Epoch is Evolving

epoch boats evolution

Epoch Boats embarks on new horizons as an electric boating resource to help more boaters experience electric boating

When our team formed Epoch Boats in 2021, we initially set out to build a low cost, low maintenance electric powered boat that would enable more boaters to experience electric boating.

Our vision for Epoch Boats was to design and manufacture battery electric boats with the speed and range expected by customers, while maintaining a competitive price point with the gas powered incumbents on the market.

Our goal was to start with a highly efficient, hydrodynamic hull design that would maximize the range & speed of electric motors.

skiff spec

Epoch Boats then quickly moved from math models to the model shop.

We built sub-systems and fitted them to existing boats to move quickly and manage development costs. We experimented with a variety of foil profile designs, system configurations, and control schemas. We correlated theory to reality. Having mitigated much of the design related technical risk, the team set out to build our first boat.

electric boat design

As part of our modeling efforts, the Epoch team had developed not only a boat designed specifically for electrification, but also a new way of building boats. Our manufacturing system proposed to significantly reduce CapEx for every boat model developed and labor content for each boat rolling off the line. The use of cutting-edge digital tools, advanced design controls, and a fair bit of cleverness held the promise to give Epoch an unfair advantage in the realm of boat manufacturing. When coupled with our proprietary designs it would make Epoch a force to be reckoned with.

boat modeling

The end of 2021 and start of 2022 was showered in a snowstorm of sparks as plasma cutters and welders turned metal sheets into something with form. We were able to validate about 50% of our manufacturing system building this single vessel. Vetting the remainder would require scale and volume. As the team labored through cold winter nights, kept warm by paltry space heaters and electric arcs flying from the ends of handheld torches, a shift occurred in the atmosphere.

epoch manufacturing

Winter gave way to spring, and we were ready to hit the water.

When P-001, affectionately named “The Dutchman” (and later upgraded to “The Flying Dutchman”), splashed in Pennsylvania’s chilly March waters, it proved to not only be seaworthy but also a joy to pilot. Leaving the water was difficult as the first day out gave way to twilight. However, there was work to be done. Much of the test and correlation work undertaken on the early retrofit vessels had to be revisited for The Dutchman. Theory again had to be correlated to reality.

As tests were run, equipment installed and removed, and weeks passed, the shine of the recently built prototype faded to a mosaic of drilled holes, chipped paint, and markings decipherable by only the keenest of engineers. In typical fashion for a startup, this aesthetic degradation occurred just as we were getting great results and clamoring to share our product with the world.

epoch first splash

Launch

In mid-March 2022 Epoch decided to go live. We opened our customer waitlist to coincide with the announcement of Epoch’s launch and technology in several major boating publications. Though we had validated our concepts by speaking with many boaters during our journey, we had not solicited sales until this point. We approached launch day with trepidation. Would our concept resonate with the boating public? YES! And thanks to well written articles by some of boating’s top journalists, it resonated far and wide.

epoch boat underway

The intervening months became a flurry of customer interviews set within a backdrop of ongoing product development. Though our team was composed of lifelong boaters with decades of professional experience in the marine industry, we learned something new every day.

epoch team

Pivot

Entering 2023, the Epoch team was faced with some hard decisions about a path forward in a difficult fundraising environment.

Despite all our success with our customer waitlist & industry accolades we were unable to raise enough capital to make our vision a reality.

But we learned a lot along the way. And our desire to help more boaters experience the benefits of electric boating remains strong.

The Next Evolution

Building on everything we have learned in our startup venture, Epoch Boats has transitioned to an electric boating resource to help boaters find the best electric outboard motors, electric-ready boats and solar power accessories to help make their electric aspirations a reality.

We hope to introduce you to some of the best resources available in electric boating as this new era in boating continues to evolve.

If you’d like to get on-board with partnership opportunities, please reach out via info @ epochboats.com.

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