Boatica Cape Town (27-29 October 2023) will see the Southern African boating community, ocean enthusiasts and proud Capetonians come together to celebrate ocean life. The three-day event will include exciting on-water demos, the latest in all manner of watercraft from SUPs to superyachts, and industry-shaping innovations in boat engines and other boating components.

Many of the delegates and exhibitors will share the sentiment that boating is no longer just about enjoying the oceans but protecting them, too.

At stand SP2 on the North Wharf at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, OEM distributor Southern Power will be one of the exhibitors showcasing new green power solutions imported from abroad. A number of the solutions, carried by Southern Power, will be on show for the first time in South Africa.

According to Jacques Brümmer,

Southern Power’s CEO, “For us the whole boat show will be about the transition to green energy solutions, both in marine and land-based use.”

The innovative products Southern Power will bring to the show include:

  • Volvo Penta’s “Journey to Sustainability” interactive demonstration, as well as a working hybrid/diesel-electric Volvo Penta D4 engine, with electric modules and control software supplied by Blueline – for the first time on show in South Africa.Volvo Penta’s vision is to become a world leader in sustainable power solutions. While innovating to improve performance and reduce climate impact, the company wants to motivate other industry leaders to do the same.
  • In another first the 450hp hybrid diesel-electric engine from OXE Marine, which provides 300hp of propulsion delivered by its popular diesel 300 outboard, now augmented by a further 150hp-equivalent of power, provided by an electric motor.The engine can be used in different modes: electric mode for slow trolling (150hp), diesel mode for higher speeds (300hp), or hybrid mode for maximum power. The electric motor is strategically located under the engine cowling and connected seamlessly to the drive-belt. While enhancing performance, this also allows the motor to serve as an alternator, providing the ability to charge the electric batteries while running in diesel mode.
  • A third South African debut is the breakthrough propulsion solution from Southern Power’s newest OEM Partner, Molabo. In a global industry first, this German-based manufacturer has engineered the world’s most powerful 48 volt electric drive that is also “safe to touch”. Normally, any engine delivering 25 kw or more of power would have unsettlingly high voltage. Molabo’s Sales Director, Martin Schwarz, will be travelling out to join Southern Power at the show.
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    • Also from Molabo, but in collaboration with New-Zealand-based Earthling and Southern Power OEM Partner Whisper Power, a complete electric power solution for yachts:From Earthling comes a hybrid/fully electric propulsion solution for both monohulls and catamarans. Called the ARIES i50, it comprises a total of 4 lithium-ion battery modules of 11 kW each and, for the range extender, two 8.6 kW DC Genverters (variable speed diesel engines), which feeds the lithium storage with additional energy when needed. On a catamaran, each hull carries 2 battery modules and one Genverter, which can be cross-connected between the hulls, to provide true dual redundancy throughout. All of this is delivered at a safe level of 48 volts.

    Meanwhile, passengers on board can rely on Whisper Power’s OctoPower electrical power system for silent, clean and efficient power generation. The OctoPower range extends from 3 kW units to 32 kW or more, making it suitable for watercraft of different sizes.

    At Boatica, visitors will be able to see this collaborative green power solution first-hand.

    From OEM Partner Humphree comes Lightning, a cutting-edge new trim system for smaller speedboats that supports boat owners’ commitment to sustainability by reducing fuel consumption, meaning less emissions. This is achieved because the trim system enables boats to get up to the plane faster, while also providing more stability for a comfortable, relaxing cruise.

    • Moving to terrestrial power needs – not a new sector for Southern Power, but in which it is becoming increasingly invested – is a Webasto EV charging station, whose futuristic looks will intrigue attendees.

    Available from Southern Power in Q1 2024, Webasto’s range of charging solutions for electric vehicles ranges from smaller units for home use to bigger units suitable for use in parking garages, shopping malls, residential housing estates or other urban settings.

    Webasto being a well-established Tier One Automotive Supplier, its EV charging range is fully certified to meet the European Union’s stringent safety and conformity requirements.

    Besides their streamlined design – so different from earlier, boxy charging stations, a big advantage for EV owners is these units’ charge time. Traditionally, a home charging would take as long as nine hours. With Webasto, EV owners can achieve a full charge in just 90 minutes, This does away with range anxiety completely, since small booster charges of 20 – 30% can quickly be done on the go – and Southern Power’s quest, together with Webasto, is to enable widespread proliferation of the larger EV charging stations, so that EV owners will never be far from one in most South African cities or towns.

    Another advantage is ChargeConnect, the backbone cloud-based app from which the charging units or stations can be managed and monitored. This is useful both for EV owners as commercial operators (malls, hotels and more) selling charge with various billing systems.

    Jacques Brummer: “At the end of day, Boatica 2023 is about us showcasing our strong commitment to the journey to sustainability, with the introduction of these new and innovative products to Southern Africa; products that are being taken up on land and water, all over the world.

    Southern Power has been a supplier at the heart of the South African and African boating industry for over 50 years, but we are now entering a new era for “southern” power, driven by hybrid or fully electric engineering and technology. Our mandate is to ensure that, as our customers make the move to green power, they can continue to rely on us for ensuring they get only top tier products, tried and tested, from reliable world-class suppliers.”

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    Read more about the green power solutions of our OEM Partners.