Located in the South Street Seaport Historic District of New York, Zeeboat wants to help create cleaner ports and waters by introducing a fully-electric tugboat. As its name suggests, it’s all about zero emissions and electric propulsion. The future boat will have an efficient hull designed by The Shearer Group Inc. (TSGI), based on “fluid dynamic calculations.” By increasing the water flow to the propeller, the combination of the towboat and the barge is supposed to be 10% more efficient than standard towboats.
Also, together with an azipod drive system, this innovative hull design is said to improve the boat’s overall efficiency by 30%, compared to traditional vessels, while also enabling safe operations to the highest standard.
The Zeeboat manufacturer is collaborating with two other partners for this clean energy project. Shift Clean Energy will provide the battery energy storage systems, and Industrial Service Solutions (ISS) will be in charge of the general contract, project management, and vessel support services. The first four electric Zeeboats are expected to start operating in U.S. waters by 2025.
Zeeboat claims to be building the first electric tugboat in North America, but there’s also another company claiming to be building the first one in the U.S. Crowley Maritime Corporation is building the eWolf in Coden, Alabama. Since this ship is due to make its debut in 2023, it might win this title after all.