Cheetah Marine builds the world’s first hydrogen powered boat

Cheetah Marine has built a hydrogen-fuel catamaran which demonstrates the potential of zero CO2 technology in the marine industry. It is believed to be the first hydrogen powered craft.

The 9.95m catamaran, designed and built at Cheetah Marine’s workshops on the Isle of Wight in the UK, features a Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (HICE). The Honda outboard works in the same way as traditional petrol engine, except it burns hydrogen and produces harmless water vapour as the only emission.

The catamaran is the first marine example of HICE technology. Testing of the vessel took place earlier this year and included a 100km voyage round the Isle of Wight.

Commenting on the boat’s performance during the voyage, Lucy Strevens of Cheetah Marine, said: “We finished three hours ahead of schedule and still had enough hydrogen to circumnavigate again. It was a great success. Previously craft have been powered using hydrogen fuel cells, but it doesn’t appear there’s been a boat running on hydrogen in a traditional internal combustion engine.”

This catamaran forms part of a government-funded project through Innovate UK, which has also enabled the opening of a refuelling station near the M1 in Rotherham for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Project partner, ITM Power, installed a marine refuelling station at Cheetah Marine’s base in Ventnor. It produces hydrogen from mains water and is assisted by a bank of 26 kW solar panels.

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