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The Shootout’s Slowest Boat

It didn’t matter if the course was three-quarters of a mile or the previous one-mile distance, it was the slowest boat I’ve ever seen run at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Sunrise Beach, Mo. Yet, at the same time, it was one of the most talked-about boats at this year’s 30th annual event.

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Equipped with an 80-hp Torqeedo outboard, Randy Vance drove the first electric-powered boat along the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout course on Saturday. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos

I’m talking about the electric-powered 23-foot Calypso Classic, a boutique-style center console fishing boat that sped down the course on Saturday at a whopping 25 mph. And get this, Randy Vance, one of the editors at Boating magazine, was thrilled with that speed since he tested the boat the day before after launching it at Shawnee Bend and only reached 23 mph.

“Both Torqeedo and Boating magazine wanted to figure out a way to help promote the growth of electric outboards—of course Torqeedo is one of the company’s on the spear point of that—so we asked them about doing a boat together and they said they’d love to do it,” said Vance, who was on hand at Lake of the Ozarks with Steve Trkla, the president of Torqeedo Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Torqeedo GmbH located in Crystal Lake, Ill. (Founded in 2005, the parent company is headquartered in Starnberg, Germany.) “We told them we’d be happy to cover it and they asked me if I’d drive the boat and I said I’d love to run it. The team at Torqeedo has been working on the boat for about five months. There’s a lot of custom work that they did in here to get the boat ready.”

According to Trkla, the boat is powered by a single 80-hp, 66-kilowatt Deep Blue outboard power plant that expends energy from Torqeedo’s high-capacity Deep Blue batteries with BMW i technology. Thanks to a cooperation with BMW i, Torqeedo has made state-of-the-art automotive battery engineering available for the marine market utilizing the technology introduced in the BMW i3 and BMW i8.

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