X Shore EELEX 8000 400By Andy Adams

100% Electric performance available now

When we arranged to interview the designer and manufacturer to write a profile of the X Shore Eelex 8000 for the June 2021 issue of Canadian Yachting magazine, it was on the understanding that we always prefer to actually drive and experience the boats we write about, and we were especially keen to drive the X Shore when BCI Marine here in Canada, got their first boat from Sweden.

This shows the distinctive and attractive styling and gives you a good sense of the protection offered by the windshield as well as the large hardtop. That's mounted over a console that includes three storage compartments and mounts a seat back where you can lean while driving. A creative touch is the sturdy flagpole on the bow.

There has been a lot of media attention around everything electric lately, especially electric vehicles, but so far, most electric boats are a concept, not yet a reality. The X Shore Eelex 8000 is a reality and a very impressive one at that.

flagpole with electric eel 400In late fall of 2021, we travelled to Gananoque, Ontario to run the boat on the St. Lawrence River and it was great to experience it in person. These are our driving impressions from that day, but for additional information on the X Shore Eelex 8000, visit the Canadian Yachting archives at: https://www.canadianyachting.ca/boat-reviews/72-power/6267-new-boats-x-shore-eelex-8000

When I arrived in Gananoque, it was easy to find the X Shore in the marina; everyone knew which boat I was asking about. Potential future owners should expect to spend a fair bit of time talking to fellow boaters. This one is a game-changer and the first 100% electric boat in the marketplace.

this is the flagpole with the electric eel’s head leading the way.

Before I stepped aboard, I knew the X Shore Eelex 8000 was not like other boats in many different ways. Inspired by the engineering behind Tesla, the X Shore technology emphasizes the user experience, celebrating the differences between this and conventional boats of this size and style while minimizing our impact on the planet.

First impressions

It’s easy to step aboard at the open stern and the broad expanse of flat floor makes it easy to get around, right from the transom to the bow. It’s very Scandinavian in design with clean lines, careful simplicity and yet your first impression is shaped by the warmth and comfort of the unique cork flooring and gunwale trim.

scandinavian design 400Interfacing with the helm, you quickly get to be “one” with the boat. Get behind the wheel, don't worry about anything the way you might with a gas engine; as Patrick Hardy from BCI Marine says, the worries are gone. There is no confusing array of instruments and there are few switches.

This has a simplistic, minimalist helm where all your navigation and key operating information is displayed on a single big screen in front of you. In fact, it’s a 24-inch Garmin display that’s bright and easy to read. Both the X Shore app and the optional MARQ wristwatch function as remote keys. If you fall while wearing the watch, the man overboard safety feature stops the boat automatically.

Another feature of the X Shore app is that you can always know your boat’s exact location and for added security, an anti theft system lets you activate a geofence with alerts that signal if your boat ever crosses it.

Like the Tesla, the X Shore Eelex 8000 is at its heart, a computer and an impressive 150 data points are collected per second during operation, supplying you with accurate, real-time performance data that’s accessible via the touchscreen and X Shore app.

The very clean Scandinavian design is attractive and practical. The cleats are mounted inboard and the lines run through hawes in the hull sides keeping the gunwales clear. The very attractive cork decking and flooring makes it practical to use the large storage areas in the bow as additional seating and you can see the anchor locker in the bow section. The bow is protected from the anchor by another decorative cork panel.

x shore captains watch 400You don’t “start” this boat – you just activate it with the remote key fob and even then, there is no noise until you give it some throttle. The X-Shore silently moves forward without apparent effort. The absence of noise allows you to focus on your boating experience and your guests onboard. (By the way – the Bowers & Wilkins stereo is awesome!)

This is an example of the big and very clear display screen at the helm in this case showing a chart of the area.

But you feel closest to nature through the power of silence. You have power and speed if you need it, but you can do slow enjoyment. On the screen, you can choose the “Speedster”, “Cruiser”, or “Power of Silence” setting which determines the performance level.

Also, the performance level will determine the power consumption. The most economical setting is Power of Silence and that will maximize your range.

On the helm screen at the top, you see the battery range and your digital compass. Power use in kilowatts per nautical mile is displayed as are depth, motor RPMs and the indicator for the performance setting.

The entertainment and the lighting controls all have digital dimmers. You see the power control charging status, main and house batteries. There is a propellor icon to show that you are “in gear” and also, icons for pumps as well as warnings for pumps, power and thermal status. The two battery packs are heated and cooled for maximum performance.

cork flooring 400The Side-power thruster in the bow makes docking easier and an owner could also add a stern thruster for ultimate docking convenience. The boat has SeaStar hydraulic steering and the X Shore Eelex 8000 is a conventional shaft drive boat with a rudder.

People often ask about charging the batteries. The rapid charger system is DC direct current to the battery and can charge from 20 - 80% in 1 hour and 10 minutes. AC (alternating current) takes longer, although, with proper hookups, you could easily re-charge overnight at home in your boathouse, or at your dock.

This is a closeup of the teak flooring showing one of the clever floor-mounted rails which is used to position and secure the base of the interior furniture options. You can adjust things to be where you want for your purpose that day.

Driving the X Shore

Standing at the helm, I was comfortable leaning on the backrest and the wheel and throttle are well-positioned. You immediately notice the elegant luxury car-styled steering wheel with centre-hub mounted controls for the media system, horn, lights and arrow keys for on-screen functions. What is especially neat is that the centre hub and control buttons remain steady while the wheel turns – love that. There's also a USB at the helm and a fire extinguisher is housed under the steering wheel.

A unique feature is the throttle control. X Shore has replaced the control lever and throttle system with a big knurled rotating nob like a hockey puck with a bump on it. Line the bump up with the bump on the deck edge and you are in neutral; in other words, the engine and the prop are not turning at all. You're using no power. Rotate the puck forward, the motor starts and the boat moves. Dial it all the way on the Speedster setting and the X Shore accelerates fiercely going from zero to 20 knots (planning speed) in approximately 4.2 seconds.

x shore wheel 400We saw a top speed of over 30 knots, but when you switch to the Cruiser setting, the acceleration is more gentle, power consumption is reduced and your available range increases. You never really hear the motor just the sound of the water on the hull as the speed rises.

The elegant steering wheel has a centre hub that remains fixed while the wheel rotates around it, thereby keeping some important control buttons always in the same position. Just to the right of the wheel is the very interesting engine control which is shaped like a hockey puck with a bump. You just dial up the speed that you want to run.

The X Shore hull was designed for the 300 horsepower 225 kW motor and the two huge battery packs. The boat is in balance with good weight distribution and the single prop and shaft drive work admirably. It’s the same type of set-up you get in a wakeboard boat that is built for acceleration. Dial the speed you want with the puck from idle at about three knots, to wide open at over 30 knots and the X Shore gathers speed in a linear fashion.

The boat responds quickly to steering changes too and it can carve a tight turn without loosing almost any speed. The wheel has a solid, but smooth feel that requires just moderate effort.

teak table 400

The leaning post driving position is good, but we felt there should be a seat with a footrest, especially for passengers. We understand that is coming soon. The windscreen gave good protection and great outward vision with the T-top keeping the sun and rain off while also providing a place to carry big accessories like kayaks or SUPs.

Our test boat was equipped with two couches, with generous interior storage, that had been set up around a handsome teak table that includes drink holders. Comfortable all-weather cloth upholstery is very comfortable and the table is fully removable.

The ride was smooth and solid as we crossed our own wake. The boat is easy to control and delightfully simple with no engine trim or hull trim tabs needed.

Your passengers can sit on the bow storage compartments, or in the padded comfort of the optional couches around the table in the cockpit. Heavy mounting rails in the floor run from the transom forward to the bow and X Shore has a range of seating, tables and accessories that you can mount there.

The aluminum grab rails all around are in powder-coated aluminum. There is abundant storage and the high sides and flat floor help passengers feel secure.

Overall

For those who want to make a statement, the X Shore will be a conversation-starter, but it’s also a solid, spacious and very versatile boat that would be ideal as an islander or a fishing machine, and that can cruise with a gang or pull watersports toys with ease.

Canadian Yachting magazine managing editor, Andy Adams at the helm of the X Shore Eelex 8000 seen here enjoying the running silence while turning on the Bowers & Wilkins sound system with speakers in the hull sides and mounted in the hardtop structure.

andy onboard 400SPECIFICATIONS

Length: 8m / 26.2 ft

Beam: 2.6 m / 8.5 ft

Weight: 2,600 kg / 5,730 lbs

Acceleration: 0-20 knots in 4.2 Seconds

Electrical Motor: 225kW / 300 hp

Top Speed: 30+ Knots

Cruising speed: 20 Knots

Battery Capacity: 126 kWh

Range: 100 NM at lower speeds

Charging: 6 hours on 32A

Price: Starting at $495,000 USD

Test boat and price provided by BCI Marine, www.bcimarine.com

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