At the Paris Boat Show a very special engine made its appearance, Fin5 from the French
. It is an electric outboard, vintage in design and innovative in propulsion starting with the fact that it has no propeller. In fact, the FinXs are made with a jellyfish-style swaying membrane, a moving diaphragm device, whiche pushes water in a straight line for maximum hydraulic efficiency. Patented, the technology of the first model, the Fin5, allows it to develop a power output of 2 kW, which is roughly 5 horsepower.
We note at once that, with this technology, the risk of propeller injury is virtually zero, as are the risks to marine animals. Like most electric motors on the market today, the Fin5 has a built-in on-board computer capable of calculating both remaining range, capacity and even power output. With an output of 2 kW, it is connected to an external 48 V (72 Ah) battery.
Fin5: how it works
FinX thrusters, like the Fin5, exploit the effect of movement in a fluid of a deformable elastic membrane placed between two flanges. The waves thus created will propagate from the inlet to the outlet, located on the other edge of the membrane.
The inspiration for these engines comes from dolphins. These move the caudal fins with great amplitude at low frequency. FinX exploits this same idea. To reduce pitching effects and maximize motor power density, the FinX “fin” operates at low amplitude and high frequency.
On its effectiveness, for example in turning, or in reverse (where you will likely have to turn the engine 180 degrees bringing the output part of the foot toward the bow) we cannot say much, not having tested it.
Fin5: the advantages
The absence of a propeller is among the main advantages of the Fin5, not only for safety in case of contact, but also because the risk of mechanical failure is extremely limited in this way. The absence of rotating parts prevents wear and tear as well as breakage of the propeller or lines.
The sustainability of an electric motor is not enough. So must its production cycle FinX worked on all aspects of the product, from the circuit board to the choice of materials so that every material was reusable.
FinX will have a range
The Fin5, FinX’s first product, is designed for 5 horsepower and is suitable for small boats such as rowboats, dinghies and sailboats up to 3 tons. The goal is then to reach higher power levels with the upcoming design of a 100 kW electric motor, equivalent to a 150 hp internal combustion engine.