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Is This the New Tesla of Ski Boats?

Arc electric boat TFL Truck
Behold the Arc Sport / Photo- Andre Smirnov & TFL Truck

Join Andre from as they test the upstart electric boat company's new ski model - the Arc Sport.

Arc Boats has introduced its all-new Arc Sport all-electric watersports boat. What is it like? What are the pros and cons? I jump at the chance to take it for a ride, wakeboard behind it, and speak to the CEO of the company. Let’s dig in!

The Arc Sport a 23-foot open bow boat with a 15-person capacity and a focus on wake boarding and wake surfing. It uses a single 500 horsepower electric motor that sends the power to the prop via direct drive. It is equipped with a large 226 kWh battery that is designed and assembled by the Arc Boat engineers. The company says the battery has enough energy to support 4-6 hours of watersports activity on the water.

These are all competitive specs, but this boat is not a carbon copy of another popular wakeboard boat that has been repowered with an electric motor. Arc Boats designs and builds their own fiberglass hulls that combine a deep-V wave-cutting shape with efficiency. Naturally, energy efficiency is very important for an electric boat.

I have been a water ski & board enthusiast for the last 20+ years, so I am very familiar with the experience. I was surprised by how quiet and smooth this boat is.

As a side note, my job focus is reviewing and testing pickup trucks and large SUVs. I have driven nearly every electric car or pickup truck on sale now, and the Arc Sport exhibits many of the same qualities. The electric motor is virtually silent when moving at trolling speed in the wake free zone. All you hear is the water gently bouncing off the hull. The steering and throttle controls are basically the same as in any other modern boat. I specifically loved the digital indicator of the rudder’s steering angle. There is no more room for steering error, the driver always knows where the rudder is pointed.

When talking about water sport boats, their displacement weight and the shape of the wake come to the forefront. The Arc Sport has a water ballast system on board that the driver can control and adjust. The boat’s 6,900 lbs (3130 kg) dry weight increases to 9,000 lbs (4082 kg) with maximum ballast. This and the 3-tabs surf system provide a smooth wave for wakeboarding and wake surfing. I did not try every water sport discipline behind the Arc Sport, nor did I compare it to its gas-powered rivals.

This boat’s driver position is unlike anything I have experienced in other boats in this class. The main windshield is tall and large. It provides great visibility and wind protection. While doing a quick pass, I quickly reached this boat’s 40 MPH digital speed limit. I did not confirm this boat’s speed with a stand alone GPS device during my first test. The electric motor’s power and torque are tremendous. When the boat was moving at 40 MPH, I felt like I was moving slower. Plenty of wind protection, effortless acceleration, and a relatively quiet motor all hide the sensation of speed.

What about recharging? Arc Boats does not specify the exact maximum charging speed of this boat. At this time, very few lakes or water ways offer level-3 DC fast charging. Arc Boats tell me that Lake Tahoe has a fast charger at one of their marinas, but this is about the extent of it for now. It means you will most likely be charging this boat at level-2 AC charging speeds. Most marinas around the country and the world already provide shore power for boats. This is usually meant for powering the boat’s appliances and toping off “house batteries." This circuit could be used for charging the Arc’s main high-voltage battery. This 240-volt circuit could provide 7.2 kW, 9.6 kW, or 11 kW. If this boat’s 226 kWh battery is all depleted, it will take many hours or over a day to be fully recharged. Arc Boats says that level-2 type of charging will fit most owner’s usage and lifestyle. Spend several hours on the water, plug in on level-2, charge over night, and be ready for several hours of boating the next day. We will have to do an extended test to verify this in the near future.

What about winterizing? This boat has a closed-loop coolant system that is used to control the motor and battery temperatures. This does not require any type of annual service. This boat can be easily operated in salt or fresh water. Also, any warm day can be an opportunity to get on the water. There is no need to maintain a coolant system or change engine oil or transmission fluid. If you live in a cold climate, any warm day could be your chance to get on the water - provided the water is not iced over.

How do you know your boat’s electrical system and battery are in good shape when in storage. This boat has Wi-Fi or satellite connectivity. This allows the boat’s systems to be updated Over-The-Air (OTA). It also allows you to remotely monitor your boat’s systems: check the state of charge and make sure the boat is ready to go at moment’s notice. Ideally, your boat would be stored with a “trickle charger," but it doesn’t have to be.

All this comes at a price. The Arc Sport starts at $258,000 USD. First editions of the boat will cost over $300,000 USD. If you require, the boat will be sold with a matching tandem-axle trailer.

This price is not far away from competitor boats such as the Tige Z3 or Air Nautique G23. If you add several options to the competitor boats, the pricing will be very similar to where the Arc Sport is currently priced. Arc Boats is controlling the cost of this boat by doing most of the engineering, development, and building in-house. They also plan to sell the boat direct to the consumer as all-electric manufacturer.

They say the first Arc Sport boats will be reaching customers later this summer.

Watch my on-water experience with the Arc Sport below:

You can follow Andre and their adventures with both gas-powered and electric vehicles on TFLTruck, TFLTruckEV, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. You might also like:

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