RS Electric Boats’ Pulse 63 takes to the water on Lake Garda

Blue RIB on a lake with mountains in the background

RS Electric Boats has showcased its Pulse 63 to a consortium of local stakeholders at Italy’s Lake Garda.

According to Alex Newton-Southon, CEO – technical RS Marine Group, who attended the event, this move comes as “the Italians are very much on it when it comes to sustainability” with the consortium aiming to see the north end of the lake’s events facilitated by an electric RIB fleet by 2024. 

The Italian consortium includes tourism specialists, mayors of local regions, presidents of communities, and councillors for tourism, and sport, as well as pertinent sailing clubs – all of whom are actively working towards preserving the natural, stunning beauty of the area and the sailing on offer. 

While the lake’s electrification aim had been widely vocalised, the call to action was taken by Milan-based Negrinautica, one of the largest watersports distributors in Europe. The company has a facility in Lake Garda and a long-standing relationship with RS Sailing, and therefore, a keen interest in what RS Electric – part of the RS Marine Group – can offer. Consequently, Negrinautica set-up a conference of key stakeholders and invited RS Electric Boats.

“Negrinautica got everyone together to discuss their aims,” says Newton-Southon, “and then we gave a presentation on the Pulse, what it stands for and what it can do. Then we took the stakeholders out to experience it. We’ve been asked to loan the area one for the summer. We will. This will then underpin their confidence that the Pulse 63 is reliable and it is what they think it is.”  

RS Electric Boats debuted its Pulse 63 at MDL’s first Green Tech Boat Show in 2021, and subsequently SailGP charted a fleet of Plus 63 RIBs as part of its commitment to accelerate the transition to clean energy.

Newton-Southon says that although the strategy is being led by the north part of the lake, in reality it is likely to be adopted throughout. “I imagine they’ll want to replace all like-for-like boats in the area,” he says. “The Italians currently allow up to 40hp on the lake – and there’s a mixture of everything, as sailing schools, clubs, event organisers and police look to replace their current RIBs. The consortium was really engaged to see the future of electric boats. 

“I’ve spent many years sailing in Lake Garda and to me it’s the best place in the world. To be able to support it with like-minded people with RS Electric is really powerful.” 

Pietro Negri, owner of Negrinautica, comments: “Motorised navigation has been prohibited in the waters of Garda Trentino since the 1980s and electric mobility is certainly a direction to take: the world of regattas itself is moving in this direction.”

He says the Pulse 63 was chosen to be showcased as: “The electric transmission of the engine guarantees instant acceleration, control sensitivity and hydrodynamic performance on the water. Its simplicity generates low noise, low vibration, low weight and minimum maintenance.” 

This geographical aim, for sustainable boating at the heart of water-based strategies, isn’t restricted to the Italians. Newton-Southon admits that there are other projects RS Electric is looking at, working with environmental agencies and other countries’ specific needs. 

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