Consortium develops hydrogen-powered coach boat

THE HAGUE – A consortium of Dutch maritime companies and knowledge centers is developing a hydrogen-electric coach boat for use during regatta racing.

Coach boats are invariably RIBs with powerful outboard engines.

Jaap Zielhuis of Watersportverbond, an umbrella group of half a dozen watersports clubs, launched the idea of developing a non-polluting coach boat. World Sailing, the world’s governing body for the sport, said it plans to allow only emission-free coach boats at major events as of 2030.

A feasibility study by 4 Delft University of Technology students and several Dutch maritime companies revealed this can be done.

The consortium partners are Koedood Dieselservice (ship engines), Habbeké Shipyard (aluminum boats), Delft University, the Dutch Sailing Innovation Center, the Watersportverbond, superyacht builder Oceanco, HyFly (maker of hydrogen-powered  drones) and De Stille Boot (electric sailing company).

A first undertaking is the development of the H2 Coach Boat power train. The plan is to present a sailing prototype at the 2022 World Sailing Championships in Scheveningen, a North Sea resort that’s part of The Hague.

The consortium must also devise a hydrogen refueling infrastructure. Arie Koedood of Koedood Dieselservice says his company gladly takes on that job for it is keen to “gain knowledge about sailing on hydrogen.”