Rudder Drive does not require a hole through the hull, lowering the resistance while sailing. The electric drive’s simplicity means less maintenance, as well.

With integrated Torqeedo fast chargers, the emission-free version of the Hanse 315 is fully charged in just three hours. The batteries can be recharged at the dock or during sailing when the Rudder Drive’s folding propeller is used to generate power.

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