If you try to characterize the Swiss shipyard... Boesch in two words, it will be «tradition» and «innovation». Concepts are polar in a sense, but in this case they are in harmony with each other.
Judge for yourself - the company was founded in 1920, when shipbuilder Jakob Bosch bought a shipyard on the shore of Lake Zurich. Five years later, Jacob's son Walter joined the business. Today, almost a century later, Boesch is one of the main boat manufacturers in Switzerland, with customers on five continents but still in family hands - the business is run by the great-grandson of the founder Klaus, his brother Urs and son Marcus.
The commitment to tradition in this case is reflected in the classic design of boats. And the introduction of new technologies and optimisation of production for the sake of the environment began in the yard back in the 80s, when the desire to be «green», even among people from larger companies with very impressive resources for research and innovation, caused one reaction - a surprise shrug of the shoulders. It was then that the idea «of a bulge rudder» was born at this shipyard, which was designed to reduce the effect of cavitation - the formation of bubbles in the water that would eventually destroy the surface of the screws.
1997 was a turning point for the company. Then one of Boesch's clients asked him to build a yacht with an electric motor. Today, according to Marcus Boesch, a «third of the shipyard's total profits come from this type of boat». The company offers four models of boats powered by electricity; among them, there are options for both the pair (560 Sundeck), as well as for a small company (750 Portofino de Luxe).
By the way, 80 kW is far from the limit. The shipyard is already testing the 100 kW engine, and Voess partners are working on creating much more powerful engines. Among the main difficulties that shipbuilders face in creating electric boats, Markus names «getting engines and batteries on time», which suggests that there are no problems with orders for such boats.
The shipbuilder admits that when it comes to marketing, the company still has to deal with the common misconception that a «boat with an electric motor is a low-powered and poorly equipped means of transport on water». However, it is enough to look at the options that the smallest Boesch boat with an electric engine is equipped with to see if this statement is wrong. On board the 560 Sundeck, in addition to the standard set of navigation electronics, there can be installed a rotating searchlight, echo sounder, stereo system with an antenna and even such a necessary detail as an electric cigarette lighter. Despite the relatively low power engine and not too high speed (up to 35 km/h), such a boat can well be used for water skiing - including on water bodies, where the entrance to ships with internal combustion engines is ordered.
The Boesch shipyard has decided to go even further and is already actively implementing the Zero Emission + concept, which was presented at the Düsseldorf yachting salon. Solar panels will soon be installed in the yard's yard to allow for «waste-free» electricity. «We are actively involved in shaping the «green» movement in the yachting industry and believe that we have every right to set the rules," says Markus. - After all, whoever creates the future ends up being the winner».
Text - Pavel Fiorentino Photos - Boesch
Published in YACHTS magazine #33.