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Water Witch Cleans Waterways Sustainably with Torqeedo

by xBJ1R439wX

Water Witch is a well-known manufacturer of efficient, affordable, and aluminum built boats, equipped with innovative technologies. Their main purpose is to collect and remove waste in ports and waterways. The adventure of this company began in a Liverpool shipyard in 1966 and many changes have taken place since then. One of the most recent is dated 2020, when Water Witch met Torqeedo, kicking off a collaboration that made it possible to support electromobility. 

The company’s goal is to offer sustainable, zero-emission answers to its customers who have been requesting the transition to electric propulsion for some time, as explained by the director of Water Witch, Jackie Caddick.

A”water witch” in support of electromobility

Market demand, especially in the last 5 years, has encouraged the emergence of new proposals linked to the use of electric propulsion in the nautical sector. The Water Witch shipyard, now in its fourth generation of family ownership, has created an efficient electricity package with Torqeedo for quiet, emission-free and reliable operation.

The electrical system has been applied to the Versi-Cat series of double hull aluminum skimmer boats, useful for removing and disposing of waste, debris, plastics and aquatic vegetation floating on and below the water’s surface.

I Versi-Cat sono progettati per rimuovere e smaltire rifiuti, detriti, plastica sull’acqua o semi-sommersi sotto la superficie. Crediti: Water Witch

Torqeedo has also introduced an electrical retrofit package for existing Versi-Cat combustion models. In this way, water and waste management services can be supported while also reducing dependence on fossil fuels. In addition, of course, to minimizing maintenance interventions on the boats.

How Versi-Cat ships with Torqeedo pack are equipped

Water Witch models, especially the new 8.0-metre-long, all-aluminum Versi-Cat, come with a standard Torqeedo drive package. We therefore find a Cruise electric outboard with Power 48 lithium-ion batteries weighing 36 kg each. Furthermore, there is a cockpit control panel that offers a complete view of the system and the estimated range based on speed. According to calculations and water tests, the boat can run 6-8 hours between charges. The timing is ideal to ensure the safe conduct of waste collection as well as many other activities to be carried out on the water. Last year, for example, a Torqeedo-powered multi-mission electric workboat was delivered to the Loch Lomond National Park Authority.

The spread of these working vessels is synonymous with the desire to achieve zero emissions in the waters of the Scottish lake Loch Lomond by 2030.

The Versi-Cat electric skimmer at work in the water. Credits: Water Witch

“Water Witch engineering teams are leading the way with new vessel design that effectively reduce litter and plastic pollution with zero noise, zero fossil fuel usage and zero emissions into the atmosphere.” explained Tommi Salonen, senior vice president of sales for Torqeedo GmbH.

For now, a big goal has already been achieved: the boat (100% electric) is made with 75% recycled material and is thus the first of its kind in the UK.

The next goals? Between autonomous and hydrogen solutions

Having raised the bar with the use of batteries and electric drives, what will be the next step for Water Witch? First of all, the focus is on the EcoPro system which ensures better efficiency of the diesel engine by producing catalytic hydrogen. So the system can be used to carry out a structural upgrade on a 14-tonne dredger in Glasgow, Scotland.

In addition, work is being done to develop a new generation of autonomous electric propulsion vessels, with the help of Marine AI Ltd. Thanks to the use of AI technology, work will be done on the monitoring, modeling and machine learning phase to increase resilience and cost efficiency for the cleaning phase.